The glutes, which comprise of three individual muscles in our butt are a muscle group many men in particular neglect to specifically target in their training. The reason why many don’t focus on these muscle is simple, it is embarrassing for most guys to do so at the gym, and they think it won’t do them too much harm.
Many people think that their glutes are getting enough work from their squats or deadlifts, but many of them are also wrong. Many people are really lacking when it comes to their glute strength, and could really benefit from doing exercises that specifically target them.
A common problem many people suffer from is back pain and a large waistline, both problems which can be worsened by weak glutes. The glutes are important when it comes to bending, sitting, standing up straight and generally maintaining proper posture.
If your glutes aren’t strong enough to do their job, the back muscles are the ones that have to take on the load, hence weak glutes being the root cause of back issues for so many people out there.
What Are the Best Glute Exercises to Do?
The first thing you need to know when it comes to glute exercises is that they are a relatively dense muscle group that gets a lot of daily use, so you can target them multiple times a week. The amount of reps and sets you will do is going to be dependent on your fitness level.
If you are new to exercise, generally you want to keep the weight low and do a high amount of reps. More experienced weight lifters should focus on using higher weight and lower repetitions to help further develop the three glute muscles.
Another important thing to keep in mind when it comes to your glutes is that you want to maintain balance between them, your abdominal muscles and your back. These three groups are what keeps your body erect and helps you maintain proper posture, so make sure to train all three groups equally.
One of the most popular squat variations is the barbell squat where the barbell rests on top of the shoulders. This is something you are probably already doing on your leg day if you regularly exercise, and if that is that case you should try a different variation when working your glutes.
While the barbell squat is very effective in working the glutes, it puts a lot of strain on the spine and if you’re going to be doing squats multiple times a week to work your glutes, you may want to avoid doing them the traditional way.
Other methods include using dumbbells and holding the weight by your side to perform a squat, or you can use a barbell to perform a squat by placing it across your arms, otherwise known as a zercher squat.
If you have done a deadlift before, then doing this exercise should be relatively easy to get a hang of. The Romanian deadlift is performed like a regular deadlift except instead of bending at the knee, you are going to pivot using your waist.
While doing this exercise make sure to keep your legs as straight as possible with a slight bend in the knee to target your glutes as much as possible. The more you bend your knees the more you are going to engage your quads and hamstrings so try to avoid doing so.
Lunges are another exercise that you are going to want to do to hit your glutes, and will also give your stabilizing muscles in the back and abdominal some work as well to help your posture overall.
To do a lunge, you will need two dumbbells which you will hold one at each side. Start standing up straight, and you will want to maintain an upright posture in your upper body throughout the exercise. Your lower body should be doing all of the movement throughout this exercise.
Take one step forward with either leg, bending at the knee to where it is bent just above a 90 degree angle. Your other knee should be close to the floor but not touching. Push off of your front foot and bend your other knee at about the same angle, bringing the first knee to about the floor.
Once you become advanced you can move on to lateral lunges and other variations.