The body consists of 640 muscles!
The largest of these muscles are – yes you guessed it – your glutes!
So, it makes sense when exercising to of course include you biggest power house right?
The glutes are quite often forgotten about. Despite the fact we spend 60% of our waking hours on our bottoms (at a desk, in a car, on the sofa etc).
You may be working out 3 or 4 times a week already and still be spending too much time on your bottom. Nobody wants muscular atrophy!
If you’re serious about your fitness and want a stronger body, then you can’t afford to skip the development of your gluteals.
Your glutes have 3 parts to them, gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The glutes play a huge factor in some of our most basic and rudimentary movements such as walking, running, skipping, jumping, lifting and standing.
One leg day a week will never be enough to sufficiently activate your glutes to accomplish a stronger and more muscular backside.
Weak glutes can result in poor posture
The domino affect this can have is quite astonishing.
Weak glutes = Poor posture
Poor posture = lower back strain
Lower back strain = muscular imbalances
Not such a pain in the backside anymore hay!
I think it’s fair to say that ‘most’ people want a good looking behind! Quite typically, the exercise of choice is either a variation of squats or lunges which is fine.
Here are a few of my recommendations:
1) Hip Thrusts
• Either on the floor – no weight: Lay on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor and palms down.
• Push your hips upwards. As you do squeeze your glutes at the top for a couple seconds.
• Slowly lower and return to your starting position, and repeat.
TIP: as you get stronger consider weighted hip thrusts.
2) Gluteal Squeeze:
This is the perfect exercise for the ultra busy that can be performed just about anywhere.
It is also a great warm-up and training technique for activating your gluteals.
• Squeeze your glutes as tight as you can
• Now hold this contraction for a couple of seconds
• Release and repeat.
This is an effective training technique for glute activation as it improves your neuromuscular connection. This type of training and maintenance encourages your glutes to be the dominant force they should be.
3) Barbell Squats:
The good and trusted barbell squat. This classic compound movement can have your glutes firing on all cylinders if you go deep enough.
It’s important to note, your deep squat weight should be ‘considerably’ lower than your half squat weight.
• Pick a weight you can complete 6 to 12 deep squats with.
• Standing feet shoulder width apart, feet pointed forward. Pick up the barbell with the weight across your shoulders and behind your neck.
• Keeping your back straight and weight in your heels. Squat down until your body is just below the height of a chair (just under 45 degrees).
• Then push up from your heels and drive the weight back up to your starting position.
TIP: If you feel any discomfort in you knees check your body alignment. If this persists, stop and seek advice.
4) Stiff-Leg Barbell Deadlift:
Another great compound movement to target those glutes.
• Pick a weight you can complete 6 to 12 stiff-leg deadlifts with.
• Keeping your legs straight (with a soft bend in the knee), bend forward from the hips and grip the bar.
• Keeping your back straight, drive up through the legs (activating your glutes and hamstrings), and lift the weight until you’re back in standing / neutral position.
• Lower the weight to the ground and repeat.
5) Barbell Split Squats:
• Pick a weight you can complete 6 to 12 reps of barbell split squats with.
• Pick up your barbell across your shoulders and behind your neck.
• Assume a staggered stance, one foot forward and place your back foot on the bench.
• Keeping your back straight, lower your body by bending at the knee and hip.
• Your front knee should be in line with your toes.
• Once the front knee reaches a 90 degree angle, push up and return to your starting position.
You should aim to include your glute workouts on your leg days.
Do these exercises once or twice a week to really add some strength to your backside!