Glutes. Forget for a moment the aesthetic value and think about the performance aspect. Squats, deadlifts and box jumps, just to name a few, are core movements that benefit from continually developing and stimulating your gluteal muscles. Glutes are critical for lower body power, strength and speed. Having well developed and well trained glutes should be a part of every workout regimen.
Below are six glute movements that you should incorporate into your workout cycle. They are not in any order and it is suggested that you add these in based on your individual goals and needs. We recommend 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.
Begin with your head, neck, and shoulders comfortably fixed against something stable or a physio ball. Firmly plant both feet on the ground, knees bent at 90 degrees, sometimes called the “tabletop” position. Either stretch your arms straight up above your chest with your hands clasped to maximize the balance and stability challenge, or down on either side in case you begin to slip or tip over. Simply lower your hips toward the floor then drive them toward the ceiling. Lower and repeat.
Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and your feet planted firmly on the floor. The force comes from your heels, that is your driving point. Depending on your preference you can hold two dumbbells (one in each hand), do the traditional bar on the back squat, do a front squat, bar resting on the upper pec (a towel wrapped around the bar helps), do goblet squats holding a kettlebell or dumbbell at your chest or use your bodyweight.
Simply bend your knees as you move your glutes back like you’re about to sit in a chair. Keep your spine straight, being careful not to move it too far forward. Your range of motion should come from your hips, knees, and ankles. Your eyes should be focused either slightly looking upward or straight ahead.
Place steps or a platform directly in front of you. The height should be challenging yet appropriate so you’re not falling. Lean your upper body forward, slightly, and step up, planting your foot and driving the non-working leg up (knee to ceiling). Step back down, then repeat. Stepups are also an awesome exercise to do outside on a step.
45-DEGREE LEG PRESS
Sit comfortably into the leg press machine, pressing your back against the seat and your feet firmly planted on the platform. Lift off and press, straightening your legs so your knees assume a neutral position (not straight). Continue lowering the platform until your knees create 90-degree angles, then return to the neutral starting position and repeat. Do not lock out at the top of the rep as that can cause un-needed stress on the knees. Always be aware of the speed of the rep. It is best to stay in control on the way down and back on the way up.
Lie on your back with your feet planted firmly on the floor with your knees bent. Drive your hips up toward the ceiling, pushing with your legs, and dig your heels into the floor. Lower your hips until they are just about touching the floor. The key to this movement is one, continual tension and two, squeezing the glutes at the top of the rep.
Stand on one leg with your non-working leg in front of you. Dig the foot of your weight-bearing leg firmly into the floor, and bend your knee as you push your hips back. Lower and try to hit the 90-degree range of motion at your knee. Return to start and repeat, alternate sides.
There you go. Are there other exercises that work the glutes, of course. The great thing about this “sport” is trying new things and also going back and doing some of the things you may have gotten away from, like traditional back squats.
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