What Are Glutes?

Glutes are the largest muscles in your body and have very important functions. They are responsible for maintaining balance and power when we jump, walk, or run. They are a set of three muscles that originate from the pelvis and insert into the femur. 

The glutes consist of three muscles:

  • Gluteus maximus-  Responsible for hip extension, Helps you in walking, and in lateral rotation of the thigh, such as while swinging your leg. 
  • Gluteus medius- Responsible for the movement of your leg away from your body
  • Gluteus minimus- The smallest of the three muscles, it helps with walking and rotating your legs.  It abducts the thigh and stabilizes the hips/pelvis during walking, running, or standing on one leg.

Best Glute Exercises To Try At Home & In Gym

Do these exercises in traditional straight sets, four sets of eight reps each, with 60 seconds of rest in between. You can vary your rest, sets, reps, and exercise selection to ensure you make the most of these glutes exercises.

The Classics

1. Squat

The squat is considered a compound movement, meaning it works for multiple muscle groups across multiple joints. The primary muscles involved in the movement are your quadriceps and glutes.

Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart keeping your feet grounded. When you’re ready to squat, think about starting the movement by bending your knees and pushing your hips back while keeping your back straight. 

2. Figurehead

The concept of the figurehead exercise is similar to that of doing a plank. You hold your body in a position against gravity and tone your muscles. Lie on the floor facedown with your arms at your sides. Squeezing your glutes, raise your torso and legs slowly but simultaneously so only your hips touch the floor. Stretch your arms towards your legs and vice versa. Hold for a few seconds and come back to your starting position.

3. Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Lie faceup on the floor and place your right heel on the floor and extend the left leg. Brace your abs and contract your glutes to bridge your hips up off the floor while simultaneously raising your left leg in the air until it’s in line with your right thigh. Repeat with the other leg.

4. Reverse Table-Up

Sit on the floor and place your hands on the floor under your shoulders, fingers pointing in front of you. Place your feet shoulder-width and squeeze your glutes. Push through your heels as you bridge your hips up. As the name suggests, your body should form a table. Hold the position for a few seconds and come back to the starting position.

Take the Classics a level up!

1. Jump Squat

Stand with feet shoulder-width and knees slightly bent. Bend your knees and descend to a full squat position. Then, brace your core, and drive through your heels to explode up off the ground, aiming for as much height as possible. Stand fully upright, and then repeat. While performing jump squats, you engage through the quads, glutes, and hamstrings and propel the body up and off the floor, extending through the legs. This exercise uses your lower body muscles as well as your core: abdominals, glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. 

2. Side-Lying Clam

Lie on your left side with your hips and knees bent, legs stacked, and feet together. Place one hand on your glutes and push through your heel as you rotate your hip open, raising your knee until it points to the ceiling. The movement should look like a clamshell opening. Pause, then return to start. That's one rep. Repeat on both sides.

The movement targets the gluteal muscles which are responsible for stabilising your pelvis and maintaining balance through the pelvis with any activity including walking, running, jumping etc.

3. Cook Hip Lift

Lie faceup on the floor and pull your left knee up to your chest. Hold your shin with both hands, as if hugging it. Bend the right leg and plant your foot on the floor close to your butt. Drive through the middle of your food and squeeze your glutes as you bridge your hips up. Make sure to not stress your hamstrings in the process but keep the tension on the glutes instead.

Introduce Weights

1. Dumbbell Deficit Reverse Lunge

The only dumbbell reverse lunge equipment that you need are the following: step platform and dumbbells. Grab a dumbbell in your right hand and stand with both feet on a step platform or block that raises you a couple of inches about the floor. And just like the name suggests, you go in the opposite direction when doing a classic lunge. Step back with your right foot and lower your body until your left thigh is parallel to the floor and your rear knee nearly touches the floor.

Make sure to keep your torso straight. Return to starting position with both feet on the platform and that completes one rep. Deficit dumbbell reverse lunge is a free weight exercise that primarily targets the quads, forearms and hamstrings, apart from glutes.

2. Dumbbell Step-up

A variation of the previous exercise, this is a humble step-up exercise. Stand perpendicular to a bench or other elevated surface that’ll put your thigh parallel to the floor when you step on it. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and step up onto the bench, leaving your trailing leg hanging off. Pause for a few moments and return to your first position. 

Brace your core and straighten your leg to bring yourself to standing on the step. Step-ups, especially when loaded with dumbbells, can be a good addition to your workout because they strengthen the knee and hip joints.

3. Sumo Romanian Deadlift

A conventional deadlift works the posterior chain fairly evenly, with the legs pushing the ground away as your upper body extends. For a sumo Romanian deadlift, stand with your feet at a distance more than your shoulder-width and toes turned about 15 degrees. end your hips back and let your knees bend as needed until you can grasp the bar at shoulder-width.

Push your hips forward to raise the bar to lockout while maintaining your natural arch. They work pretty much your entire body, from your legs and back being the prime movers, to your core being the stabiliser. 

