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Squats, lunges and leg presses are the lower body exercises that usually steal the show, and while everyone is aware of the importance of core training, and probably does three thousand sit-ups a day, the muscles around your backside don’t tend to get much of a look in.
This is a big mistake.
Your glutes are actually several different muscles that form together to make the bulk of your backside. Stronger glutes are absolutely vital to almost every action in day to day life. Your glutes are involved in all the movements of your hips, and play a massive role in athletic movements, such as sprinting, running, jumping, leaping and stepping side to side.
Read More: 10 Myths About Exercise That Won't Die
Not only that, but strong glutes can help to prevent and alleviate lower back pain. Back pain is often not a result of a weak lower back, rather weak glutes, meaning your back muscles have to do extra work, become misaligned and fatigued and present symptoms of pain.
Finally, and possibly most crucially, training your glutes makes your backside look a whole lot better. There’s no point losing fat and getting lean if your butt is still saggy, with no muscle mass.
Working your backside doesn’t have to be overly complicated though. In this article we’ll look at a huge variety of glute exercises, right up from some simple beginner moves, through to advanced exercises that will take your glute training to the next level.
At-Home Backside Exercises
You don’t even need a gym to work your glutes.
Start with the glute bridge.
Glute Bridge Raises
Lie on the floor with your hands by your sides and your knees bent to 90 degrees. Dig your heels into the floor and lift your toes up. Hold your stomach tight, then push your hips up as high as you can. Squeeze your glutes in the top position, pause for a count of two, then lower your hips down again slowly until your butt lightly touches the floor, then go again. Aim to keep tension on your butt muscles throughout and keep practicing until you can do 15 reps.
The next stage is to progress the basic glute bridge.
Elevated Glute Bridge Raises
Lie in the same position, but this time at the bottom of a set of stairs, or with a kitchen chair in front of you. Place your heels on the step or chair and perform the movement in exactly the same way. Having your feet elevated makes this much tougher. It’s the same deal here – work your way up to 15 reps before progressing.
Single-Leg Glute Bridges
You can probably guess how to perform these from the name. They’re very similar to the above exercises, but performed with just one leg on the floor. Your other leg can just hover next to it. You can do your single leg glute bridges on the flat or in an elevated position. Make sure you do the same number of reps both sides. Do all your reps on one leg, then switch immediately to the other with no rest in between.
Your stairs can be a great piece of home workout equipment. Stand at the bottom and place your right foot on the highest stair you can reach without straining. Push up forcefully and bring your left leg up to join it. Pause briefly, then take your left leg back to the floor. Perform eight reps like this, then eight with your left leg on the stair. Keep building up the number of repetitions, hold some weights in your hand or wear a backpack with weights in it to increase the challenge.
- “Dispelling the Glute Myth”, By Bret Contreras, Published on September 16, 2009, Accessed on March 5th, 2013, Retrieved from http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/dispelling_the_glute_myth
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