Glutes are a main source of power for the lower body
They forcefully extend the hip (push the leg behind you). Sitting all day and inactivity can lead to a weakening of the gluteal muscles. This can sometimes even lead to low back, shoulder, or knee pain.
Building strong and powerful glutes is a great way to help your everyday activities, not to mention improve your look from behind! Here are some great exercises to help you build strong and powerful glutes.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
How to Get Strong Glutes:
1. Hip Bridges
Hip bridges are an excellent exercise to help build your glutes. To perform the hip bridge, lie on your back and bend your knees so both feet lie flat on the floor about hip width apart. Press your lower back into the floor and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips off the floor and toward the ceiling.
To amp up this exercise, lift one leg and perform this using a single leg, or place your feet on a stability ball or BOSU ball instead of the floor, or even put a resistance band around your thighs to force you to squeeze out. Perform 1-3 sets of 12-15 for best results.
2. Bulgarian Squats
Bulgarian squats are similar to a lunge, but require the use of a bench. Step in front of a bench with your right foot and place the lower shin or toes of your left foot on the top of the bench. Slowly lower your body toward the floor, then press through your right heel to return to the starting position. Repeat for 10 repetitions before switching legs.
3. Romanian Deadlifts
Romanian Deadlifts are a great exercise to build strong glutes. To perform, stand with a barbell set just in front of your upper thighs with an appropriate weight. Grasp the barbell in both hands, hinge forward with a flat back, keeping the weight very close to the body as you lower the barbell toward the floor.
Once you reach the floor (or as far as you can go using proper form), use your glutes and hamstrings to pull your hips forward and return to the starting position. Complete 1-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions. To make this exercise harder, stand on one leg and complete this exercise.
When completing your lunges, be sure you step straight down and engage your glutes and hips as you lift. Use a relatively heavy weight, so you can only complete 8-10 repetitions. Do 1-4 sets of lunges for best results.
5. Tube Walking
Put a circular resistance band around your ankles, bend your knees into a ¼ squat position. Take a large step to the right and then follow with a smaller step with your left foot, not allowing any slack in the resistance band. Repeat for 1-3 sets of 10-12 repetitions for each side.
6. Donkey Kicks
To complete donkey kicks, you want to begin in tabletop position (on your hands and knees with your back flat). Keeping your hips level, bring your right heel up toward the ceiling, squeezing your glutes. Then bring your leg back to the starting position.
To kick this exercise up a notch, after each repetition, bring your knee out to the side as well or use an ankle weight or resistance band to increase intensity. Repeat this 10 times on each side for 1-3 sets.
7. Squat jumps
Squat jumps help you to work on the power of your glutes. Set up for squat jumps the same way you would for a traditional squat: feet hip width apart and feet pointed straight ahead. Allow your hips to sink down and back, bringing your arms down as well.
From this position, explode up, jump upwards. Land softly and allow knees to bend. Repeat, ensuring you engage your glutes with every rep by squeezing them at the end range of motion. Complete 2-4 sets of 8-10 reps.
8. Sled Pushes
A final exercise that will help to build power and strength in your glutes is sled pushes. For sled pushes you want to select a heavier weight and push the sled as hard and as fast as you can for 20-40 yards. Really focus on driving your heels and pushing forward using your glutes. Complete 2-4 sets here with a few minutes rest in between.
These glute exercises are sure to help you build a strong and powerful backside. Try these exercises as part of your leg day workout, or pick a few and incorporate them into your current routine. Either way, you’ve got a plan to get moving to get strong and powerful glutes!
Connect with WatchFit Expert Sarah Walentynowicz