If a round, shapely booty is what you're after, it takes some work. You can hop on the glute machine until the cows come home but dedicated exercises won't be likely be enough.
Your glutes are made up of three different muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. This is one of the largest and strongest muscle groups in the body which means that if you want to build them up, you've got to put in some serious effort. Instead of putting all of your time into dedicated butt exercises, why not turn ALL your exercises into butt exercises?
Engaging your glutes in all activities is the key to helping you build the butt of your dreams. More often than not, we are not engaging these muscles properly. One theory as to why we fail to engage is that we wear shoes too frequently. Shoes alter our steps and the natural movements of our muscles. We aren't telling you to toss your footwear, but we are telling you to think a little more about actively working those glutes! Thinking about them a little more often will go a long way to helping you build them up!
A few little tweaks to your current workout routine and you are sure to notice a change. Here
are a few suggestions:
Increase your incline. This shifts the focus from your quads to your glutes. If you aren't working out on a treadmill and running outside, find yourself a hill and tackle that sucker. Running up hills is a great butt workout!
It is also important to pay attention to your form. If you find your hips are swinging out to the side when you stride forward, try to work at stabilizing them. Controlling this movement will give your gluteus medius a solid workout.
Cycling is an obvious quad workout but it can also benefit your backside. To get the most from your glutes, you'll have to utilize post-activation potentiation or PAP. This is the incredible phenomenon by which your muscles work harder as a result of previous contractions. It is a way to activate your muscles BEFORE you do the workout. Make it work for you by doing your favorite glute exercises before you hop on the bike. Try doing some deadlifts or bridges as a warm up. By the time you get on the bike, your glutes will be ready to go!
If you forget about PAP before you set out, try to remember this tip: push through your heels instead of the balls of your feet.
When Doing Yoga
Always be clenching your butt! No matter the pose, clench your butt! This will not only activate your glutes while you are engaged in your practice, but this type of isometric hold will train your muscles to activate during other common movements. While you are holding your poses, take a breath, bring awareness into your glutes and squeeze them for 5 to 10 breaths. Over time, incorporate this into all your poses.
You can also do a little more to engage your glutes in your regular butt training exercises!
When Doing Squats
No matter the squat you are doing, setting your feet wider apart will boost your glute activation. Give it a shot: stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and point your toes out at 45 degree angles.
Also, if you are performing back squats with a loaded barbell on the top of your shoulders, move that weight down a bit so you are holding it across your upper back. This will increase the amount of work your glutes are doing.
When Doing Lunges
If you lean slightly forward while doing lunges, you move the workload from your quads and knees and into your glutes. Lower into each lunge so that your hands are hanging straight down, toward the floor and reaching for your ankles. To take your lunges to the next level, try a reverse lunge. This is where you step backwards instead of forward. It is a killer butt move that puts less strain on your knees.
Give these suggestions a try during your next on demand sweat session streamed on SweatFlix℠!
How do you keep your glutes engaged? Share your tips with us!