You Probably Aren’t Training This Major Muscle Group Right: Glutes

By April 17, 2017Fitness Tips

So, you want to build your booty? 

I can tell you from experience that if you don’t activate your gluteal muscles the right way, your bubble butt dreams will stay just that: dreams.

Of course, genetics play a large role in the natural shape and size of your glutes, and no two people’s bodies are going to look the same. So no, I’m not saying “do this and you’ll have a shelf for a booty”. But I am saying you’ll have a stronger booty. No matter what shape of butt you’re flaunting, you can still benefit from learning what to do to grow those glutes.

First, some basics.

Anatomy of the Booty

So what muscles are we working with?

Gluteus Maximus 

Everyone’s favorite. This is the primary glute muscle and the largest muscle in the body. It’s primary function is upper leg and thigh extension.

Gluteus Medius

This one is the upper glute muscle. It originates on the outer surface of the hip and converges on a tendon that attaches to the hip joint.

Gluteus Minimus

The deep glute muscle which originates in the front from the outer surface of the hip and in the back from the greater sciatic notch. The glute med and glute min perform the similar functions of thigh abduction, thigh internal rotation with a flexed hip, and thigh external rotation with an extended hip.

In other words, it attaches at the hip and helps move your thigh.

3 Moves for Activating the Booty

If you’re a student or if you work a desk job, you probably spend a lot of time sitting. Inactive booties are sometimes inevitable, and it can take a little push to get them into gear. But here’s how to get them working.

Firing up your glutes before training with these 5 glute-activation drills will ensure that the muscles are ready and doing the work during more advanced, compound booty-building lifts (squats, deadlifts, etc.). If your glutes aren’t warmed up, your quads or hip flexors might take over and this can result in muscular imbalances and injury.

1. Clamshells (20 reps each side)

Lie down on one side with your head resting.  Keep your bottom leg straight and your top leg bent with the foot resting on the bottom knee at a 90 degree angle. Your hips should be stacked on top of one another and should remain there throughout movement. 

Squeeze your glutes while you lift your knee up as high as possible keeping the leg bent and your top foot rested on your bottom knee. Don’t let the hips roll forward or backward: they will try!

 You should feel a burn in the upper and outer back pocket region (like where your jean pockets go).

2. Glute Bridge (3 sets, 20 reps)

Get into a bridge position by lying on your back with your feet hip distance apart, knees bent, heels close to your butt, and toes pointed slightly outward.

Press up through your heels to bring your hips into a bridge.

Important note: Keep your midline stable and core tight throughout the movement.

Take a deep breath in and brace your core as if you were bracing yourself for a punch. Keep your hips slightly tucked and maintain that position to keep your lower back from doing the work as your hips rise.

3. Banded Monster Walk (2 sets, 45 seconds each)

Put a mini ankle band around your legs 4 inches above or below the knees.

Get into a half squat position (feet hip distance with band tension) and extend the arms out in front of you like a zombie.

Perform 2 sets of 45 seconds walking forward, backward, and in each direction laterally.

Be sure to keep your weight in your heels, use your outer thighs to bring your knees outward when you step wide, and keep the hips slightly tucked to keep your core tight throughout the movement. 

Take on your leg day workout with active glutes and you’ll be on your way to a built booty!

For the rest of the “You Probably Aren’t Training This Major Muscle Group Right” series, check out this article. 

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Author Serena Baldwin

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