Sitting too long can have many negative effects on the body. Aside from increasing your risk of heart disease, colon cancer and diabetes, sitting all day can leave your glutes atrophied and sore.
This is why you need exercises to build up your glutes – not just so they don’t appear flat (I mean, everyone wants a great butt), but so that your posture can improve, as well as eliminate back pain.
Why Strengthen The Gluteus Muscles?
The gluteal muscles play an important role in maximizing the strength in your legs, as well as stabilizing the pelvis during activities like walking, running and climbing.
As mentioned above, strong glutes and hamstrings help improve posture, alleviate lower back, hip and knee pain, enhance athletic performance, reduce bone density loss, and even burn fat (especially in the abdominal area).
Because muscle burns more calories at rest than does fat, increasing lean muscle mass via glute exercises can accelerate fat loss, and keep it off for good.
5 Effective Exercises To Build The Glutes
1. Donkey Kicks
1. Start on the ground on your hands and knees at shoulder’s and hip’s width apart.
2. Keep your abs and glutes tight and raise your right heel towards the ceiling so that your foot is directly above your butt. Don’t bring your thigh any higher than your torso to avoid injuring your spine.
3. Hold the position and slowly return your knee towards the ground without touching it.
4. Repeat 20 times each leg, and perform 3 sets. Increase workout intensity by strapping on 1-2 pound ankle weights.
2. Fire Hydrant
1. Start in the same hands and knees position as above.
2. Keeping the knee in a bent position, raise your leg out to the side until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Keep your pelvis stable.
3. Slowly lower your leg back to the starting position, resisting the urge to touch your knee to the floor.
4. Repeat the movement 15 times on each leg and perform 3 sets.
3. Single Leg Elevated Glute Bridge
1. Lay on the floor with your knees bent and one foot on top of a bench.
2. Make sure your hips are shoulder width apart. As for the foot that is on the bench, you can decide whether you want to put your heel on top of the bench, or the mid/backs of your feet on the edge of the bench.
3. Pick up your hips by driving through the heel and squeezing your glutes. Do NOT arch your lower back.
4. At the top position, hold for a count, and then lower your hips back down to the ground. Repeat 15 times on each leg, and perform 3 sets.
4. Squat Pulse
1. Start with your feet hip-width apart, and arms stretched out in front of you.
2. Perform a squat as you normally would, dropping down to the ground with your butt pushed back and knees never over your toes. Pretend like you are sitting in an imaginary chair.
3. Instead of coming right back up, hold that seated squat position at the bottom, and pulse a few inches up and down. If you need a bit of a break, you can rise up, then return down for more pulses. Perform 3 sets of 30 pulses.
5. Barbell Hip Thrust
1. Begin seated on the ground with a bench directly behind you. Have a loaded barbell over your legs (alternatively, you can use without a barbell if you don’t have access to barbells). Using a pad over your legs can reduce any discomfort.
2. Roll the bar so that it is directly above your hips, and lean back against the bench so that your shoulder blades are near the top of it.
3. Begin by driving through your feet, extending your hips vertically through the bar. Keep your weight steady through your shoulder blades and feet.
4. Extend as far as possible, then reverse the motion and return to starting position.
5. Do 15 repetitions and perform 3 sets.
BONUS – Barbell Sumo Deadlifts
If you have access to a gym or have gym equipment of your own, you can do deadlifts, which are incredibly beneficial for building the gluteal muscles. Repeat 10 times and perform 3 sets.