Gaining strength means working each muscle, each part of your body individually. Glutes are a key part of building lower body strength and it’s important to know how to keep them toned. Glutes are the strongest and longest muscle group in the body commonly referred to as hips or the butt. They are responsible for maintaining balance and power when we jump, walk, or run. Maintaining strong glutes is essential for the body to operate and function properly as a whole.
You don’t need a gym enrolment or a Bootcamp class to engage your lower body glutes. A few simple glutes exercises can be done right from the comfort of your living room that will help you build strength. These exercises can be done without equipment or using objects you find around the house or choose one or two to squeeze in between Zoom calls. When a workout is a repetition or rep based, you should move at your own pace prioritising form over speed. This is important as we all have different speeds. So here you do not need to work out at the same speed as me. In repetition based exercises like these, stay with a pace that is comfortable to you.
If you are a beginner it is ok to move slower and slowly you will make progress as your body gets more accustomed to moves. This is considered progress.
If you have been working out for a while your pace will be completely different and you can focus on more rounds.
4 Exercises To Strengthen Your Glutes
Here are some exercises that you can do for strengthening your glutes.
Start standing with feet hip-distance apart and Initiate the movement by sending the hips back as if you’re sitting back into an invisible chair. Bend knees to lower down as far as possible with chest lifted in a controlled movement. Keep lower back neutral. Press through heels to stand back up to starting position. Repeat.
2. Side Steps Squats
Keep your abs tight and back straight. Step wide to one side staying in your squat position, go back to your starting position. And then side squat wide in the other direction using all your lower body muscles then back to center. Continue squatting side to side staying low throughout.
3. Sumo Squats
Start by standing with your feet out wide and your toes pointing out. Keeping weight in your back heels, start to lower your hips and bend your knees into a wide squat. Go down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Stand back up, squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement.
4. Squats And Side Leg Raise
Begin by performing a squat, remembering to shift your weight back into your heels and line your feet and knees up with each other. As you come up out of the squat, start shifting your weight to the right, lifting the left leg out to the side (be careful that the leg is directly to your side and not behind you).
Note: Beginner : 3 rounds | 60 seconds break between rounds
Another great thing about this workout is that – you can come back time and time again—and tweak as your strength progresses. When a workout is a repetition or rep based, you should move at your own pace prioritising form over speed. This is important as we all have different speeds.
1. Fortifying glutes requires physical training at least thrice a week
Glutes are the biggest muscles in the body and arguably the most important. They’re not only responsible for shaping our lower body but more importantly, they support the hips, core and back, providing stability and preventing injury! If you are looking to reduce back pain, knee pain or improve athletic performance, the answer lies in strong glutes. Irrespective of the tall claims made by some people, fortifying glutes requires physical training at least thrice a week, with Glute-specific exercises.
The time it takes to grow your glutes varies from person to person. If you decide to take the help of a healthy diet and regular exercise, within one month you will start seeing tangible results. Nothing happens overnight. We need to put in consistent effort in doing exercises that focus on gaining or strengthening the glutes.
2. There are additional exercises that one can indulge in for toned glutes
From regular squats to hip thrusts, to lateral banded walks, any of these can help strengthen glutes effectively. Squats are an excellent, well-rounded lower body exercise that helps in working out our quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves, abdominal muscles, and spinal erectors.
The hip thrust, also called ‘bridges’, is pretty self-explanatory and can be done within the comfort of our home.
You can do lateral banded walks by placing a resistance band around your legs, just above the knees. If you want to increase the difficulty, place the band below your knees, above your ankles. However, it is best to work with a professional who will develop a well-rounded program for you. How workouts are structured and how they are progressively overloaded is the key to results.
Usually just performing exercises without a concrete plan will not give you the desired results. It is just simpler and more effective when you have a map to your destination. Furthermore, a good program will focus on mobility and on strengthening supporting muscles as well.
3. Common mistakes to avoid when working out the glutes
Training the glutes but not seeing results is one of the reasons that make us furious, we need to cut out a few common mistakes.
While exercising, we neglect working out our core muscles which not only consist of the ones present in the mid-section but also include our glutes. If your core isn’t engaged while performing glute exercises, your pelvis will rotate anteriorly, which will put more load onto your quads and calves.
Not using sufficient resistance is another major drawback. Endless numbers of repetitions of ineffective ‘toning’ exercises are of no use until and unless you employ significant resistance, enough to help them add muscle.
Another major mistake is not adding Glute-specific exercises and not feeling your glutes in a particular move. The mind-muscle connection is imperative to all exercises but takes time to develop.
4. A healthy diet plays a key role in getting a healthy body
Contrary to what we believe, building bigger glutes begins in our very own kitchen. High-quality nutritious whole food with adequate protein and a small surplus for muscle gain are jointly responsible for enhancing lean muscle retention and gain.
A quick tip: make sure you consume adequate complex carbs post a good lower body workout.
Try to include eggs in your diet as they are highly nutritious and provide plenty of selenium, vitamin B12, and phosphorus. Vegetarians can focus on lentils, legumes, soy and dairy products for adequate protein.
To summarize, increase the intake of protein-rich foods and ensure you focus on strengthening the entire lower body while performing glute-specific exercises regularly. Gaining lean muscle mass takes time and consistency.