Looking to strengthen your glutes? Here are 5 easy exercises to do at home.
While previously reserved for women, building up your buttocks is now everyone’s business. Without distinction, you only have to go to a gym to see athletes of all kinds wanting to build up and tone their buttocks. However, this muscle is difficult to recruit and target effectively. During a gluteal session, it is not uncommon for the hamstrings or the quadriceps to take precedence. To avoid this, we offer you the 5 best exercises to build up your buttocks with or without equipment.
Exercise 1: Squatting is not the best choice: choose the Bulgarian squat
To start a gluteal session, it is not uncommon to opt for the classic squat. It is simply a question of carrying out flexions-extensions with the feet apart of a width of shoulder.
This exercise has the advantage of being familiar to everyone, and can be performed by beginners to high-level athletes. However, for the vast majority of the population, the squat is not the best choice when it comes to building up the buttocks. The fact of having the supports on the same plane, of a width of shoulders will make it possible to solicit mainly its thighs, with the detriment of the buttocks.
To remedy this, we suggest the Bulgarian squat. This variation consists of placing your back leg on a high support such as a bench or a chair. Then, the more you move your front leg forward, the more the posterior muscle chain will be solicited. The Bulgarian squat is therefore more effective for building up the buttocks because of the distance between the supports.
The Bulgarian squat can be carried out empty or with dumbbells, and can be practised both in the gym and at home. The only difficulty lies in managing your balance. If this is your case, bring a broomstick in front of you to stabilise yourself during the first few sessions. Finally, don’t forget that a good range of motion is often recommended to build up muscle effectively. Thus, do not hesitate to go down to the best of your possibilities during the Bulgarian squat.
Exercise 2: Lunges for maximum muscle soreness
Lunges are widely practised to build up the muscles of the buttocks. This is a good thing as it is an effective exercise. Here again, it is the fact of having one leg forward and the other backward that allows you to build up your buttocks effectively.
You should know that there are dozens of variations. We encourage you to try them all in order to identify the one that gives you the most sensation on the buttock muscle.
In addition to this, you can use a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells or simply your body weight. Personally, I have chosen the walking lunges, which give me a good feeling during the session and excellent muscle soreness in the buttocks a few days later.
As for execution, don’t botch your lunges. The exercise consists of doing a lunge so that your knee brushes the ground before you start the next repetition. Finally, remember to keep your back straight during the exercise.
Exercise 3: The hip thrust, arguably the best exercise for strengthening the glutes
The hip thrust is probably the best exercise to build up your glutes. In addition to providing excellent sensations, this exercise will allow you to shape your buttocks thanks to the use of heavy loads while improving your sports performance. So building up your buttocks is not just for aesthetic reasons.
The hip thrust improves your performance!
This exercise muscles your buttocks but not only that. A study published in the magazine “Sport & Vie” n°167 of March-April 2018 informs us that the hip thrust also improves running performance, whereas the squat, favouring the development of vertical strength, is not the most suitable for runners.
Finally, for the average person, hip thrust can be practiced anywhere. In the gym, on the move at the hotel, outdoors or at home. With loads, hip thrust allows you to build up your buttocks with unlimited scope for improvement. At home, the exercise can be done with body weight, if possible on one leg to make the exercise more difficult. The movement then consists in placing yourself on your back, feet flat on the ground before carrying out hip flexions-extensions. A small piece of advice, which is important, keep the contraction 2 seconds at the top of the movement to feel your buttocks working intensely.
Exercise 4: Hip abductions, ideal for building muscle at home
Hip abductions are widely used in fitness to tone the buttocks. In order to build up your buttocks effectively, you can incorporate these exercises into your training programme.
Here again, the advantage is that this type of movement can be performed with or without equipment. Here, the equipment is simple: a floor mat, a weight to be attached to your ankles or an elastic band will do the trick.
When it comes to exercise, there is a wide range of choices. The idea is to move your leg away from the axis of your body to target your buttocks. You can do leg raises on all fours, on your side or standing on the floor. For example, stand on all fours with your back flat. The exercise consists of stretching one leg backwards to raise it horizontally.
Exercise 5: The classic straight legged deadlift
We often hear that multi-joint exercises are the most effective. This is the case with the straight legged deadlift. In a single movement, you strengthen your buttocks, lumbar vertebrae and hamstrings. These exercises are therefore to be preferred, supplemented at the end of the training by isolation exercises such as hip abductions which target only one muscle like the glutes.
On the other hand, when it comes to building up the hamstrings, the ranking is reversed with an advantage for the deadlift at the expense of the hip thrust.
The deadlift can be dangerous for the back. It is therefore important to adopt the correct posture in order to take full advantage of it. The best thing is to have a sports coach correct you when you first try. They will keep telling you that it is essential to position your back correctly. Throughout the exercise, make sure you maintain your natural arch. You should never perform the deadlift with a round back.
The movement consists of lowering the bar to the mid-shin before raising it to the top position. The bar should follow as much as possible the extension of your shins and then your thighs. This exercise is misleading because it is possible, even recommended, to carry out a light bending of the knees for more ease. It is thus not really a question of carrying out it with the completely tended legs.
Finally, if you want to build up your buttocks with maximum efficiency, we advise you not to go all the way up in the standing position. Stop a few centimetres beforehand in order to maintain a continuous tension on the buttocks throughout your series.