Your gluteal muscles do a lot more than you may realise, and by not keeping them active through regular isolation exercises you are sacrificing your posterior strength, and potentially making yourself susceptible to knee and back problems.
When I say isolation exercises, I’m talking about exercises that focus primarily on the glutes, so although squats and deadlifts do target the glutes somewhat, they’re certainly not the best for making them bigger and stronger.
Most people can contract their glutes harder during body weight glute exercises than during their max in squats and deads.
People who regularly train their lower body in the gym think that their gluteal muscles are really strong, unaware that their lifestyle can easily lead them into “gluteal amnesia,” a term used by Dr Stuart McGill, a professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo. This particularly affects those with office and desk jobs as long periods of sitting day after day can have a detrimental effect on glute activity.
Here are some of the best bodyweight glute exercises to get started with.
Glute Bridge – 2 sets of 12 reps with a 5-second hold at the top.
Bird Dog – 2 sets of 12 reps with a 3-second hold at the top.
Fire Hydrant – 2 Sets of 12 reps with 4-second count (2 seconds up 2 seconds down).
Performing these exercises every other day will be enough to keep your glutes strong and active. If you are looking to get the most out of your performance in sport and resistance training, make this a part of your routine today.
The movements that target glutes the best will activate them with little to no weight. Follow a gradual progression for best results.
In order to build and make any muscle stronger, adequate resistance is eventually needed.Once you have mastered the bodyweight exercises above, you can progress to these more advanced exercises.
Barbell Hip Thrust – 2 sets of 6-8 reps
Romanian Deadlift 2 sets of 10-12 reps
Bulgarian Split Squat (foot further forward for more glute focus) 2 sets of 10-12 reps
If you want to build stronger glutes and get the most out of your posterior performance you need to start incorporating these movements into your training routine. Begin by performing bodyweight exercises every other day and progress when you feel ready, from there you can keep adding weight and reps as you get stronger.