Having a great and aesthetic physique is one of the main goals that many fitness aspirants want to achieve today. Having a great physique means you should have the athletic performance to back you up, as well as the balance and proportioned built that makes up a real fitness sight. Most people, however, tend to perform upper body exercises more than their lower body counterparts, neglecting the exercises for glutes that also build powerful legs.
There are many different exercises that you can perform in order to develop your glutes and other thigh supporting muscles such as the quadriceps and the hamstrings. Probably the best exercises that you can do to develop the buttocks muscles is the squat. It develops the quadriceps, the glutes, as well as the calves making it the king of exercises for the legs and the glutes. Below is the methodology on how to perform the squat.
The squats develop the strength and mass of the legs, particularly the glutes and the thighs. Total and full type squats are the best types of squats that you can do for mass building and strength for the lower body particularly the four sides of the muscles of the quadriceps. Take note as this exercise is the most basic among them but probably one of the hardest you’ll ever perform among the exercises given despite the benefits you’ll reap.
- To execute the squat, start by stepping under the barbell on the rack so that it rests on your shoulders. Then hold on firmly to the bar to ensure balance it, rise up to lift it off the rack then take a few steps away. This exercise for glutes can be performed with both of your feet flat on the floor or by stepping with your heels on a low small block for balance.
- By maintaining the position with your head back and your chests out with your back in a straight position, bend your knees, until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. From this position, push yourself back up using a hip thrust and return to the starting position.
With this exercise, it is essentially essential to go below parallel with your thighs lower than the conventional squats as stated above. This is done in order to promote strength throughout the full range of motion. Doing not low enough during the exercise may cause you injuries especially when moving up to heavier weights. There are also different variations when it comes to developing your glutes when using this exercise. Using a wide stance, works the inside definitional muscles of the thighs, while using a narrow stance develops the outer thighs more. The most basic stance which is the shoulder width apart is ideally for power generation and the glutes as well, with your toes slightly turned out. Ideally, when performing the squat, your form must be with your back as straight as possible while minimizing the act of leaning forward. Although this can be very inevitable at times, it is essential to look forward with your chest up and back straight to decrease the stress off your lower back and more on your quadriceps and glutes. As a beginner, perform this exercise using light weights.
The lunges help develop the outside sweep of the thighs and the butt as well. The lunge can be performed using a barbell across your back or while holding a pair of dumbbells with both hands.
- Start by holding a barbell across the back of your shoulders, while standing upright with your feet clasp together. While keeping your head up and back in a straight natural position, with your head thrust out, take a step forward, bend your knees, and bring your hind knees until it almost touches the floor. Make sure that the step goes out long so that the hind leg is parallel to the floor.
- Push yourself back to your primary and starting stance utilizing a strong and fluid movement bringing your feet together again. Then take a step forward with the alternate foot and repeat the move all over again. You can either finish one set with a single leg or by using the alternate motion as stated above.
3) The Standing Leg Curls
This exercise similarly develops the back of the thighs as well as the gluteal muscles. This is an isolation exercise as you can use this machine to develop your leg biceps and your glutes one leg at a time.
- Start by standing in front of the machine and hook your heel under the padded levers. Keep yourself steady and stand straight and curl your legs up as far high as you can. Release the weights and lower your leg back down to the first position. Perform all the reps for your first set with one leg and perform another with the alternate leg. That is one set, then repeat
- Make sure that you perform each repetition with strict movement and in slow motion.
4) The Straight Leg Dead Lifts
This exercise primarily involves the hamstrings and the glutes. It also provides stress to your calf muscles and to your lower back.
- Hold the barbell firmly in front of you using an overhand position while standing up, and your feet together to a few inches apart.
- While keeping your legs in the above-mentioned position and distance, bend forward while keeping your back straight and in a naturally arched position until your upper body is almost parallel to the floor. It should also come naturally that the bar hangs naturally as you bend at about an arm’s length.
- Begin the next phase by straightening up while pulling your shoulder blades back while maintaining the naturally arched position of your lower back in order to involve the muscles of the lower back!
Without the help of the legs to aid you in this exercise, you will definitely use lighter weights while maintaining strict movement and efficient gluteal training throughout the exercise. Make sure to maintain your back in its natural position while avoiding the rounding of your back.
5) The Hack Squats
This exercise helps develop the lower portion of the quadriceps muscles as well as the glutes with the help of the hack squat machine.
- This starting step of the exercise usually depends on the design of your hack squat machine. You can either hook your trapezius muscles under the pad support or take hold firmly of the handles. Stand with your feet together and your toes slightly pointed out.
- Begin the next step by pressing downward using the control and balance of your legs and by lifting the machine, making a stop when the legs are in a full lockout position or extended position. Using this technique makes sure that there is constant tension in the legs and in the glutes as well, bend on your knees then lower yourself down until your legs are almost bent at a lower position than when you perform your traditional squats. To make this movement strict, keep performing the lower phase of the exercise by moving to the downward position all the way as low as you can.
- As you go through the last repetitions of your set, lower yourself as you would do with the conventional point and performance of this exercise but, arch your back slightly and bring the hips off the machine making sure that there are no lockout positions in your legs. Performing this move emphasizes the definition of the hamstrings and the quadriceps that produces more definition for your lower body.
When performing these exercises make sure that they are incorporated as a stand-alone program. Performing these exercises on a single day will normally tire you out to avoid any hard aerobic exercises before or after your leg exercise sessions. You can perform these exercises once or twice a week using a 3 to 4 set range and a 10 to 12 rep scheme. You can include a warm-up session of lighter weights, and a stretching program for the legs during your cooling down phase. This will ensure that your leg and gluteal muscles are pumped up before your session and that your muscles aren’t stiff after your session.
These 5 exercises for glutes are some of the most challenging exercises you will ever experience when trying to achieve a fit and lean physique. When performing these exercise for the first time, make sure that you are well supervised by a trainer and that you wear comfortable gear for better performance and movement. Doing so will also prevent injuries which can be very counter-productive. Rest is always necessary. Provide a day or two of rest in between your exercise sessions to ensure that your muscles take full recovery with each workout sessions. Of course, with rest must also come proper dieting to promote muscle growth and proper replenishing of energy. Having a lean physique means maintaining a proportioned built.