2 Must-Do Glute ExercisesMay 29, 2018
As an avid exerciser I’ve developed a love of leg day. I wish everyday could be leg day. I didn’t start out this way though. I took up jogging in 2013 and I loved it so much I ran everyday. After a short while though muscle imbalances led me to add strength training to my routine. Today I love nothing more than training my posterior muscle chain (all the back muscles of the body, these include the hamstrings, glutes, and back). What I’ve learned is that everybody should do glute exercises.
People often turn to regular squats when they think of glute exercises. A major drawback with your standard squat is that it can cause knee pain for many people. Another issue is that exercising takes time, and especially on those busy days you need to be efficient and that means performing exercises that do double duty. So, performing an exercise that trains multiple muscle groups is a winner.
Your glutes comprise three muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and finally the gluteus minimus. The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the human body.
Lacking glute strength results in some familiar issues; poor posture, hunched shoulders, flat buttocks, lower back pain, knee pain, the list goes on. Look at any professional dancer, and they have well developed glutes. Glute development results from the emphasis on actively using the posterior chain during training. Well developed gluteal muscles will rock your next pair of jeans to boot.
The key with exercising is to start easy and progress slowly listening to your body. Just because somebody else can go harder doesn’t mean you have to. Building strength and balance takes time, even years, so don’t rush it, be consistent!
So let’s get to it. Here are the two must-do glute exercises:
- The deadlift
- Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squat
The deadlift is often seen as an exercise only for a badass bodybuilder. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The deadlift is the king of all back exercises and if you want to train your posterior muscle chain, the deadlift reigns supreme because it is an all-over body exercise.
Benefits of the deadlift
- Engages the gluteus maximus
- Bilateral exercise
- Less stress on the knees
- Build total body muscle
Good form is key when attempting the deadlift and practicing until you get it right is essential. The first thing you need to learn is the hip hinge. You can practice the movement using a broom, the broom is placed on your back and it touches the back of your head and buttocks, from there hinge at the hips. Nail that, and you can move onto a loaded barbell. Focus on short repetitions in your sets so that you don’t lose form as fatigue sets in.
Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squat
Also known as the Bulgarian Split Squat, this is a great exercise to target your glutes.
The split squat is a single-legged variation of the squat and that is its biggest drawcard. Often one leg might pick up the slack for the other leg during a workout, hence doing a unilateral (one-legged) exercise means that you get to focus on each leg individually. It’s also easier to master than the back squat.
Benefits of the rear-foot elevated split squat
- Build core strength
- Unilateral exercise
- Improve your balance
- Exercises your quads, hamstrings and glutes
The rear-foot elevated split squat is an all-over body conditioning exercise because you have to use your core to keep your torso upright, hence you develop core strength and stability. Perform the rear-foot elevated split squat using your body weight or try using dumbbells or kettlebells and hold these by your sides. Dumbbells are a better option than is a barbell because you have the option to drop the weights by your side at the end of the rep range.
Go on, try them out today!
“Mindset Is Everything”
Annette Carey is a recent graduate of a Diploma in Marketing and Communication.
She has a diverse background having worked in: retail, insurance, sporting club management and online shopping. A strong believer in acquiring knowledge, Annette earned her degree from UTS. Her passions include: tango dancing, keeping fit and her family.