4. Barbell Glute Bridge

The barbell glute bridge is a weight-bearing version of the glute bridge exercise. It allows you to build strength and endurance in your gluteal muscles.

Start by lying on the floor with your legs extended. Roll the bar up to your thighs until the bar sits on your lap. Attaching pads to the rod is recommended for comfort. Brace your abs and drive your heels into the floor to extend your hips, raising them until they’re in line with your torso. Come back to your original position slowly.

5. Trap Bar Deadlift

Stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees, and lower your hands to grip the bar’s handles in the middle. The big knuckle of your middle finger should line up with the centre of the bar.

Inhale and brace your abs as you retract your neck so you feel like you’re making a double chin, looking at the floor several feet in front of you. Keep a flat back as you drive your heels into the floor and lift the bar, pushing your knees out so they don’t collapse in. Stand back upright.

Good Old Suspensions

For all suspension-inclusive exercises, attach the suspension trainer to a sturdy overhead object and lengthen one handle so it’s at about knee height. 

1. Suspension Trainer Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Lie on your back on the floor, placing the heel of your left foot in the foot cradle. Bend your left knee 90 degrees and extend your right leg on the floor. Brace your abs and contract your glutes to bridge your hips off the floor while simultaneously lifting your right leg in the air until it’s in line with your left thigh.

Make sure to focus on keeping your body alignment correct, ensuring no unwanted pull in the neck.

2. Suspension Trainer Bulgarian Split Squat

As the name suggests, you do your basic Bulgarian split squats but with added resistance through the suspensions. stand facing away from the suspension trainer and rest one of your feet in the foot cradle behind you. Make sure your other foot is lunge-length in front of the trainer. Bend your hips and knees to lower your body until your rear knee nearly touches the floor. Don’t bend over and keep your back straight.

3. Suspension Trainer Glute-Bridge

This time, rest both feet in the foot cradles. Drive through your heels to raise your hips. Again, maintain the alignment, keep your back straight and flex your glutes.

Resistance Through Bands

1. Banded Good Morning

Start by standing on the band and looping the other end over the back of your neck while standing tall. Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, bend your hips back and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor. While keeping your chest up and pointing forward, extend your hips to come back up.

2. Lateral Band Walk

For lateral band walk, you need to loop a light band three times and stretch it between your legs, just above your ankles. With your knees bent slightly and aligned with toes, your hips hinged back, and your glutes engaged, take a small step to the left. Pause, then step right foot to the left.

Use A Gym Ball

1. Feet-on-Ball Hip Thrust

Start by lying face up on the ground, resting your feet on the ball. Bend your knees 90 degrees, rolling the ball toward you naturally as needed. Brace your abs and drive through your heels to raise your hips into the air until they’re in line with your torso.

2. Butterfly Hip Thrust

For the correct starting position, Place a gym ball against a wall and lie back on it so your upper back is supported and your butt is in front of the ball hovering above the floor. Put the soles of your feet together and rest them on the floor in front of you. Flex your abs, push your knees out, and drive your feet into the floor to raise your hips until they’re level with your torso. That’s one rep.

 3. Swiss Ball Wall Squat

Again place the ball against a ball but stand with your back against it, holding it in place. Place your feet shoulder-width and turn your toes out about 15 degrees outwards. Squat down as low as you can, rolling the ball down the wall as you descend. Come back to the starting position.

4. Reverse Back Extension

Lie face-down on a gym ball, placing your forearms on the ground and letting your legs hover in the air. Walk your body forward so it supports your hips only, hands on the floor. Squeeze your glutes and raise your legs behind you until they’re level with your torso. 

Benefits Of The Glute Exercise

Here are a few advantages of strengthening your glutes:

  • Your glutes are one of the main supporters of your lower back. When your glutes are weak, they may not be able to perform their main function which is hip extension. 
  • Glute exercises help in fighting back pain. The glutes play a major role in relieving some of the stress and pressure from your lower back. Your glutes help control the movement of the pelvis, hips, legs, and torso.
  • Your glutes are responsible for accelerating, decelerating, changing directions, and creating explosive power in jumps. Glute exercises can help improve your overall athletic performance.

Precautions To Be Taken While Doing The Glute Exercise

  • Get your ridges in line. While several exercises help target the glutes, nothing is as good as glute bridges.
  • Don’t just focus on butt exercises but on your core too. The core is the most important muscle of the body and needs to be engaged in all kinds of activities you perform.
  • Hyperextending your hips may overstretch your back muscles, leading to lower back pain. This might do more damage than you think.
  • Which practising glute exercises, make sure to focus on the alignment of your neck, spine, hip bone and ankles accordingly. You don’t want to strain your neck more than required.

Bottom Line

The best way to strengthen and grow your glutes is by consistently doing exercises that target them a few times a week. You shouldn’t train your glutes every day. Make sure to take ample rest as muscles need at least 48 hours after a strength workout to recover and repair themselves.

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