It’s no secret! The Gluteal muscles are very important! But although they seem to be a common ‘tick box’ on today’s aesthetic goals list…. That’s not all what I mean by important!
The Gluteal muscles (Maximum, medius and minimus) play a big role in balance, stability and movement throughout your daily routine. But as Important as they, it is common, especially with people who have seated desk jobs, that your Gluteal muscles will ‘fall asleep’ if being inactive for too long.
In most cases when this happens, we compensate by being overactive in the quadriceps and taking a lot of load through the lower back! (Hence that back pain you may be wondering about) This is a common case that must be fixed, in order to reactive and strengthen the glutes properly.
Everyone’s body reacts differently to certain movements depending on the structure, strengths and weaknesses that you have. In my years of coaching clients and myself, I have narrowed down, what I think are the top 5 most effective exercises to strengthen and build your booty from Sleep to peach!
Exercise 1: Banded Hip Bridges (Beginner – Advanced)
The Banded hip bridge is a simple exercise, and the best way to start with glute activation for beginners to advanced people. When lying flat on your back, place your feet flat on the floor, hip width apart. Place the band just below or just above the knee (Whatever feels better for you). Keeping a neutral spine and your tailbone slightly tucked, you then lift your hips off the floor and squeeze your bum!
Repeat 3-4 sets of 20 reps and hold for 10-15 seconds in the last rep of each set.
Exercise 2: Banded Crab Walks (Beginner –Advanced)
The banded crab walk has a technique to it, and when done properly it’s a killer for burning the glutes! Depending on the person, the band can be placed in a few different ways. Typically, I place it above the knees, push my hips back into a half squat and when stepping to the side lead with the knees. Avoid the knees collapsing inwards at any time.
Repeat 3-4 sets of 10-15 steps each way.
Exercise 3: Weighted Hip Thrust (Intermediate – Advanced)
This is a perfect exercise to do after the glutes have been activated with the exercises above to make sure there is no compensating or overuse of the lower back. I prefer to load a proper weight lifting bar and roll it over myself while sitting in the floor. I use a box to push up against when lifting my hips of the floor. This means I don’t have to lift a heavy bar onto my hips in order to work on strength and powder in the glutes. Keep the tailbone slighting tucked and spine neutral throughout movement. Avoid having a large arch in the lower back when executing this movement.
Repeat 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps - make sure you hold for a split second at the top of every rep.
Exercise 4: KB Sumo Squats (Beginner to Advanced)
The KB sumo squat is an easy exercise for all levels to work on squeezing the glutes out of the bottom of a squat. It is best done after banded activation. This exercise can also be progressed by squatting with the feet on benches and creating a deficit squat.
Repeat 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps.
Exercise 5: Single Leg KB Deadlift (Advanced)
The single leg KB deadlift is an amazing exercise to work on glute stability and strengthening. It must be done with proper technique and the hips must stay ‘square on’ throughout the movement. This exercises can be regressed for intermediates by adding a step under the KB to decrease the range of motion until the person is able to lift the KB all the way from the floor.
Repeat 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps on each leg.
THE BB SQUAT: (Advanced)
The Barbell squat is one of the most important compound movements, but can also be one of the hardest to perform properly.
I have added the BB squat as an extra exercise on my list because although it is known to help grow and strengthen the glutes, you must have great control over activation of the glutes in order to use them properly and effectively in a Barbell Squat.
There are different types of barbell squats that will determine the dominant muscle groups used. This is determined on where the bar sits.
1. BB High Bar Squat (Quad dominant)
2. BB Low bar Squat (Glute dominant, hips pushed back)
3. BB Front Squat (Quad and upper thoracic/core dominant)
Getting a professional to help you perfect your technique in these movements will ensure you are using the correct muscle groups and achieving the results you want from these exercises.
I hope this helps you turn that booty from sleep mode the peach mode!
Good luck ;)
Alice Jane x