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Glutes For Women

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Glutes For Women

The gluteal muscles are a group of three muscles which make up the buttocks: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The three muscles originate from the ilium and sacrum and insert on the femur.

The gluteus maximus is the largest of the gluteal muscles and one of the strongest muscles in the human body. It inserts at the iliotibial band and the gluteal tuberosity of the femur. Its action is to extend and to laterally rotate the hip, and also to extend the trunk.

The bulk of the gluteal muscle mass contributes only partially to shape of the buttocks. The other major contributing factor is that of the panniculus adiposus of the buttocks, which is very well developed in this area, and gives the buttock its characteristic rounded shape. Although the gluteal muscle bulk and tone can be improved with exercise, it is the disposition of the overlying panniculus adiposus which may be responsible for the “sagging butt” phenomenon.

Exercise in general (not only of the gluteal muscles but of the body in general) which can contribute to fat loss can lead to reduction of mass in subcutaneal fat storage locations on the body which includes the panniculus, so for leaner and more active individuals, the glutes will more predominantly contribute to the shape than someone less active with a fattier composition. The degree of body fat stored in various locations such as the panniculus is dictated by genetic and hormonal profiles.

Sitting for long periods can lead to the gluteal muscles atrophying through constant pressure and disuse. This may be associated with (although not necessarily the cause of) lower back pain, difficulty with some movements that naturally require the gluteal muscles, such as rising from the seated position, and climbing stairs.

Exercise and stretching

Any exercise that works and/or stretches the buttocks is suitable, for example lunges, hip thrusts, climbing stairs, fencing, bicycling, rowing, squats, arabesque, aerobics, and various specific exercises for the bottom.

Weight training exercises which are known to significantly strengthen the gluteal muscles include the squat, deadlift, leg press, any other movements involving external hip rotation and hip extension.

Glute Training For Women

Prioritize butt-building—namely getting your glutes beastly strong—and your entire body will look incredible. For that reason alone, it’s almost your duty to train that booty, and train it well. Here’s how to build stronger glutes and get that desired physique:

Pick Well For Your Posterior

Set up your workout regimen to directly correlate with the outcome you want. If you want a better booty—and more important—a better body, you need a program that matches that goal. Sounds simple, but so many workouts performed by women are way off the mark, even when they are designed specifically for women. Don’t even get me started on the typical “bro-gram” that many women do in the gym.

No lifter in her right mind can perform every lift under the sun. Just like power lifters need specific exercises to gear up for competition, you must carefully select the right exercises to achieve your desired results.

Above all else, choose exercises that heavily work the glutes. That immediately eliminates leg extensions, hack squats, or leg presses, which mostly target the quads. You can also get rid of machine leg curls, because the movements we’ll be doing will definitely work those hammies.

Anatomy of Glutes

The muscle fibers in your glutes are half fast twitch, half slow twitch. The glutes have multiple subdivisions and perform multiple roles. They play an integral role in basic movements including hip extension, abduction, external rotation, and posterior and anterior pelvic tilting. Your glutes are also responsible for hip and spine stabilization, posture improvement, and injury reduction in the hamstrings and hip joints. No wonder you can’t simply add a single glute exercise to your weekly workout routine and expect results.

When setting up your program, select four movements which work the glutes in various ranges without overworking the low back or quads. Choose one or two movements from each section of the above list. That way, you won’t unevenly hammer your quads or lower back. It’s also smart to put bridging movements first in the workout because they have the highest levels of glute activation. Feel the burn!

Pump Up Your Posterior

Glute pump/burn is an important aspect of training. If you’re not feeling the burn, you’re leaving room on the table for glute development. This is a vital aspect of strength training for women, and is likely one of the most overlooked aspects during a workout. Leave each workout with your glutes on fire. That’s the golden rule. Write it down. Do it.

Glute building is different than power lifting. Muscles don’t know weights, they respond to mechanical tension, metabolic stress, and muscle damage. It’s not about how much weight you can move, it’s about how much weight you can move with the glutes. Having said that, the stress you apply to your glutes needs to increase over time, whether that’s weight, time under tension, volume—whatever. You won’t improve your glutes if they never have to adapt to new stimuli.

