Glutes are a popular area for many people to focus on in the gym. Not only is it great to have an attractive bum, but glutes are also an essential muscle in most forms of exercise.

The muscle group we know as “glutes” is a team of three: the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus. They’re a powerhouse when it comes to movement: with anything from standing up to running a marathon, your glutes are the key to keeping you fit.

squat

Keep Them Strong to Avoid Injury

Despite this, glutes are often forgotten from some training programmes as more attention is given to strengthening and maintaining core strength. While core strength is key in avoiding injury and in maintaining proper form during exercise, the glutes are also hugely important in avoiding injury while working out.

According to Runner’s Word, studies link glute weakness to Achilles tendinitis, shin splintsrunner’s knee, and iliotibial-band syndrome.

On the more positive flipside, though, when your glutes are strong, every activity you do is improved and positively impacted!

So, that’s more than enough reasons to strengthen your glutes. The next question is, how?

Strengthening Your Glutes

There are many ways of going about strengthening your glutes. It is recommended to exercise them between 2 and 3 times a week to keep your body strong.

Another benefit of focusing on your glutes is that, as they are loaded with muscles that can grow larger, you can easily see the benefits from your workouts take hold.

What’s the Best Way to Go About Glute Exercises?

While many will invariably head to the machines when thinking about working on their glutes, it may actually be better and more efficient to focus on functional bodyweight training exercises. With these, you can gradually add weight to your exercises as you become stronger.

Let’s take a look at some great glute exercises to shape and tone your muscles!

Remember: to avoid injury when exercising, listen to your body and stop if the exercise becomes at all painful. And of course, warm up! You can check out our blog for a good warm up routine here.

Let’s Have a Look at Some Glute Activation Exercises!

Glute Activation is a set of warm up movements which properly target and warm up your glute muscles so that you can effectively strengthen and tone them throughout your workout.

There are so many excellent ways to work out your glutes. Let’s have a look at five exercises which will challenge you a tad more than your regular squats!

lunge

  1. Crab Walks 

These might look easy, but they’ll leave your muscles burning all day long! Here’s how to do them:

Holding a medicine ball or weight in front of your chest, plant both feet together on the floor.

Keeping your right foot on the floor, release your left leg and take one large step sideways. Your feet should be further than shoulder width apart.

Looking straight ahead, bend at both the hips and knees, ensuring that your knees remain in line with your toes. Continue bending your knees until your upper legs are parallel with the floor. Ensure that your back remains between 45 and 90 degrees of your hips.

Push through your heels and extend your legs to return to a neutral standing position and bring your feet together.

Repeat, ensuring that you complete an equal number of reps on both sides.

  1. Barbell Hip Thrusts

As well as working on your glutes, this exercise will strengthen your thighs and lower back. Grab your barbell and get to it!

Resting your upper back on the bench, push up, creating a 90 degree from where your foot is to your knee.

Ensure you are always looking forward and keeping your chin to your chest so you are not hurting your spine.

Complete 4 sets of 10-12 reps.

Step and dumbel

  1. Single Leg Deadlift

You’ll definitely be feeling the burn with this one.

Stand on your right leg with your left leg behind you in the air.

Keeping your shoulders back and your back straight, hinge forward and reach your hands towards the ground.

Return back up and repeat.

Hold weight or a medicine ball for an additional challenge!
Do 2 to 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps.

  1. Single Leg Squats

Remember to maintain proper form when performing these exercises so that you avoid injuring yourself or your glutes.

Stand on your right leg and lift left leg out in front of you.

Stand tall (don’t round your shoulders), and extend arms straight out so they are parallel to left leg.

Keep right knee over right ankle as you send hips back and lower down into a squat.

Your hands can extend out for balance.

Push into right heel to come back to starting position.

Complete reps then repeat on other leg.

Start with shallow squats, then go deeper as it becomes easier.

Do 2 to 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps.

Kettlebells 8KG

  1. Sumo Squat with Kettlebell

This exercise is a great upgrade from the classic squat. It perfectly targets your glutes while remaining an achievable workout for all levels.

Stand with your legs wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed out.

Hold the kettlebell handle in both hands between your legs, with your palms facing in.

Looking forwards and keeping your chest up, lower your body by bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground.

Then, push back up.

Keep your back straight and heels on the ground throughout, and keep the pace slow and controlled.

Do 2 to 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps.

Technogym 20KG weight

Have a Good Workout!

With 2 to 3 sets of these five glute activation exercises, your glutes will be burning by the end of the workout!

Remember to adequately cool down and stretch your muscles afterwards to get the full benefits of the exercise.

And as always, please feel free to ask our excellent Beckwith Health Club staff if you need any help with form, placements, or equipment