Glutes workout to shape and strengthen

It’s important to workout the glute muscles to improve movement, stability, strength and overall look. But nowadays, we spend a lot of time sitting (at home, in the office and even at the gym!). We’re not using our glutes enough, especially the glute maximus, which is the biggest muscle in the body. Squats and lunges are good to workout the glutes, but here are some alternative exercises, which will help shape and strengthen your bottom!

Why working out the glutes?

The glute musculature atrophy at a faster rate after the age of 30. We lose power, balance, and strength in the posterior chain and become much more prone to injury. If we do not focus on these areas, it will pay us back later in life. An important note – collectively we may live longer, but we don’t live healthier or stronger for longer. This is why building strength is key and much of the strength required comes from the glutes.

Modern living has promoted a more efficient lifestyle with the advancements in technology. This is great but the counterpart is that we move our bodies less as everything can be controlled or ordered from our phone in the comfort of our sofa. This makes people weaker physically, less able to do simple things like balance on one leg, and more injury prone, to the point (like many things) that ailments have become normalised. This isn’t normal!

Beware of just using machines at the gym

The less optimal choice made by many people is to come to the gym and sit in a machine, only to have been sat for the vast majority of the time during the day at home, in the car, or the office. People use machines because it is the easiest thing to do, but they give limited results. Machines are useful in extreme situations or as supplementary exercises only. The real bread and butter exercises are done on your feet, which require an element of balance, force, heightened awareness, and stabilisation. This is the best way to challenge your legs, nervous system, and get the desired outcome.

Glute workout: activation exercises

Before working out your glutes, start with a few activation exercises for about 5-10 minutes to initiate the mind to muscle connection. You want to make sure your glutes are engaged not other parts of the body.

Side plank

Glutes activation - side plank
Lie on your side and lift yourself on your hand (or better on your elbow) with your shoulder directly over your elbow. With your knees bent and hips in line with the knee, lift your hips from the floor and hold the position for 30s to a minute. You will begin to feel it in the glute medius. Switch side and repeat 2-3 times.

Lateral steps with band

Glutes activation - latera steps
Place a resistance band around the knees, adopt a half squat and side step for 5 -10 metres (or steps) and then come back to the start. Make sure your knees push outwards not inwards. Repeat 2-3 times.

Bird dog

Glutes activation - bird dog
Kneel, place your hands directly below your shoulders, extend the left arm and right leg whilst keeping the body as still as possible, hold at the top for a count of 3 to 5 seconds before swapping sides. Do about 20 reps.

Supine hip extension (hip bridge)

Glutes activation - hip bridge
Lie on your back and bend your knees almost at a right angle. Push the feet into the ground as you raise the hips, slowly lower, repeat a dozen times.

Alternative glute workouts

Once you’ve warmed up your glutes, you’re ready to do some energy intensive exercises that will help to shape and strengthen your butt. Do about 10 reps on each side and repeat each exercise 3 times. Increase the weights and sets to challenge yourself further.

SL leg Dead lift

Glutes workout - single leg deadlift
A great exercise and alternative to the standard deadlift as it requires more balance. Pick the bar up, balance on one leg as you lower the bar down the thighs below the knees. make sure to keep the back nice and straight as you bend at the hip.

Step up

Glutes workout - step up
As you step up, try to put as much effort and drive into the leg that is on the box, step up into full extension of both legs before stepping back down. Try to be nice and controlled through the movement especially when lowering back down to the floor.

Hip Thrust

Glutes workout - hip thrust
The hip thrust is similar to the hip extension mentioned above, the main point here is to have a cushion around the bar, as it can be uncomfortable with a heavy weight. Push up through the feet, if done correctly you will feel it in the glute and hamstrings. At the end of a set, you can also hold on at the top for few seconds more.

Cable pull

Glutes workout - cable
This is the most technical movement as there is a lot going on. Start in a lunge position with left foot in front of right, grab hold of the cable pulley with the right hand. As you pull, stand up on the left leg and raise the right knee. You will feel this mainly in the balancing leg. This is a great exercise as there are multiple muscles being worked at one time.

What about you, what’s your favourite glute workout and what exercises do you think have had the best results? Leave your comments below. And if you’d like further advice and/or have a personalised training plan, please get in touch.

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Delphine & Louis

Our mission is to help people achieve their physical potential. We have a holistic approach to health and fitness. Everything is connected. Our 3M Method is based on these three key pillars: Mindset, Movement and Meals.

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