Glutes Training Regimen

Sample workout to help you get started. Note that 66 percent of the exercises target the glutes from multiple angles. The remaining percentage involves compound upper body exercises.

For best results, do a full-body workout—one that includes glute work—four times per week. The regimen below is one example. Don’t focus on how long you train, but how efficiently. A typical training session can last between 45 and 60 minutes.

You might be concerned about sculpting a strong booty to fill out your favorite pair of jeans, but there’s so much more to a tight tush than the way your pants fit! Your backside consists of three major muscles: the glute maximum, glute medius, and glute minimus. This important group of muscles extends the hip (pulls the thigh behind you), abducts the hip (your lateral movement to the side), and does internal and external rotation of hip. In short, they’re incredibly important, but they’re often weak and underworked.

So many of our jobs require us to spend so much time sitting that our glutes “turn off” or stop firing as efficiently, effectively, and strongly as they should. Once our glutes stop firing, our hip flexors (the muscles that pull the thigh forward) get tight and can lead to injury. When you build a stronger booty, here are a few of the benefits you can expect.

Beat back pain:
I couldn’t believe how much of my lower back pain dissipated after I started concentrating on building up my glute muscles. Your glutes work to stabilize the pelvis and keep integrity of movement in the hip joint. When they’re strong, your lower back doesn’t bear the brunt of your motion.

Increase athletic performance:
If you want to be a stronger athlete, it’s time to start squatting. Stronger glutes will improve your speed, agility, and jumping skills, and quick side-to-side movements will also become much easier. Every time you take a step, your glute max shores up your pelvis and SI joint for stability. When you run, this is even more important, since the force of impact increases exponentially on each foot strike.

Prevent knee pain:
Strong glute meds keep the pelvis stable from swaying side to side. When your pelvis isn’t stable, it puts a lot of pressure on your knees and ankles to compensate. When your backside is strong, it helps prevents this naturally, keeping you safe from injury.

Four Glute moves

Elevated Split Squat

Whether on the ball or outside on the bench, the elevated split squat (aka Bulgarian split squat) really works your butt. Specifically, it works the glute max as you press to standing, and the glute med keeps your pelvis even while your feet are on two different planes:

A Begin by placing the top of your right foot on the bench, with your left leg straight. Bend your left knee, engage your right glute, and lower your pelvis toward the ground. You want your left foot out far enough so that when you lower your hips, your knee stays directly over your ankle.

B Straighten your left leg and rise back up to the starting position. This completes one rep.

Single-Leg Bridge

Love this backside move that works the hamstrings, too! The glute max helps push your pelvis up with your hamstring while the glute med keeps your pelvis level in this move:

A Lie on your back, and place your hands on the floor for stability as you bend one leg and lift the other leg off the ground.

B Pressing your heel into the floor, lift your pelvis up, keeping your body in a stiff bridge position.

C Slowly lower your body to the floor to complete one rep.


The Clam

The clam targets the glute med and helps build hip control. See the clam in action in this video:

A Start by lying on your left side. Bring your knees and hips to a 45-degree angle bend. Position your top pelvis away from your head to bring your waist off the floor. Maintain this neutral position throughout the entire exercise.

B Lift your top knee up, keeping your heels together. Lower back to starting position, ensuring that you’re not moving your pelvis or torso.

C Repeat for 30 seconds to one minute, then switch sides.

Single-Leg Touch

In this one-legged move, the glute max is worked as you stand, and the med gets utilized for stabilization. Your core will need to be working to maintain your balance!

A Begin standing with all your weight on your left foot.

B Keeping your spine long, reach forward, bending your left knee and touching your right fingers to the ground. Keep your abs engaged to keep your torso stable. Your right leg will go behind you to help you balance.

C Press your left heel into the ground as you lift your torso up to return to standing, bringing the right toes to touch next to the left foot. This completes one rep.


Best exercises for your glutes

Donkey kicks

Starting on your hands and knees, keeping your core tight and back flat, raise 1 leg and keeping knee at 90 degrees. Push that leg as high as you can in the air and lower back down, repeat for 12 reps, then switch legs.

Aim for 4 sets of 12 reps.

