Your glutes are your body’s largest muscle and responsible for proper posture, power generation, including daily activities such as bending over, sitting on the office chair, or picking something up. However, many of us disregard its importance and resort to living with a sedentary lifestyle, which may cause the glutes to become deactivated.
If you do not have time, don’t worry, here are four butt exercises that can help sculpt and strengthen your glutes.
Quick Look: Four Best Glute Exercises
Four Best Exercises for Your Butt
Glute Bridge is one of the basic and the most effective workout exercises to tone the glutes and the hamstrings. Not only that, but this workout exercise also strengthens the lower body muscles, including the core stability muscles, hip muscles, lower back muscles. Furthermore, it also aids in enhancing the stabilization of the vertebra and spinal cord. If you know how to do this first exercise correctly, this move will give your buttocks more definition, leaving you with a more sculpted and firm backside.
To do a glute bridge, follow the instruction below:
Lie down onto your mat, flat on your back on top of your yoga mat.
- Bend your knees at about hip distance apart.
- Keep your feet on the mat.
- Bring your pelvic bone up and straight back down to the ground.
- You don't want your knees to swing in and out, so keep them nice and tight.
- Engage your core, squeeze your glutes while you lift your pelvic bone up.
- Breathe in and breathe while you are doing the exercise.
- Start by doing ten repetitions as you get used to the movement.
This second exercise is a squat variation that targets the glutes and inner thighs. You can perform this exercise using two medium-sized dumbbells or a large kettlebell, whichever suits you.
Here are the steps:
- Place the dumbbell in between your legs.
- Stand with your legs and feet wide, toes pointing outwards. Legs can be parallel with the floor as far as you can.
- Bend your knees slowly while lowering your hips because you need you to lift the dumbbell up and down from the floor.
- Breathe in and out. As you're breathing out, lower your body down with the weight straight in front of you.
- Rise back up and squeeze your glutes to get the most from the exercise.
Remember to stay in your own range of tension, and don’t drop too low, so stay about 90 degrees.
The third exercise is termed back foot elevated split squat. Some find this more challenging, but if executed correctly, can surely keep the glutes in shape.
To execute this exercise, do the following:
- Grab anything that can elevate your back foot. You can use a raised platform or any elevated surface. Place it behind you.
- Extend one of your legs to your back and place your foot and shin on the elevated surface.
- Make sure that your hips are still in alignment. You don’t need to have your foot straight back from one another, but instead, they should be slightly apart, matching your hips naturally.
- Breathe in and breathe out.
- As you exhale, bend the other knee and squat down until the knee (touching the platform) is almost on the floor or as far down as you can tolerate.
- Carefully stand back up, keeping your shoulders straight.
Aim to do the exercise with a total of twelve repetitions on each side.
Last but not least, is an advanced version of the first exercise, which is the glute bridge. This exercise is called single leg glute bridge.
Like the basic glute bridge, there is no equipment needed for this set, except for the yoga mat because you will do this will laying on the floor. The primary muscle groups targeted by this exercise are your glutes and hip flexors.
Here are the steps:
- Lie flat on the yoga or exercise mat.
- Bend both of your knees while keeping your feet flat on the ground.
- Raise one leg off the ground.
- Lift your hips up, raising your glutes away from the mat while keeping one leg raised and the other touching the ground.
- Continue pushing your pelvis up until the hips are in a straight line with your upper body.
- As you breathe in, return to the start position by lowering your glutes down to the mat. As you breathe out, lift your body again.
Finish all ten repetitions for each side, for a total of twenty for this set.
Watch the full video of the 4 exercises here:
Incorporating Glute Exercises into your Workout Routine
There are many reasons why you should do the exercises in this article. They work the entire core, strengthen the back, stretches the chest plus the shoulders, and help burn calories. You could also incorporate these workout exercises with your workout routine and use it as a good lower body warm-up, or before a full body workout.
About the Author:
Mike Zhang is the founder of the MZF Group. He graduated from the University of Toronto on the dean's list with a Masters Degree in science. Mike was a two time National Muay Thai Champion, and a strength and conditioning coach to several learned athletes. He has over 14 years of experience as a Muay Thai Coach.