Fitness has several dimensions and workouts get a high priority. It is also difficult to get them right and to do so we might end up spending dollars with trainers, equipment and what not. However, the difficulty rises from not understanding the right method of doing the exercises or not knowing the effect it has on the body, for instance the exact muscles a workout targets, proper breathing, intermittent rest and so on.

when you know better you do better

Same applies to the glutes too.

Glutes are one of the strongest muscles in the body and also the toughest to build. While for many the motivation to work on these muscles comes from the aesthetic reasons but for some, squats are the reason they get out of bed each day! You may ask why so?

Well, to put it simply – tough glutes is equal to easy life. Being large muscles, they can support a vast amount of movements and also the core during workouts, while the hip muscles to do the same would burn out more quickly. They can take the stress out from other muscles and bones while doing regular movements like walking too. Therefore, it is important to tap into the strength of the gluteus muscles.

As we noted earlier, our first step to getting those perfectly chiselled glutes should be developing an understanding of it. When we talk about glutes, we are basically talking about a group of three muscles in the gluteus region – gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus.

Glute Anatomy 101

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The gluteus maximus is the outermost layer and the largest of the three. It is majorly responsible for the shape and gives a hump in the gluteal region. Therefore, it contributes maximum to the aesthetic appeal which does not mean the existence of the other two can be ignored!

The gluteus medius is sort of sandwiched between the maximus and minimus. Gluteus minimus is the innermost muscle and contributes to the roundness of the gluteal region. All the three muscles fan out from the hip bones, travel laterally and downwards, and converge as tendons at different points of the leg bone, femur.

What gets the glutes working?

The holy trinity of great glutes is the following pointers:

  1. It will be beneficial to have a general idea about how the glutes are involved in movements and what they do.
  2. It is important to note that each muscle responds differently to a movement.
  3. Every muscle requires its specific movement to get engaged.

For instance, gluteus maximus performs movements like extending the upper thigh. This muscle is activated when we stand up from a squat or extend thigh in a running position.

While gluteus medius and minimus both muscles perform more and so the same functions, they are activated by strong hip abductors, that is, to move the leg away from the midline. They are also activated during internal and external hip rotations, that is, they are engaged when the knee is extended. Furthermore, in the movements like running they stabilize the legs and hips.

We can use these movements for warm up or as stretching exercises after workouts as well. However, to grow the muscles with strength and shape would require more strenuous workout movements.

Effective Workouts

Perfect glutes require both abductor and rotation movements. One can choose to target all the three muscles in compound exercises like squats and lunges or choose to work on muscles in isolation. Here we have presented with five glutes workouts that target each muscle differently. Also, it is found that adding resistance bands to these workouts will increase the glute gains! A few general pointers before you begin the exercises so that you avoid the common mistakes.

  1. Always keep your back straight and core/abs area engaged.
  2. Inhale sufficiently and exhale whenever you begin to feel strain during a workout. It is best to breathe lateral stomach area.
  3. Don’t engage your quads at any time during a glutes workout. Be mindful of what muscles you are using.

Let’s have a look at the workouts now, shall we?

Hip Thrust

Hip thrusts are regarded as best for the glutes. These specifically target the gluteus maximus but also engage abs. Hip thrusts can also relief lower back pains.

STEP A

  • To do this you would need to sit on floor and give your back a good support, probably rest it on a bench. Then extend your legs.
  • You can roll the resistance band right above your knees.

STEP B

  • Engage your core and lift your hips up so that they are even with your knees.
  • Slowly and while in control lower your hips and come back to step A position.

 

Doing 8 reps of 3 sets is a good start. Once you get comfortable with them, you can go on to do four sets of 12 reps.

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Lateral Walk

Lateral walking targets the gluteus medius and minimus muscles. They also engage the inner and outer thighs. You can have the resistance band right above the knees.

STEP A

  • Put your feet apart with a hip-width and take the squat position.

STEP B

  • Move one step to the right till the feet are shoulder-width apart.

STEP C

  • Do the same as above with the left foot.

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Repeat the same on the left side. Ideally, you can do the lateral walk for 10 minutes or up to 35 reps.

Donkey Kicks

The donkey kicks target the gluteus maximus and medius. The resistance band can be worn around the ankles.

STEP A

  • Stand on your hands and knees while keeping your back straight.

STEP B

  • Engage your core and glutes as you push your right leg up.
  • Put the leg down for 1 rep.

 

Continue to do the same for the other leg. You can do the donkey kicks for 2-4 sets of 10 reps.

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Clamshell

The clamshell targets all the 3 gluteus muscles but also engages the hamstrings and the abs as well. You can place the resistance band around both legs above the knees.

STEP A

  • You need to lie on one side. The knees should be at a 45 degree angle
  • Both the feet should be in contact with each other at all times.

STEP B

  • Raise your upper knee as high as possible without involving the hips or the lower leg.
  • Pause for about 2-3 seconds and slowly bring your knee down.

 

You can do about 20 reps in 2-3 sets for each leg.

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Frog Pumps

Frog pumps are only a more effective version of the hip thrust. The target all the gluteus muscles and brings out maximum results. You can have the resistance band placed right above your knees.

STEP A

  • Lie down on your back and put the soles of your feet together. Draw the heels near to the hips.

 

STEP B

  • Engage your core and glutes as you lift your hips and thrust them as high as possible.

This constitutes one rep and you can do 20 reps in 2-3 sets.

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All these workouts are not just effective but also don’t require any heavy equipment and the technical precisions are easy to grasp. They can be done without a resistance band as well but adding a resistance band makes the workouts more challenging and helps to burn fat or tone or strengthen muscles more quickly. If you don’t have a resistance band or looking for a new one, we will introduce you to the best one so that you don’t have to search the highs and lows to buy a good resistance band.

The best fabric resistance band out there

Core Fitness USA’s fabric band set of 3 are great for legs, butts, hips and thigh workouts. They are strong, wide, soft and do not slide or roll up unlike the bands made from latex or rubber materials.

Buy here

We have also compiled a list of best resistance bands for your home workout, you can check it out here

 

 

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