The Best Exercises for Your Glutes
By Holly Schoch
, last updated January 19, 2012
Whether looking to increase performance or simply look better come swim season, glutes are a power muscle group for your body and should be approached as such. Finding the best exercises to work your glutes is the key to having a strong, sculpted lower body. Glutes play a vital role in running; stabilizing the hip during recovery and also helping with foot propulsion.
Butt lift bridge is a phenomenal exercise to work the glutes and is really low impact. To get into position, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep you back straight as you lift your hips toward the ceiling, making sure you contract your core and exhale the air out of your lungs as you do so. Hold this position and squeeze the buttocks before lowering your hips to the floor. Repeat this exercise 20 times.
To work both the hamstrings and the glutes, glute kickbacks are the perfect exercise to get the job done. To begin, get on your hands and knees, making sure the back is flat and your neck is in a neutral position. Extend the leg up, so that it is parallel with the floor and the leg is bent at the knee with the foot extended towards the ceiling. Then, lift the leg towards the ceiling while keeping the glutes tight. Do this 20 times on each side.
To increase the intensity of the glute kickback, get onto all fours, but instead of using your hands to hold you up, rely on your forearms. Then, before extending the leg back, use the strength in your forearms to lift your body off the ground. Now, the only thing supporting your weight should be your forearms and your toes. Then, extend the leg back, so that it is parallel with the floor. For each repetition, lift the leg higher, making sure you squeeze your glute during the full range of motion.
Front lunge push-offs are a great way to tone the entire lower body and core. For extra resistance, use a set of dumbbells. To get into position, stand with feet a little less than shoulder length apart and your hands at your side. Then, do a forward lunge, making sure the front knee doesn't extend over the toe line. Keep an eye on the back leg as well. It shouldn't touch the floor and you should only go as low as you can before you experience an uncomfortable, painful sensation.
Then, push off using your front foot. Use the force of the push to get you onto your back leg while the other leg is bent and facing parallel to the floor. Balance for a moment before returning to the start position. This exercise should be repeated 10 to 12 times on each side.
It is a common misconception that only females should exercise their glutes. However, strong glutes are important for every athlete, regardless of their gender. These exercises are some of the best and will quickly lead to the results you've been craving.