Glute training has recently gained a lot of traction in the fitness industry. Being the largest muscle group to train on a given day, there is no doubt that it should be made a priority in any training program. Not only does it seem that buns are the new guns, but a strong butt also makes you stronger and safer in and outside the gym. Having strong glutes shouldn’t just be an area of interest for women, but for men as well. Here are some tips and tricks to not only strengthen, but also build that booty!
Double Up Leg Day
Leg day can sometimes feel like a major commitment, having to put in hours on one day just to get through a full workout. Something that is found to be extremely beneficial is splitting leg day into two separate days. It is difficult to work all the muscles in this major group to its fullest capability in just one day. Squats, deadlifts, lunges, and hip thrusts work both your quads and hamstrings, all exercises of which seem to take tremendous amounts of time if done properly. Doubling up on leg days allows you to take it slow, focus on form, and have greater success with increasing weights.
Step Your Way to Bigger Buns
There is no doubt that cardio needs to be taken into consideration when it comes to slimming down and building lean muscle. There are however, exercises that can be done that act as a double whammy. There is no need to live on cardio machines, but it is suggested that conducting at least 20-40 minutes, 2-3 times a week can reap major benefits. Using machines like the stair master and/or treadmill on incline can do wonders for your booty. Intervals are your fat-blasting friend, but if that’s not your thing, walking on a treadmill at a fast pace on incline will force you to engage more of your hamstrings and glutes than walking on a flat surface.
Lift Wide and Go Deep
The position at which you place your feet during a movement like the barbell squat impact which muscles are put into focus. More emphasis can be put on the glutes or quads by repositioning your feet. A wider stance will utilize your glutes in comparison to a narrow stance. Placing your feet further in front of you while squatting on the smith-machine will also put extra emphasis on your glutes. Lowering your body to the point where your knees are in a 90-degree angle or are “parallel” will also benefit your glutes, but be careful, take note of your form when conducting these exercises and avoid rounding your back.
There are often times where one side of our body works harder than the other and creates a slight muscle imbalance. Training each limb independently, known as unilateral training, has shown to be highly beneficial at bringing lagging body parts up to speed. Performing exercises where the focus is on one leg (e.g. one legged leg press), utilizes more of your glute than if both feet where moving together. This even distribution of weight on each limb leads to an equal amount of work being put forth by each muscle, making unilateral training a key component in even muscle gains.
Best Rep Ranges for Glutes
The rep range preformed on leg day can differ depending on what your training goals are. Preforming fewer reps (>5 per set), focuses on building strength, whereas performing more reps (<8 per set), focuses on hypertrophy and endurance.
Here is a list of exercises that are found to be most beneficial at building that booty:
(click on each one to learn how to perform each exercise properly and prevent injury)
- Sumo squat
- Plie squat
- Sumo deadlift
- One-legged deadlift
- Curtsy lunge
- Reverse lunge
- Cable kick-back
- Kettlebell swings
- Cable pull-through
- Side lunge
- Frog hop
- Hip thrust (using body weight or add weights)
- Walking lunge
- Lateral shuffle (resistance band around knees)
- Hip abduction on cable (use ankle cuff)
- One-legged TRX squat
Free Exercise Videos & Guides. (2017). Retrieved November 10, 2017, from https://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/