Adductor squats

Start: Feet stance is wider than hip width; keep your back straight and arms locked with the dumbbell in the middle.

Lower your body weight into a squat then hold before your rise back to the start position.

Aim for 10 to 12 reps.


Glute bridges

Reps: 12 reps each exercise

A two-part exercise, starting with glute bridges.Lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, place the weight on your pelvic area.

Keeping your core tight, rise your hips up off the floor and thrust them as high into the air as you can, squeezing your butt at the top. Keep shoulders on the ground.

Lower hips back down, but do not touch butt to the floor. That is one rep.Perform one set of 12 reps, then immediately switch positions for Donkey Kicks.

Kettlebell mountain climbers

How to: Get in push-up position with each hand on a kettlebell, feet hip-distance apart.

Bracing your core and keeping hips down in line with the rest of your body, drive one knee as high as you can in towards your chest.

Return, switch legs and repeat for number of reps.


Curtsy lunge

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and, keeping your weight on one foot, take a big step back with your other leg, crossing it behind your left leg (as if about to do a ‘curtsy’).

Bend your knees and lower your body straight down until your front thigh is parallel to the floor, and both knees are bent at 90 degrees. Be sure to keep your core tight the entire

time to stabilise yourself. Rise back up into your starting position and do the same thing with the other leg.

Your toes should be pointed straight ahead the entire time, and keep your knee over your ankle to avoid injury.

Aim for 4 sets of 12 reps (per leg)

Added Challenge: Superset this exercise with 20 reps of mountain climbers after each set.

Side lying leg kicks

Lie on right side, supported on elbow, legs long and slightly in front of body. Raise left leg to hip height, exhale to kick left leg forward and pulse, inhale, lengthen leg to back x 10 reps.

Add side support:
Strengthen arm and shoulder position and extend both legs long in line with body, press body up to a side plank, hold for a slow count to 10.

Repeat on other side.

Perform 10 reps.


Lunge and press

Start with the weight or kettlebell to the right side, feet shoulder-width apart and abs on. Take a long step forward into a lunge position with your thigh at 90 degrees, parallel to the floor. Take care that your knee is not over your toe.

Next, press the kettlebell/weight above your shoulder in a controlled movement, breathing out as you do this, then return the weight to the hips and step back with feet shoulder-width apart. Repeat on the other side.

Master this first before you go for speed and twists or advanced techniques.

Sumo squat with kettlebell

Start by taking an excessively wide stance. The more your feet are apart, the more you activate your glute muscles and not your quads (front of thighs).

Point your feet to 45 degrees away from your body. Holding the kettlebell in front of you (arms should not be flexed), with your core engaged and your back kept straight, bend

your knees and send your hips backwards, lowering your body and the kettlebell as far as you can without compromising your posture. Try to get the weight all the way to the ground without actually touching it.

Rise back to your starting stance, squeezing your butt at the top of the movement. That’s one rep.

Aim for 4 sets and 15 reps.

Added challenge: Superset this exercise with 10 reps of jump squats after each set. Using no weight, do the exact same movement but when rising from the squat, jump into the air, bringing your feet off the ground.


Glute bridges with medicine ball

Lie flat on your back and place both heels on top of the medicine ball.

Push your heels down through the medicine ball and raise your hips up to a bridge position.

Lower your hips back down to the starting position.

Repeat and complete as many as you can in the recommended amount of work time.

Heel sky raise

What it does: This exercise will give your butt shape and firmness.

How to do it: Start on your knees and elbows. From here, put one leg out straight and flex your foot. Focus on lifting this leg from your butt (leg must stay straight or you are not using your butt). Slowly raise your leg from the ground until it’s in line with your body and lower back to the ground.

Do it right: Perform this slowly, pausing at the top of each repetition. This is a small and controlled movement. If you raise too high you will use your back muscle instead of your butt. To really make it work, keep the height range between the ground and your torso.


Single leg ballet kicks

What it does: Creates long, lean hamstrings and a perky butt.

How to do it: Start by correcting your posture, drawing your belly into your spine while finding something straight ahead to focus on with your eyes. Keeping your chest up and shoulders back, bring one hand down to touch the opposite toe, staying perfectly aligned and getting the back leg as high as you can.

