T he gluteal muscles or the buttocks play a very important role when moving, as they, along with the hams and the quads, sustain your body in an erect position. Weak glutes mean poor stability that can lead to further health problems. Plus, no one wants their butt looking flat or flaccid, so including some isometrics for your posterior in your training routine is a great idea, no matter if you go for simple squats or more complex leg press machine workouts. The trick is to stay consistent with your training and progressively expand the number of reps to make sure that your muscles get wider and stronger. Below, I explain how having strong, healthy glutes can influence your life for the better and give you some examples of exercises that are considered to be the most efficient for glute training.
Yes, a nice, firm butt looks great and shows that you are taking care of yourself, going to the gym, and not surrendering to the couch and a bag of chips. But, besides the increased self-esteem, having larger and firmer buttocks comes with the following advantages:
There are plenty of exercises that target these muscle groups, this is why a selection is in order, seeing how you cannot do them all. I went ahead and choose five of my favorites, which are the ones I consider helped me the most, especially when I was trying to get back in shape after a rough period in my life. The list I present to you includes options that imply using a machine or an accessory, but there is also one workout you can do without having to invest any money and which works great for when you are traveling since you don’t need to pack anything for it. One more thing I want to make clear before everything is that these exercises work great for both women and men, but they are thought to offer the maximum results for women without exposing them to high risks.
This being said, let’s plunge into the routine I recommend and see how these exercises can be executed.
When I first saw someone doing a Bulgarian squat, I thought to myself “This must be easy and fun”. Plus, the fact that I only needed a bench, a chair, or basically any stand on which I could place my leg convinced me that this must be part of my routine. However, when I started, I found out that there is a bit of a challenge, as you need to maintain balance while squatting with only one foot. For you to understand what I mean, I should first explain how the exercise works:
That’s basically it, yet, I want to highlight that you will struggle at first to stay straight, which is actually a good thing. This workout doesn’t only work your glutes but most of your lower body, helping you get a stronger pelvis and be able to rely more on your legs.
This is the accessory-free workout I was talking about. Sumo squats are basically like doing regular squats, but while keeping a long distance between your feet. This position shifts the focus from your thighs (although they still get a lot of exercise) to your buttocks and hips. I enjoy using them as part of my warm-up routine, and I usually do 3 sets of 20 reps, but you can start with 3 sets of 10 reps and grow from there. Here is how to do them:
The exercises that imply a medicine ball are by far my favorites. It may have something to do with the fact that, as a child, I loved to take my mother’s exercise ball and jump on it around the house or maybe it is the concept of the ball itself that sends to childhood and fun. It doesn’t really matter, the thing here is that you can get a great workout by using a ball, and below I will explain how to do one of the most popular exercises – the hip thrust.
I used to go to the gym just to use the leg press, which I think is a great machine. Now I have one at home, so I no longer have to wait for the people before me to show off their ability to press hundreds of pounds (although I must admit there was a lot of fun in this as well). For working the buttocks, I recommend replacing regular presses with wide-stance presses, which kind of correspond to sumo squats. Let’s see how this works.
This is similar to a Bulgarian squat performed with a free weight. However, the Smith machine can offer you the balance you need in case you find it too difficult to perform this exercise the traditional way.
You can mix the exercises I have recommended or include just two or three in your sequence. What is essential is that you get an efficient workout that will push your glutes to develop and become stronger. I have seen a lot of women at the gym who have obtained the results they were expecting by using the machines and accessories I have mentioned and doing the exercises I have explained, so there is not much guessing here. Just get determined, get equipped, and start working out for great buttocks and health.