30 Apr 4 Crucial Exercises to Train Your Glutes!
A lot of our personal training clients come here because they are dissatisfied with their physique, look for improved physical performance, or are simply looking to prevent problems with knees or backs. An important part to the answer is: the hip or more specifically the glutes, also known as your butt!
Today I want to introduce 3 exercises into your routine that can really make a difference!
Background of the glutes:
The glutes are responsible for:
- stabilizing your hip during unilateral movements(e.g. running, climbing stairs, etc)
- stabilizing hip bilaterally (e.g. golf, squats, deadlifts, )
- are drivers in pretty much any movements out of the lower body.
If the glutes don’t fulfill their functions back pain, knee pain, and loss of performance are the consequences.
The aesthetic aspect would be the muscular, round butt. I am not talking about a big booty here but rather a firm rounding that transitions the back into the leg vs. just a flat surface 🙂
4 Exercises that make a difference with your butt
If you have moved on beyond the regular bridge because you are strong enough. this is a great exercise to activate the glutes and kick it up to the next level. Make sure the core is stable (neutral spine) and you continue breathing. Keep the weight on the heels and then fully extend the hip up. Do not arch your back at the top of the movement. When you position yourself on the bench initially make sure that your shoulders rest on the bench, not your head or neck.
Front Squat (thighs parallel or below)
This is a great exercise to improve your functional strength but cannot be performed by everyone. Make sure the back stays in a neutral spine. You are still able to breathe. At the bottom of the movement there should be no “hip tuck”. “Pressing” your feet apart while coming up during the movement helps with the glute activation.The stance is a shoulder width or a little bit wider. Make sure that you do not compromise a stacked spine just to accomplish more depth.
Single Leg Squat
To be quite honest, this is probably in some ways my favorite exercise and least favorite exercise. It is challenging and without little additional weight you can have some excellent stimulation for glutes, hamstrings and quads. The big advantage of this exercise is the fact that the spine gets only loaded minimally but balance represents big challenge. Using small weights as counterweights really help do this exercise.
Single Leg DB Deadlifts
Deadlifts like squats are often limited by our backs capacity to carry the weight. A single leg deadlift with dumbbells, kettlebells or a barbell takes that strain off and the load on the carrying leg is so much higher. Make sure to bend the standing leg slightly as you go through the movements, otherwise the activation will be primarily out of your hamstrings due to the pre-stretch. In addition there is a chance that you will pull the hamstring by keeping the leg straight, or rounding your back more because of lack of mobility.