Buttock exercises are what everyone asks. The gluteus maximus or buttocks for short is the butt muscle. It is also the largest muscle in the body. Everyone wants a ‘toned’ tramp but not many people really know how to work the glues.
For most people, the buttocks are a fairly inactive muscle that does not contract and does its job as it should. This is explained below …
We spend so much time sitting down that our hip flexors (front of the hips) tense and facilitate. Due to reciprocal inhibition, our buttocks lose power due to hip flexors. In addition, due to the amount of time we spend sitting, our buttocks lengthen and inhibit. When this happens, other muscles (hamstrings, lower back) become dominant synergists and take over movements such as squat and lunge. So, now your buttocks are not doing the exercise they need. This can lead to:
- Anterior inclination of the pelvis (and instability of the pelvis) and poor posture.
- Back injuries.
- Hamstring injuries.
- Knee problems especially for runners.
A very simple way to work the buttocks and return them to the shape and resistance they should be is:
- Stretch the hip flexors to inhibit them and send more power to the buttocks.
- Choose an isolation exercise from the list below.
- Choose a functional buttock exercise from the list below to integrate the buttocks into a functional movement.
Buttock Isolation Exercises
Lateral elevation of the legs (frogs or clams).
For this exercise you should lie on your side with your back flat against the wall. Have your knees bent at 90 degrees and the souls of your feet flat against the wall. Make sure your shoulders and hips are completely flat against the wall.
Keeping your feet together, lift your upper leg so that the knee is as close as possible to the wall (like a clam opening).
Perform 5 sets of 10 seconds keeping it at the highest point. Then, without any rest, perform 20 individual repetitions of full range.
To progress in this exercise, have someone add small amounts of resistance against your knee.
Bridge of one leg.
Lie on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your feet flat on the floor. Then push your lower back toward the floor and lift your bottom off the ground as high as you can. Be sure to always push the lower back toward the floor by contracting the abs.
Then, when in the upper position, stretch one leg and hold it there for 10 seconds. Build up to 5 sets of 10 seconds.
When you have completed the 10-second static holdings, move on to the full-range repetitions with the leg that does not work straight in the whole set. Make sure you are always squeezing your abs and pulling your lower back toward the floor.
For this exercise, place yourself on a Swiss ball with your elbows on the floor.
Then, when contracting the buttocks, lift your legs so that they form a straight line with your body.
Build up to 3 sets of 20 reps and then start adding small amounts of weight to your feet.
Functional buttock exercises
This exercise is one of the best buttock exercises. And you’ll know for days!
This can be done with only body weight, hand weights or a back bar.
Take a big step and move until the back knee almost touches the floor. Then, put the weight on your front leg and move on to the next lunge.
Do 3 sets of 20 reps.
To do this, take a big step back and lower the upper body so that your hands touch the floor. Then, with your chest up, stand straight and squeeze your hips forward.
Alternate the legs and perform 3 sets of 20 repetitions. Or do each leg individually and do 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each leg. Progress by holding weights in your hands.
Squats are a great exercise for the lower half of your body, but if you are doing half squats, you will not recruit your buttocks effectively. To really make this one of those buttock exercises that gives them intense training, you need deep squats. Even passed parallel almost as if you were sitting in a very low position.
A good way to train to do deep squats is to set an aerobic step behind you and squat so that your butt simply touches you and then squats again. For someone who is a little less stable or confident on their feet, I would say this is a good place to start the buttocks squat exercises section and then move on.
At the top of the movement, hit the hips by squeezing the buttocks. Add resistance so you have the challenge of performing 3 sets of 10 reps.
For more ‘body area’ exercises, take a look at my series of stomach exercises that can be found on my website with illustrations of images, or by clicking on my profile and viewing them from there.