Do it right: Your aim is to get maximum stretch down the hamstring of your standing leg. This exercise is to be performed slowly and with lots of control. With practice this exercise produces amazing results.

Lower half lunge

What it does: These lunges will have your legs burning while forcing your glutes to contract without rest, targeting several muscle groups simultaneously and elevating your heart rate.

How to do it: Start in a lunge position with your back knee on the ground.

Keeping your chest up, torso straight and belly pinned to the spine, bring your knee off the ground until you’re halfway up. Then go back to the ground. Do it right:

Do 15 pulses each leg and perform slowly for best results.


Bottle Exercise

What it does: This exercise cleverly targets all areas of the glute and will help give you a pert, rounded butt!

How to do it: Start by lying on your stomach with perfect alignment and hands placed on the ground under your chin. Feet should be together and flexed. Using one leg at a time, imagine you have a bottle on the outside of your foot and you’re trying to get your foot up and over the bottle. Come back to starting position, making your way back over the imaginary bottle.

Do it right: During this exercise, keep your leg straight and glute contracted as you want to focus on using your glute to lift your leg.

Pelvic tilts

What it does: This exercise will help lift your butt and stop it looking as though it’s sitting on the back of your legs.

How to do it: Lie on your back with your knees up and toes pointed up (on your heels). Slowly raise your hips off the ground until your pelvis is like a bridge. Hold this position for five seconds, focusing on squeezing your glutes up and belly down (imagine you are trying to get them to meet in the middle). Release and repeat.


Squat and run

How to:

With feet together, lower down into a squat and shift weight into your right heel.

Maintaining a squat, tap your left leg back behind you  .

Tap left foot back to right  .

Repeat while holding the squat in the right leg the whole time.

Do 20 reps and switch legs.

Standing donkey kick

Lower into a one-legged squat (same position as in your squat and run). Place weight into your right heel and keep knees side by side. Lift your left heel off the ground   and extend leg behind you.

Pull leg back into starting position, keeping it off the ground. Hold your last rep up and pulse for 10 more reps.

Reps: 20

Booty cross-over

Begin on all fours. Extend left leg out behind you  . Kick left leg up (picture B), then cross it over your right leg  .

Lift leg back up to centre and lower down to starting position. Hold the last repetition up at the centre (picture B) and pulse up for 10 more reps. Swap legs.


Leg extension with hip thrust

Begin with your back on the mat, knees bent at 90 degrees. Extend left leg straight up and lift your hips off the mat  .

Pull left knee into your chest while keeping your hips off the ground  .

Extend left leg straight out at a 45-degree angle, keeping knees at same height, side by side  . Pull leg back to centre and lower hips down.

At the last rep, hold position A and pulse up for 10 more reps, really squeezing your glutes at the top. Swap legs.


Sprinter step-ups

Walk from one spot to the next by raising each knee high towards your chest, on your toes at the top with the grounded leg and then come down and repeat the other side.


The less distance you make, the better you are doing – this is about control and technique, not speed and covering a large area.

Prisoner squats

Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and lace your fingers behind your head.

Keeping your elbows back, bend into a squat position – the wider squat the easier it is to get into a low squat with a straight back. Press back up to the starting position and repeat.

If you have trouble getting to 90 degrees with a straight back, take your feet wider to ensure you don’t compromise technique or put something under your heels such as a flat rolled towel or yoga mat. Or get your partner to provide an ‘anchor’ so you can retain posture and get a deep squat.


Medicine ball squats

How to:

Stand with your knees slightly bent and hold a medicine ball with both hands.

Fully extend your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder level and perform a full squat.

Return to the start position. Repeat and complete as many as you can in the recommended amount of work time.

Bulgarian Split Squat with kettlebells

Activate the core and glutes with this Bulgarian Split Squat.

Leg extension

Target Muscle Group:
Glutes, Hamstrings

24 Reps, 2 Sets – Left and Right Leg

Pair with:
Squats – 24 reps

Your glutes are an incredibly important muscle group for many reasons, including preventing injury, improving performance, and helping you fit nicely into your jeans.


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