The glutes are the body’s largest, most powerful muscle group (there are three muscles which make up the glutes region), and given that so many of us have been sedentary for the past couple of months in lockdown, it’s important to start training these muscles regularly. Training will not only give you a toned rear, it will also help to improve posture, minimise back pain, and generate speed and leg power. Here are some of the best exercises for the glutes:
1.Lateral banded walks
Begin by placing a resistance band (a large elasticated latex band) round your legs, just above the knees. If you want to increase the difficulty, place the band below your knees, above your ankles. To do the move, push your butt backward and bend your knees as if you were squatting. Keep your back straight and engage your core while you move your right foot 8-10 inches/20-25 cms to the right, then bring your left foot in toward it. Then, repeat with the opposite leg. With lateral banded walks, you target the glutes as well as the hip muscles. You can increase the difficulty by using a thicker band with more resistance or moving the band further down toward your ankles.
2. Curtsy lunge
Begin by standing with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart. With a straight back and tight core, bring your left leg behind and to the outside of your right foot. Drop your hips through your glutes until your right leg is nearly parallel with the floor, then return to the starting position. Repeat 4 reps and then switch legs. To make the movement more difficult, hold a kettlebell or dumbbell. You can also pause for a few seconds at the bottom of the motion to add some extra burn.
3. Sumo deadlift
Stand in a wide stance with your feet slightly pointed outwards (around a 30-degree angle). Grip a weight such as a barbell, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart. Lower down into a squat by shifting your hips backward and keeping your chest and body straight. Bring your knees out directly over your ankles. Repeat for five sets of 12 reps.
4. Kettlebell mountain climbers
With each hand on a kettlebell, get into push-up position, keeping your legs hip-distance apart. Brace your core and keep your hips lowered to form a straight line with your body. Pull one knee as high as you can towards your chest. Bring your leg back into push-up position and repeat with the other leg. Repeat for five sets of 12 reps.
5. The bridge
Lie face-up on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat, and your arms by your sides with the palms down. Raise your hips off the floor until your knees, hips and shoulders form one straight line. Squeeze your glutes hard and draw in your abs. Hold for a couple of seconds and slowly release back to starting position. Repeat for two sets of 10 bridges. Once you get the hang of it, you can add weight by carefully laying a medicine ball, kettlebell, or barbell across your pelvic area. The extra resistance will help strengthen your glutes.