So, you wanna grow your glutes? Well, I’ll tell you a little secret. The best exercises to give you that nice round peach are exercises you might not be doing currently. Why? Because they aren’t super flashy. Or sexy. You may even feel a little silly doing them. But, one thing I always say is the most important exercises are the ones you look and feel the weirdest doing. It’s true! You may feel weird at first BUT I promise you these exercises are not only super effective and quick to learn, they are an absolute must for your workout routine*.
*Note: In order to see true muscle growth, you have to EAT! Just like you can’t spot reduce fat from different parts of your body, exercises alone won’t give you the results you’re after. So, grab a snack, and read on to learn the best ways to grow your glutes.
1. Sumo Squat
This is a great squat variation for glute growth. By taking a wider stance, the hips rotate out and your glutes immediately join the party. For weight, you can use a dumbbell, medicine ball (pictured here), or kettlebell.
To perform: Hold your weight of choice in front. Take a wide stance and turn hips outward so knees and toes are in line and pointing out. Bend your knees and lower your body towards the floor. Drive through your heels as you come up and contract your glutes slightly at the top.
2. Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
AKA Bulgarian Split Squat. If you’ve never tried this one before, start with your bodyweight until you can perform solid reps while balancing. This is a great unilateral exercise, which is basically just a fancy way to say “one side at a time.” This helps with muscle symmetry and keeps you from overcompensating on one side.
To perform: Grab a bench and two weights. Place one foot on the bench and take a couple steps out so you are in a lunge position. It may take a few hops back and forth to find the right position. Bend your front leg while keeping the rear foot elevated behind you. Drive through the front heel as you extend the leg and return to the start position.
3. Single Leg Glute Bridge
Glute bridges are a perfect example of one of the exercises I mentioned earlier that might feel silly at first. Honestly, it can feel strange to lie down on the gym floor and thrust your hips up to the sky if you haven’t done it a lot. To help this, try finding a quiet corner of your gym where you can thrust freely if you’re feeling uncomfy.
To perform: Find your spot and grab a weight. You can also perform this exercise with just your bodyweight. Lie on the mat with knees up with feet planted. Place the weight (if desired) on your working hip and extend the non-working leg out. Drive through your heel and push your hips up toward the ceiling. Slowly lower back down and repeat on both sides.
4. Lateral Step Up
Step ups are another great unilateral exercise to work your glutes. Aim for a higher bench or step as this will help target the glutes more than quads as you perform the exercise. Placing the weight on the opposite shoulder also forces your core to engage and stabilize you throughout the exercise. More bang for your buck!
To perform: You will need a bench and one weight (pictured with a kettlebell below). Stand perpendicular to the bench and load the weight on your shoulder furthest from the bench. Step sideways onto the bench or step with the nearest leg, drive through the heel and push your body up towards the ceiling. Bring your legs together, then step back down and bring both feet back to the floor to start the next rep.
These exercises can be performed together for a lower body day, or sprinkled in throughout your overall workout routine. Make sure those last few reps are challenging enough and add or increase weight if the exercise feels too easy. Most of these exercises will be completed in the 10-12 rep range with anywhere from 2-4 sets each.
So, there you have it. Four exercises to strengthen your glutes and build a strong booty. Don’t forget you have to eat to grow, so be sure to maintain adequate protein, carb and fat intake while working on building muscle in your glutes. Nutrition is a vital part of muscle growth and you will find your energy increases drastically when you include a meal or snack pre and post workout.
That’s all for now. Happy glute growing and when in doubt, drive through your heel.
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