The glutes are the largest and most powerful working muscle group in your body. They comprise of a group of three muscles which make up the buttocks: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. They contract to enable your hips to move in every direction, and this makes it possible for you to bend forward, backward, and to the sides. And since they are the biggest muscles, working them out can actually increase your metabolic rate. Though glutes are the hardest-working muscles, they become lax and unused to activity such as being constantly glued to our chairs. This makes the glutes weak, reducing their ability to spring back in action when called upon. To fire up your glutes, you need to first isolate your glute workouts and focus on every muscle separately. Here are some exercises with minimal equipment that will make your glutes stronger and better.
The step up is the easiest way to ignite your glute muscles. It’s a motion that mimics everyday activities such as taking a flight of stairs or stepping on and off curbs. But a slow and controlled tempo is what’s essential for the exercise to take effect. You could either use a stepper, a sturdy box or the stairs to perform this exercise.
- Start by placing one foot on the box/step with your weight placed on the center of your foot.
- Push your hips back as you stand up straight and squeeze the glute muscles of the supporting leg.
- Hold this position while keeping your hips and shoulders alighned and your body straight.
- Push your hips back again, and slowly lower the elevated leg, taking around 3 seconds to trail back to the starting position.
- Do a series of alternating step ups for 10 minutes and can add weights once your get your form right.
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
Romanian deadlifts are an important exercise to strengthen the lower body and the back muscles. They improve the mobility of the hips and help you correct your posture. Also known as the stiff leg, this deadlift involves the hips more than a regular deadlift.
- Start by holding the dumbbells in both hands, place on either sides. Your feet should be at a hip-width distance.
- Push your hips back while keeping your lower back in its natural arch
- Lean your torso forward, lowering until you feel your hamstrings stretch, bending your knees if needed.
- Squeeze your glutes as you return to starting position.
- Do 10-15 reps till you feel a burn in your hamstrings and back muscles.
Sumo Pulse Squat
This is no regular squat though as it gives your inner thigh, your pelvic muscles and your butt the workout they desperately need. The pulse action builds power in your hamstring and thigh muscles too.
- Stand in a regular squat position, but with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and toes pointing out.
- Hold a dumbbell in both hands in front of your hips.
- As you get ready to squat, push your hips back and bend down. Keep your chest and knees out.
- Bring the weight down to the floor and hold it between your legs.
- Return back to the starting position and do 10 reps.
The clamshell exercise targets your hip abductors and the gluteus medius muscle. It strengthens your hips and thighs, while also stabilizing the pelvic muscles and stabilizing the glutes.
- Start by lying on the floor on one side with your legs making a 90-degrees angle at the knees.
- Your hips should be jutting out and stacked on top of each other, in an almost fetal position.
- By using your hips as a hinge, bring the knee of the top leg up, opening your legs like a clamshell..
- Remember that the heels should be touching each other, and squeeze the glute muscles as you perform this move.
- Perform 10 reps on each side.
Dumbbell or weighted lunges train your legs in a functional manner of descending and elevation one leg at a time, while keeping your body centered above the working front leg. This move also engages the glutes, quads and hamstrings of the leg and boosting your lower-body power.
- Start by holding two dumbbells in either hands and keeping your chest up and spine aligned.
- Take a deep breath and contract your ab muscles as you get ready to lunge. Remember to keep your lower back slightly arched.
- Glide your left leg forward as your synchronize the movement of the weight and the leg movement.
- Keep your bodyweight on the front leg and the lower back arched.
- Now start dropping your weight down as you bend your leg into a lunge.
- Pushing through the toes, focus on the movement of the knees and quads.
- This will be one rep. Repeat the same for the other leg.
- Perform 5 reps on each side and increase your stride to engage more muscles.