Has your lack of physical activity made you feel a bit weak in the behind? No wonder – the muscles to suffer the most from a sedentary lifestyle are the glutes, which constitute the largest and most powerful muscle group in your body.
This muscle group consists of three major muscles: the glute maximus, glute medius and glute minimus, and all of them work together to extend, abduct and rotate your hips. Just think of how involved they are in every complex movement you perform, from moving the body in all possible directions to climbing and running.
That makes them incredibly important when it comes to physical health, stability and athletic potential. But when you spend too much time sitting, you glutes can lose their power and efficiency at supporting the spine and stabilizing your pelvis, resulting in an unstable pelvis, decreased leg strength and poor posture.
Furthermore, having untrained and atrophied glutes will give you a hard time during any kind of intense physical activity and increase your risk of injury and back and knee pain.
Then comes the issue of aesthetics, of course – who on earth prides with having a flat, flabby butt that looks squashed in their favorite pair of jeans? Yet, shaping a strong attention-grabbing butt isn’t as hard as you might think. You can sculpt a great backside by performing these exercises few times per week!
1. Weighted Bridge
A largely underappreciated exercise that isolates the glutes, strengthens the hip flexors and increases core stability. Lay on your back, bend your knees and position the feet slightly wider than hips width apart and firmly locked on the ground. Place a light dumbbell on each of the hips and lift them by tightening the glutes, thighs and abs, and explosively thrusting your hips upwards. On the way up, squeeze your buttocks as hard as you can. In the final position, the body should form a flat line between the knees and shoulders. Perform 3 sets with 15 repetitions each.
The lunge is a total lower body workout that can powerfully tone your legs and backside while also improving the flexibility of the hips. Start with a straight upper body, legs at hips width apart, shoulders back and chin up. Step forward with one leg, lowering the hips until both knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Make sure the front knee is right above the ankle and the other knee is slightly above the ground. Push back to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. Perform 3 sets with 10-20 repetitions each.
3. Squat Pulse
This is basically an enhanced variant of the regular squat, so performing it will bring those great results even faster. Stand with feet at hips width apart and arms fully extended out in front. Lower your body down into a squat, keeping the back straight. Hold the position at the bottom and pulse a few inches up and down by raising and lowering the butt. Do 15 pulses, then return in standing position. Perform 3 sets with 15 repetitions each.
4. Donkey Kicks
This exercise works the lower back, core, legs and bottom. To perform it, get on all fours on the ground, knees placed below your hips and hands at shoulder width apart. Keeping a 90 degree angle at the knee, lift one leg up until the thigh and knee come in line with the rest of your body and the foot is high up and parallel to the ground. Hold the position for a few moments, keeping the glutes tight, then slowly return to the starting position and repeat the movement with the other leg. Perform 3 sets with 15 reps each.
5. Fire hydrant
Excellent exercise for strengthening both the glutes and the hamstrings. Start in the same position as for the donkey kick, on all fours with knees at hips width apart and bent at a 90 degrees angle. Keeping the back straight, raise one thigh and bring it close to the chest, then open it outwards, keeping the thigh parallel to the floor. Hold for few moments, then slowly return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. Perform 3 sets with 15 reps each.