WHATS IMPORTANT TO KNOW:
First off no matter who you are, athlete, mature client, appearance client, functional client, fat loss client, body builder client, you should train your glutes! The glutes are some of the most powerful muscles in the human body. Your “engine” if you will. Anybody that walks in our gym does some sort of glute training! Mature and athletic clients benefit from training the glutes as weak hips are the root cause to preventing and helping knee and back pain.
The glutes need some sort of emphasis. Whether you just activate them to prevent them from becoming to dormant, using mini Band Activation drills, body weight glute bridges, or hip circuits like (Nicole shows us some low level activation drills in this video below)…. Or you strength train them (which you should do both) it is important to at least keep them activated, alive, strong and up to date!
“LEG TRAINING” MAY NOT BE THE BEST FOR “BUTT” TRAINING:
I often here people list the exercises they perform in the gym and refer to them as “the butt exercises I do are…” then proceed to name me more quad dominate exercise choices such as lunges, squats, step ups, leg extension machine etc. A “leg” work out is great since other muscles other than just the glutes need to be trained, however, “leg exercises” may not be best suited for butt development. In fact some leg exercises may cause growth to the front of your legs, which is a good thing if that’s what you are shooting for, but not a good thing if that’s not your goal. If you want your hips to go up a little and out a little to fit the jeans a little better check out these tips below!
HOW MANY REPS??:
Well, the glutes have a ton of motor units do their size. So a mixture of high loads and high volume is generally a good approach. This simply means that alike from most exercises, I am believer in the fact that some exercises should (most of the time) be done for lower reps and heavier weight and some exercises should be done for higher reps, with constant tension, using lighter weight. I will give you some exercise examples below and rep schemes in sec! We tend to do our heavy exercises for low reps first, then follow with the lighter exercises for higher reps after. This just prevents injury and simply allows for the body to take on the highest demand when most fresh!
What is even more important in my eyes is to understand how the directions the glutes should be trained. Hip Extensions work the lower glutes a little more. Abduction / External Rotation favor the upper and outer glutes a little more.
(lower glutes) Here Britt shows us elevated torso barbell hip thrust and a barbell sumo dead lift variation. Both exercises were really glute friendly exercises. We went heavy here did 3 sets of 5 reps for each exercise. Obviously these will work the entire posterior chain but will really develop those low glutes from sagging. Directions on how to properly perform these exercises can be found in the description part of the video below! (So low rep – heavy strength work – lower glute emphasis COMPLETE)
As a side note: As mentioned these 2 exercises are perfect examples of exercises that I think should be kept heavy and done for low sets, however, we also do the hip thrusters sometimes using just body weight for high reps on an interval clock, 20 secs on 10 seconds off. We also do the same high rep interval approach with a band around the hips (forcing tension at the top of the exercise.) You could do some heavy sets for low reps with the barbell, then once completed go into body weight or band resisted sets for a nice pump to mix things up!!
(upper Glutes / outside parts of the hips)
We often emphasize moving lateral with bands or band resisted abduction exercises.
Moving Lateral Example: Put a band at your ankles, soft knee bend, hips down, chest up, prevent the feet from ever actually touching together, go 10 steps down and then 10 steps back. That equals one set. Or for an even greater challenge put a band both below your knees on your ankle and walk 10 steps down and back! As shown in the video below! Repeat this 3/5 rounds for high rep, lots of tension, lighter weight sets! You can get these “mini bands” at performbetter.com
For abduction exercises try seated mini band openers. Place your feet about shoulder width put a band below your knees and pull apart using your glutes. To make this even harder put one band above your knees and one band below the knees! Now try! We do this for pyramids. Meaning 20 reps rest / 15 reps rest / 10 reps rest / 5 reps! One really hard finisher or challenge for abduction with mini band openers is an idea I adapted from world renowned strength coach Bret Contreras also know as the glute guy! Here Britt shows us an advanced variation where she is using a band below the knees, performing 15 reps followed by a 15 second hold. She does this leaning forward then sitting straight up, then leaning back! This is simply a fun way to hit the glutes on different angles! The example of this can be seen in this video below!
BONUS: (Jumping & Sprinting)
Any person that jumps a lot chances are they have a good butt. Look at volley ball players, basketball, gymnastics, dancers etc. The glutes respond well to high intensity jumping such as squat jumps as shown in the video below (go down with a controlled quality squat, then explode up) they also respond well to sprints! Hill sprints. Straight away sprints, intervals are all good options!
Use heavy weights for low amount of reps and lighter weights with high reps and lots of tension! Do Hip thrusts, Sumo Dead Lifts, and lateral band work! I know there are other options when training the glutes and more info that could have been added to this blog but it was getting long enough without it! LOL
If you do have any questions or would like me to share more info, ideas, exercises, or concepts on training the glutes feel free to message me! We also have several videos on our youtube channel.