6 Exercises To Target Glutes
Glutes are responsible for not only improving posture (as they’re part of the posterior chain) but they’re also a key component in our pelvic floor (check out why you should see a pelvic floor physio here) and keeping our pelvis stable- plus, a nice set of glutes is pretty! Learning to properly activate and target your glutes will not only help you as a mom day to day but your jeans will look better too!
Glutes are one part of the body I could talk forever about. Between posture, pain prevention, aesthetics, functionality, knee pain and support in pregnancy I truly love them. However it took me a long time to really narrow down how to activate and target them to maximize their potential.
Your glutes are responsible for quite a few leg movements (hip extension, hip hyper extension, abduction, external rotation to name a few) and respond really well to high volume. Unfortunately, none of that matters if you don’t learn to activate them properly.
The number one mistake I see when people are training glutes is that they stop at hip extension and never follow through to hyper extension. Your hips can actually hyperextend thirty degrees more than you think. It’s this small range that gives you a huge advantage when you’re training them.
My other favorite part of training glutes is that they give immediate feedback. Your glutes (all of them) actually change shape when you contract them fully and thus, it’s easy to tell when you’re using them and when you’re not.
One of the main tricks to training glutes to train their multiple movements. Below are six exercises for your glutes that help target all of their functions and not just one.
Click here to check out a demo video of all the exercises (or scroll down!)
Exercise #1 Glute Bridge
Bridging is the basics of glute training and once mastered you can move on up the chain. Remember that your hips can extend more than you think so you’re aiming for that top range and really squeezing your bum cheeks together. To hit this range, and really target glutes though, make sure you’re not cheating by arching the low back. Also, keep the weight more in your heels and your feet slightly wider. To really feel a burn, place a mini band around your knees and drive out against the ban (note: you can progress this beauty to single leg bridges, weight bridges, elevated etc!)
Exercise #2 Quadruped Hip Extensions
Another exercise to target that hip extensions. With this exercise you’ll have to work slightly harder to keep a neutral spine and contract while moving the leg. Ensure your foot remains flexed and your knee stays at ninety degrees. If you’re not feeling glutes chances are you’re putting the leg too high without actually squeezing your bum.
Exercise #3 Banded Quadruped Abductions
Placing a mini band below your knees requires you to push out against resistance and use your glute medius and minimus. Try not to shift your weight into the opposite side and lean to get your foot out. Really concentrate on using your glutes to move your leg against the band.
Exercise #4 Single Leg Paused Hip Thrusts
Hip thrusts provide a greater range of motion than glute bridges but the trick is to keep your upper back slightly rounded even at the top position. Shifting to only one leg creates more tension for that individual glute and pausing at the top gives a nice isometric contraction. Focus on really squeezing and nut using momentum to get your hips up.
Exercise #5 Sumo Walks
These are a fun one that really get your hips burning. You can place the mini band around your feet, ankle or below the knees (feet being the hardest). Make sure you implement a proper hip hinge and maintain it as you squeeze the glute, drive out against the pushing foot and try to push the other foot against the band away.
Exercise #6 Feet Elevated Banded Glute Bridge
Another way to really boost range of motion. Wrap the mini band below your knees and while you extend try to push your legs against the band (without rolling onto the outside of your heels). Use your glutes to push out against the band and also to lift the hips pausing at the top of the movement. Really ensure you don’t arch the low back to get your hips up higher, it’s got to come from the glutes.
In case you missed it here’s a video demo of the exercises!
Don’t forget to pin these great glute exercises!
So there you have it. Six exercises that will help improve the shape and strength of your glutes! If there’s one tip I can give you it’s to really contract the muscle in order to target it. Glutes don’t respond to anything else. By improving your glutes you’ll help improve your posture, help stabilize your pelvis and prevent pain. Training glutes are a necessity.
What’s your favorite glute exercise?