A fit and sculpted body is on everyone’s wish-list. Some of us though would want to focus on a particular part of the body, maybe because it needs more work or that it would help a health condition.
Your glutes are those muscles of your body that create the shape of your butt. Physiologically, there are three muscles altogether. Their strength and activation depend upon the exercise and movements that they get.
Unfortunately in recent times due to our sedentary lifestyle, we get to use our glutes in just one activity – sitting. And let’s be honest, just sitting on our asses never gets us anywhere.
Weak glute muscles can cause a variety of issues with your strength and capabilities. Hence, it becomes necessary to activate your glute muscles from time to time during your exercise regimes.
Activated or strong Glute muscles impact your whole body strength. They help in doing a lot of exercises and/or regular compound bodily movements especially regarding the core.
Here are 15 exercises for glutes that will help you get your dream butt!
(The equipment that you can use for these exercises are yoga mats and resistance bands)
1. Standing Leg Circles
This exercise requires simple movements and is more of a warm-up for your thighs and other leg muscles. Start with standing on one leg and raising the other above the ground a few inches.
Make circles with this leg in both clockwise and anti-clockwise direction for at least 3-5 times. Repeat this with the other leg as well.
You can speed them up or increase the reps if you are comfortable.
The glute muscles in the supporting leg are activated to stabilize the pelvis. So make sure not to have an imbalance.
2. Toe Touch To Knee Drive Hold
This exercise can be, in short, pictured as running at one spot. Like the previous exercise, you need to stand on one leg and balance your weight carefully.
Then lift your left leg behind such that your back is straight. Be sure to balance your weight entirely on your right leg. Simultaneously bring your left hand toward your right leg. Then carefully engaging your posterior muscles, drive your left knee towards your core such that you are in a running position.
Repeat with the other leg. Hold again for 2-3 seconds in each position.
This exercise surely activates your glutes and at the same time, it helps in increasing your balance too.
3. Hip Abduction Squats
While performing squats, many of us tend to cave/bend our knees forward too much. This leads to ineffectiveness and makes all our efforts go futile.
If a resistance band is used by placing it just above our knees, it will not only help us keep them sturdy but will also activate your glutes.
All that you need to do is keep your body steady with your head facing forward. Then push your butt backward and downwards as if sitting on a chair by exercising your thigh, core and glute muscles. Get up and repeat.
A word of warning would be to not use weights until you have mastered without them.
4. Quadruped Hip Extensions
When the American Council on Exercise performed a study to find out which exercise activated all the muscles of your butt most strongly, they found out that these hip extensions prove to be most effective.
This one may even be the simplest of all. You just need to get on all fours while keeping your back straight and core tight. Raise one of your legs with the knees still bent to a height of about 1.5 ft. Repeat with the other leg.
Make sure that your face is towards the floor and your back is straight. To challenge yourself you may add ankle weights.
5. Knee Tuck Hip Bridge
Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Pull one of your legs towards your chest and hold with your hands firmly. Use rogue strength of the other leg to lift your butt off the floor.
Maintain this position while you count to ten and then slowly bring you yourself back to the original pose. Repeat with the other leg.
This movement very thoroughly engages the glute muscles of the driving leg and gives them strength over a period of time.
This one is especially useful to people who do not wish to engage their back too much or have an injured back and have been told to abstain from using it.
All you need to do is put one of your feet on a higher platform like a bench and keep your upper body (waist-up) extremely solid and sturdy with your hands by hyper side.
Then drive force through the raised foot and come to a standing position atop the higher platform. Get down and repeat with the other leg.
You can also do this exercise while holding weights in your hands.
7. Bulgarian Lunges
It is like a combination of normal Lunges and Hip Extensions. Stand in a lunging position with your knees only slightly bent and one of your legs placed on a higher platform behind you.
Lower your body till the point where the knee is almost touching the floor and the thigh is parallel to the ground. Then power the foot of your other leg to get back to the standing position.
Repeat the exercise with the other leg. You can hold weights in your hands which should remain by your sides at all times.
It challenges not only your glutes but also your upper leg muscles.
8. Hip Hikes
Stand with one of your legs on a slightly higher platform on the side and power through the feet placed on the ground to lift your body to the height of the platform. Hold for a few seconds and bring the pelvis down.
Repeat with the other leg. You can also try this with weights in your hands which should remain by your sides. Also, remember to keep your upper body firm at all times.
9. Side Plank With Leg Lift
Side planks or planks of any kind are usually designed to engage and exercise your core but when paired with a leg lift they also are very helpful in strengthening your glutes.
Start with the side plank and then gently lift the leg on top a few inches. Hold for a few seconds and then bring down gently. Do a few reps and then change sides.
You might notice differences between both the sides which is common so don’t get stressed about it.
10. Lateral Shift
Using a band in this exercise is advisable and will definitely increase efficiency. It is mostly like how a simple robot would move sideways.
Make sure that the resistance band is right above your ankles and that you experience its restriction even when standing normally. Shift one foot towards the side which would activate the glutes if that leg. Repeat with the other leg and keep shuffling.
It is one of the easiest and least stressful activities that warm up your glue and calves.
11. Single-Leg Lateral Drop Squat
This one may be one of the most strenuous and powerful activities. In this one leg’s glutes get majorly activated and you will need to derive a lot of strength from your leg muscles as well.
Stand with one of your legs on a higher platform/bench and the other leg struck out sideways, hovering above the ground. Staying in this position, squat and then push through your steady leg to get back into the first position.
Repeat a few times and then switch sides. Maintain your balance at all times.
12. Side-Lying Clams
Start in the position everyone loves- lying down on your side! Bend your knees to a 90-degree angle while your legs are stacked.
Use your energy at the ankle to open up your legs in a manner that it looks like a clam opening. Make sure that your knee points out towards the ceiling.
During the whole exercise, one hand should be held under the head and the other in your glutes. Keep your back and neck straight at all times. Repeat a few times and change sides.
With your glutes, this one also rightly activates your upper thigh muscles.
13. Shoulders Elevated Plyo Hip Thrust
A normal hip thrust does activate your guts albeit in a passive manner. With this one, you will be able to increase the quickness of your glute activation and also its explosive power.
Sit against a raised platform with your knees bent at a right angle. Keep your elbows rested on the platform behind and your forearms parallel to your body.
Power through the biceps of your arms as well as your core and raise your butt off the ground in a quick manner.
When in the air, your body should be in a straight line from your shoulders to the knees through the torso.
Just do not get overexcited and injure yourself.
14. Butterfly Hip Thrust
Lie down on the floor such that your back and neck are straight and your palms are facing the ground. Bend your knees at right angles such that your soles are pressed together.
Your knees would also have to be raised bit above the ground. Now perform the hip to the extent that your thighs are parallel to the ground. Keep in this position for a few seconds and lower down. Repeat.
This kind of hip lift not only engages your thighs and core but also your calves and obviously the glutes.
15. Kettlebell Swings
For this one, you require additional equipment which is a kettlebell. From the name, you might have guessed what you need to be doing with this kettlebell and you are right- just swing it!
Bend forward while keeping your spine straight and core muscles tight. Your feet should be more than hip-distance apart. Place your hands on the kettlebell.
In one swift and fluid motion pick up the kettlebell, while pushing your pelvis forward and swinging the object behind. The power should be applied through the hips alone. As you stand, lift the kettlebell with your hands straight, now directly brought it in front of you.
Repeat as many times as you can.
This is one of the safest exercises which highly engage the glute muscles.
I have tried to include exercises which would require minimum assistance and equipment. I hope that they help you as much!
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