Did you know that your buttocks are the biggest, as well as among the most important, muscle in your body? Keep in mind that your glutes are essential in every type of movement including walking, running, and jumping as well as lifting, thus, injuries and illnesses in these muscles will adversely affect your fitness condition and aspirations.
And then there’s also the case of gluteal amnesia, a textbook term used in reference to buttocks forgetting to sufficiently turn on or activate, so to speak, during everyday tasks including workouts. This muscle amnesia slows down the entire body considering that the glutes assist it in various motions.
The fallout can be serious, too. Since the muscles in the posterior chain (i.e., along the back side of the body) are forced to take over the gluteal muscles, the risks for injuries including muscular imbalances also increase. Even apparently unrelated injuries, such as stubbed toe or a sprained ankle, can trigger the gluteal muscles’ amnesia – and the cycle of injuries continues.
Fortunately, getting rid of slackers’ buttocks can be achieved with the following tips. Just be sure to put in the hard work to see the results of a stronger, rounder, and more toned butt – and it will be all worth it!
Make Simple Yet Effective Adjustments
Many people think that radical changes are the best way toward a better butt but it is not so. These small yet effective adjustments in your glutes-focused strength training routine will increase muscle-building, fat-burning capability.
- Squeeze your glutes during a hip extension, the movement wherein you are lifting and lengthening your leg. You will increase your glutes activation by an extra 12%, according to a study published in the Journal of Athletic Training.
- Perform deep squats. Let your hips dip below your knees, a movement that can increase your glutes’ contribution when returning to a full standing position. According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, deep squats can almost double the glutes’ activation.
- Lean into the lunge. Tilt your torso forward between a 30-degree and 40-degree angle when making a lunge since it puts more stress into your glutes. You should be able to feel more “burn” in your buttocks when leaning into a lunge.
- Go for single-limb versions of exercises. According to a study published in Physical Therapy in Sports, performing one-leg squats instead of deadlifts can activate the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius by an additional 21% and 33%, respectively.
You can adopt these small yet effective changes in most of your strength exercises. Proper form and technique are obviously a must since these are crucial in reducing the risks for injuries during exercise.
Adopt the Pre-exercise Routine
Just as your body should have a warm-up routine prior to the workout proper, your glutes should also have its own warm-up exercises. These pre-workout exercises should be done in three sets.
- Side-Lying clamshell
Lie on your left side. Bend your hips and knees, stack your legs, and put your feet together. Keep your left leg on the floor while raising your right knee as high as possible but without separating your heels. Take a pause and return to starting position for one rep. Perform 10-15 of the movement and then repeat it on your right side.
- Quadruped hip extension
Assume a comfortable position on all fours with your hands under your shoulders while your knees are under your hips. Keep your back flat. Raise your left leg behind you until your sole faces the ceiling but keep your knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Lower your leg to the starting position for one rep. Perform 10-15 of the movement and repeat on your right leg.
- Feet-elevated glute bridge
Lie on your back with it as flat as possible (i.e., little to no arch). Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle with your heels propped on a bench on your front; the bench should be 12-14 inches off the ground. Lift your hips up until your knees and shoulders form a straight line. Hold the position for 2 seconds and return to the starting position for one rep. Perform 10-15 for best results.
- Skater squat
Stand on your right leg. Bend your right knee, which means your body lowers itself until your thigh is almost parallel to the floor. Stand and repeat for 6-12 reps. Switch to your left leg.
- Single-Leg dumbbell deadlift
Hold a dumbbell in each of your hand and let your arms stay by your side for the starting position; the dumbbell should weigh between 10 and 25 pounds depending on your capacity. Stand with your knees slightly bent for balance. Bend forward, raise your right leg behind you, and keep your hips pointed down. Return to the starting position for one rep. Perform 10-15 reps for the left and right sides.
Now that you have warmed up your butt, your next step is to engage in your full body exercises. You can enjoy your workouts in commercial gyms, such as the YMCA or 9 Round Gym, where the fitness equipment are usually of the top-notch variety.