Boost Your Booty With Our Workout

Eine Frau trainiert im Fitnessstudio ©foodspring

The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body, but what exactly does that mean? A well-toned booty means so much more than just looking good! You rely on your glutes for walking, standing up, climbing stairs, and doing sports.

As the location suggests, your glutes are instrumental in moving your hips. One of the main functions is hip extension – this movement increases the angle between the thigh and the hip, and is found in many sports such as sprinting, climbing, throwing, and swinging. Without your glutes, you wouldn’t be able to extend or contract your hips. That’s why it makes sense to train hip extension in order to improve your performance during workouts.

Your health will also benefit from having strong glute muscles; if they’re too weak, other muscles often have to compensate for this lack of strength. Under certain circumstances, this can lead to incorrect loading, injuries, or poor posture. For example, a study in the European Spine Journal found that participants suffering from chronic lower back pain had weaker gluteus medius muscles than healthy participants.

The Warm-Up:

Take 10 minutes to warm up. We recommend mobility exercises that specifically prepare your lower body for the workout, as well as a few air squats. You can also include exercises to wake up your glutes: glute bridges using your own body weight are a great way of activating your glutes, for example, while deep lunges will open up your hips.

The Workout:

As we’ve already explained, the different glute muscles have different tasks. That’s why we’ve chosen our exercises to include both hip extension and abduction (spreading the leg away from the body). This will ensure that you work all your glute muscles, cover the major movement patterns, and have an effective workout.

The workout consists of 4 exercises. Complete 3 sets of each exercise and focus on good technique. Rest for 90 seconds between sets. Adjust the weight to suit your fitness level and the exercise you are doing. If you’re doing an exercise like Good Mornings, for example, you need less weight and more focus on the mind-muscle connection, while with hip thrusts, for comparison, you can use a heavier weight.

Good Mornings1590 seconds3
Hip Thrusts8-1090 seconds3
Single Leg RDL8-12 (each side)90 seconds3
Clamshells15-20 (each side)90 seconds3

The Exercises

#1 Good Mornings

Place the barbell in the power rack and stand underneath it so that the bar rests on your trapezius muscles, directly below the base of your neck. Unrack the barbell, take a few steps back, and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Push your hips back and tilt your upper body forward, keeping your back flat. Your head remains neutral in line with your spine. Tilt your upper body forward by about 60 to 90 degrees, depending on how flexible your leg flexors are. To reverse the movement, push through your heels and push your hips forward again. Tighten your glutes as you straighten up and return to your starting position.

Muscles: Glutes, hamstrings, and lower back.

Remember: Stop the downward movement as soon as you can no longer tilt forward from your hips with a flat back.

#2 Hip Thrusts

You need a weight bench and a barbell. Sit on the floor and lean your shoulder blades against the weight bench; the lower part of your shoulder blades should ideally be at the edge of the weight bench. Position the barbell across your hip crease, holding it with both hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Position your feet about hip-width apart with your toes pointing slightly outwards. Push through your heels and thrust your hips toward the ceiling until your hips are completely extended, your pelvis is tilted backward, and your glutes are tensed to the maximum at the top. Then lower the weight again in a controlled manner, keeping your glutes tensed throughout.

Muscles: Glutes, hamstrings, back extensors, quads.

Remember: When your hips are fully extended, your knees should be directly above your feet, and your shins should be perpendicular to the floor.

#3 Single Leg RDLs

Start in a stable stance Stand with your feet directly under your hips, toes pointing forward. Hold a weight in your right hand. Shift your center of gravity over your left leg, hinge forward from the hip, and tilt your upper body forward with a flat back. As you tilt forward, extend your right leg in the air behind you at a comfortable height, bending your left knee slightly and keeping your hips square. Relax the arm with the weight and allow it to hang down. To return to the starting position, bring your back leg forward again, extend your hips, and return to standing. Complete all the reps on one side before switching legs.

Muscles: Back extensors, glutes, hamstrings.

Remember: Watch your back leg and keep the foot flexed with the toes pointing toward the floor.

#4 Clamshells

Lie on your side and position a resistance band above your knees for more intensity. Bend your legs and hips to create an angle of around 45 degrees between your knees and your hips, with your feet stacked on top of each other. Then raise your upper leg against the resistance, keeping your feet together while doing so. Lower your leg again to finish the exercise. Complete all the reps on one side before switching legs.

Muscles: Abductors.

Remember: Keep your hip bones stacked on top of each other and your feet together.

Done? Good job! Time for a cool down. Learn how to cool down properly here. 

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