The buttocks are one of the muscle groups that we most tend to underestimate beyond a mere “aesthetic” muscle, so they are not usually given the importance (speaking of physical activity in the gym) that they really deserve. Today we present you a series of exercise for glutes focused on working mainly the shape of buttocks and being able to show off your figure this summer on the beach. Following are the exercise for glutes that anyone can perform at their home or gym club.
The classic lower body exercise par excellence not only serves to gain strength in our legs, but it can be a wonderful ally to give shape and volume to our buttocks, perhaps not with the classic squat but through some of its variants. This exercise for glutes is very helpful.
One of these variants is the sumo-style dumbbell squat over step: to perform it, we must have two steps on which we will place our feet (one foot in each step) and between which we must leave a small separation to place the standing dumbbell.. Up on the steps, we will grasp the dumbbell by one of the ends with both hands (a kettlebell can also be used, in which case we will grasp it by the handle).
As in any variant of squat, we must take great care of the posture of our back to avoid arching and increasing the risk of injury. In addition, we must bear in mind that with this variant the range of motion can increase, and with a greater range of motion, a greater risk of injury if we do not do things right.
So, once you hold the dumbbell, the goal is to perform the same squat movement as if it were the classic style until you are fully upright. Ideally, when lowering the dumbbell or kettlebell it does not touch the ground, so we must adjust the height of the steps.
Another classic exercise that could not be missed in this post is the gluteal bridge, which, as its name suggests, is focused on working mainly on our glutes. The basic movement consists of lying on our back with the knees bent and the soles of the feet resting on the floor. From this position, we will have to perform a hip lift by contracting the glutes in the final part of the movement.
If we want to add intensity to our glute training, we can use a TRX or core sliders to perform the exercise. The TRX will be a great ally as we will work incorporating the instability component to this exercise, thereby forcing our gluteus medius to do more stabilization work.
Another way to add difficulty or intensity to our training would be to perform this exercise on one leg. This is an ideal way to correct possible muscle imbalances between one leg and the other.
To perform this exercise, we must have the pulley machine (although it can also be done without accessories and only with our body weight), which is where we will most easily be able to do it. In addition, we must have the handle to place on our sole of the foot.
Once positioned in front of the pulley machine, we will place the handle on our foot by the instep (there are gyms that have specific “handles” to place the feet on them) and we will perform the typical movement of kicking back (also some say it is as if we gave a kick).
For this exercise to involve our glutes the most, we must make sure that the movement of the leg starts from the hips and the gluteus instead of being a knee flexion. In addition, being another exercise that is performed unilaterally, it will allow us to correct decompensations.
Raises to drawer or step
Although mainly the target muscle of this exercise are the quadriceps, the steps or box rises will allow us to focus the work on a muscle of great importance for our lower body: the gluteus medius, among whose main functions it stands out to act as a stabilizer. Often times, when we lose our balance, this can be caused by a weak gluteus medius, so strengthening this muscle will help us improve our balance and avoid accidental falls.
To do it, we will only need a height-adjustable step, a drawer or a chair (in case of doing this exercise in our living room: placed facing the step or drawer, we will place one of our feet resting on it (The less surface area of the foot supported, the more instability we will generate.) The arms will be placed on both sides of the body, since they will also help us to stabilize and maintain balance.
Then, we will try to go up bringing the knee of the leg that we had on the ground towards our chest and return to the ground. The ideal would be to perform this jerk movement, but if we see that it is difficult for us, we can put our feet on the chair and go down in two steps until we are able to do it often.
Bulgarian lunge or squat
You can find this exercise named in either of these two ways, since in English it is very common to see the stride named as “bulgarian split squat”. You can also find the exercise referenced as “lunges”.
The most basic way to perform the exercise is to start from a standing position with your hands at your sides and stride forward in such a way that the knee of the leading leg is bent to approximately 90 degrees. From here, there are multiple variants to add intensity to this exercise:
- Free stride (without weight) with foot resting on bench or step.
- Free stride with TRX.
- Free stride with fitball: it will differ from the stride with bosu in that in this exercise the foot that we put on the fitball is the one that remains behind.
- Free stride with bosu: the foot that we will support on the bosu is the foot that comes forward, forcing a greater stabilization work on the gluteus medius.
- Dumbbell lunge: this exercise in turn has several ways to do it: we can hold the dumbbell on our chest with both hands, have a dumbbell in each hand, take only one dumbbell with the hand on the side that leaves the leg behind…
- Barbell lunge: we will start from a classic position as if we were going to perform a squat, but instead we will perform a lunge. Obviously, the weight should be considerably less than what we would use in the squat.
Possibly, the hip trhust is the exercise with the greatest activation of our glutes of all that we can name. However, it is an exercise in which, like the deadlift, it is very easy to perform an incorrect technique, which can end up leading to an untimely injury.
As we can see in the image, the green lines indicate what would be the correct posture: knees at 90 degrees in the final position of the movement and the neck-hip-knee axis forming a straight line. In contrast, the red dotted line indicates the most common error in this exercise: performing a neck flexion, which implies excessive tension in the muscles in the area.
The sequence to be carried out for this exercise is as follows: we start from a sitting position on the floor with our back close to the edge of the bench and our knees bent. While we are doing a hip lift, our shoulders should be placed on the bench, as can be seen in the image (the position of the arms will be the one that is most comfortable for us without assuming that we help ourselves with them to facilitate movement). Upon reaching the point of maximum hip elevation, we will contract our glutes for a second or two and return to the starting position.
The recommendation is to start doing this exercise for glutes only with our body weight and gradually incorporate extra weight.
This posture known as “the dog” has a fairly simple mechanism to perform: starting from the quadruped position, we will raise one of our legs with the knee flexed at approximately 90 degrees, as shown in the image above. We must try to avoid arching or “humping” the back at all times to avoid injury.
From this position, we will perform the abduction gesture of the raised leg, in the same way as when a dog urinates.
Bonus track: the deadlift
We wanted to add one last exercise, although it was outside the main category of gluteal exercises given the impact it has on the entire posterior chain and its many benefits: the deadlift. This exercise will allow us to work our entire posterior chain (from the shoulders to the lower body) and it is also one of the great exercises that should not be lacking in any routine unless you have some type of injury.
Starting from a standing position, in this case with a dumbbell in each hand, we must begin by flexing our hips as we slide the dumbbells down our legs. When the dumbbells exceed our knees, we will have to flex them slightly (this will reduce the tension that is generated in the hamstring of the knee and will help to avoid possible injuries ). Our final position should be, as we see in the image, with the back as neutral as possible, avoiding arching it. From here, we will return to the starting position.
This exercise for glutes can be done with dumbbells, barbells, plates, kettlebells or even with elastic bands. The range of options will allow us to prevent our routine from becoming boring and monotonous.