Glutes and (lots of) squats go together, we all know that! Sure they are essential to help strengthen the gluteal area, but there is more to a stronger butt than this basic hip hinge performed in gyms all over the world. Below are the 4 exercises you need to know if you want to properly work all the muscles in your ‘back pocket.’
Whether you’re starting out or are a resistance workout pro, mixing up a regular fitness routine delivers faster muscle-building results and improves muscle recruitment. Here’s what to do when you want to up the ante of your glute workout and maximise your gains in 4 Exercises to Supercharge Your Glutes’ Development!
1. Glute Medius Wake-Ups
Sometimes it’s easy to target where you need to. Other days you might feel like all the butt activation in the world isn’t helping you work it. Glute medius wake-ups help unconditioned muscles to fire better.
A two-part leg abduction. Part one is to stand on one leg and bring the other leg slightly forward of the body and internally rotate it. Internal rotation is important – think a pigeon toe leg position that originates from the hip.
Lift leg to the side and lower slowly. Part two: bring your leg slightly behind your body in an externally rotated position. Repeat with good form until fatigue sets in.
2. Glute Maximus Pull Throughs
Lunges, squats, deadlifts and leg presses will all work the largest glute muscle, the glute max. But you can better drive through the glutes with some pull throughs.
Add a band to the base of a heavy chair or use a cable machine. Hold your band or cable between your legs in a standing squat-ready posture. However, lean slightly forward as you’re standing tall and keep the tension on your band before you lower.
Keep this angle as you squat deeply and the weight of your band/cable pulls your arms through your legs. Return to stand and feel the burn as you squeeze the glutes to get back to your starting position.
3. Hamstring Curls
Achieve a better shaped underbutt and work on where the hamstrings meet the glutes. While these can be performed lying face down, turning them onto your back will add some great core activation.
Lie on your back with your feet at 90 degrees and an exercise ball propped under your calves and ankles.
Press your arms into the mat for stability and lift the hips whilst pressing into the ball with your heels. Hold and return to the ground. Work up to straightening the legs after you lift the hips as you get stronger and even up to single leg extensions.
4. Extended Clamshells
Supercharge your side-lying clams with this variation.
Lie on your side bending your knees to the chest to make a 90-degree angle with your torso.
In regular clamshells you lift only the top knee, to extend this, lift the feet and top knee to the sky. Add weight as a progression or pulse holds at the top to feel the burn. Remember to keep the core steady.
As with all these exercises, form matters. Merely reaching a particular number of reps if you’re compromising your form is risky. You end up cheating the exercise and the results – loading the body incorrectly can lead to injury. So even if you prefer to exercise solo, it’s great to train with a pro, so look into gyms in your area to find a trainer who can help you achieve your fitness goals.
So what are you waiting for? Get your glutes activated and dynamically improve your health and fitness! You can learn more secret keys in our book, How Squats Can Change Your Life – with a foreword by WWE and World Champion wrestler, Rob Van Dam! Let us know which exercises are working for you in the comments below, and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!