The gluteus minimus, medius and maximus are the largest muscles in your body, and are responsible for the movement of your hips – and they are used every time you take a step. Strengthening your glutes can have a positive impact on almost everything you do, from climbing stairs to playing sports. The following glutes workouts are perfect for building these powerhouse muscles.
To perform a basic squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms out in front of you for balance. Lower your bottom, keeping your knees over your ankles, until your thighs are as close to being parallel to the ground as you can get. Then lift back to a standing position. For a more challenging variation, try a few Bulgarian split squats.
Find a handy bench or step and then stand with one foot on top to complete step-ups. Straighten your top leg, raising yourself up as you place your other foot on top of the bench. Step back down and then repeat with the opposite foot. Add resistance by holding a dumbbell in each hand.
Barbell Hip Thrust
Sit on the ground with your back against a bench and a barbell across your lap. Make sure to pad the barbell for comfort. Lift your hips, squeezing your glutes, until your shoulders, hips, and knees form a straight line. Then lower back down slowly.
A lunge is performed by standing with your feet together and then taking a wide step forward with one foot. Lower into the lunge until your forward leg forms a right angle and the shin of your back leg is parallel to the ground. Then stand back up and repeat with the opposite leg forward. Variations include explosive lunges, which involve jumping up and switching legs in mid-air, and deficit reverse lunges, where you will step back rather than forward.
Quadruped Hip Extensions
One of the best ways to work the gluteus maximus and medius muscles is with quadruped hip extensions. Start on your hands and knees, with your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Lift one leg behind you, with the knee still bent, until the sole of your foot is pointed up toward the ceiling. Lower your leg back down. Do about 10 reps before switching legs.
As you build your glutes muscles through workouts such as these, you will see some significant benefits. Weak glutes mean imbalanced hips and additional pressure on your back and knees. Strengthening those muscles with glutes workouts reduces both the risk of injury and chronic pain in the immediate area. It also improves your athletic performance, since powerful glutes translate to greater strength, speed, and agility in nearly every movement. Even everyday tasks, such as climbing stairs or lifting heavy objects, will be easier.
Your glutes are large muscles that provide strength and control for almost every motion you make. It only makes sense to spend quality time building them up – since doing so will help improve your ability to perform other workouts as well. Try adding a few of these classic glutes workouts to your routine today!