Having sleek, shapely, toned glutes is the goal of health enthusiasts everywhere. Strength training and body sculpting glute exercises can lift and firm the gluteal muscles giving you those coveted toned and shapely glutes. Follow along with this workout to see toned glutes fast!
The Gluteal Muscles
The gluteals are made up of three different muscles: The gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.
The gluteus maximus is the largest of the gluteal muscles, as well as one of the strongest muscles in the human body. It is responsible for both hip flexion and extension.
The gluteus medius provides stability to the pelvis and sacrum (the large triangular bone at the base of your spine).
The gluteus minimus comes into play during pelvic tilting.
Tighten & Tone
This workout will tone, tighten, and shape your glutes. Use it two to three times per week, and keep well-hydrated during your workout. As you get more comfortable with the moves, you can increase the number of sets you do for each exercise.
The following glute workout incorporates bodyweight resistance moves, as well as exercises using free weights or a weighted bar. When using any type of weights, you should start off with minimal exertion on the first few repetitions. You should feel the burn during your last few repetitions, which should be more difficult to complete. It’s important not to start with a weight that is too heavy from the start.
Targeting the hamstrings and glutes, this exercise can be done using either free weights or a weighted bar.
- Holding a free weight in each hand or a weighted bar with your hands placed shoulder-distance apart, stand with your feet hip-distance apart and your knees slightly bent. Allow your arms to relax in front of your body with your palms facing your body. This is your starting position.
- Slowly bend forward at the hips, keeping your back flat and abdominal muscles tight. As you bend forward, your arms will naturally move closer to your shins as they’re lowered; continue to bend forward until your weights are at mid-shin height. Your tailbone should remain pointing backward.
- Slowly lift back up to your starting position.
- Repeat 10-12 repetitions to complete one set, and then rest for one minute before beginning another set.
Modified Hydrants with Weights
This variation of the traditional hydrant uses free weights for increased intensity.
- Position yourself on all fours with your hands placed directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Place one free weight on your right leg, behind your knee. Squeeze the weight by bending your knee to hold it in place.
- Contracting your abdominal muscles, lift the right leg up, keeping the knee in a bent position and squeezing the weight. Lift your leg until your knee is parallel to your hip.
- Slowly lower the leg back down until your knee is about an inch from the floor, and then repeat.
- Complete 10-12 repetitions for one set. Then release the weight and pull your hips back over your ankles, relax your chest forward, and stretch your arms forward over your head in child’s pose.
- Repeat another set with the right leg, and then switch sides.
This Pilates exercise works the hamstrings and glutes, while also engaging your core.
- Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms along your sides with your palms on the floor to support the lift. This is your starting position.
- Slowly press down with your heels and lift your hips, rolling up one vertebrae at a time until your body is in a diagonal position from your knees to your shoulders (which should remain on the floor). Be careful to allow your weight to rest on your shoulders rather than your neck.
- Hold this position, squeezing the glutes for 30 seconds, and then slowly roll back down to your starting position.Complete this move three times.
If you’re looking for more of a challenge, try either of these variations:
Rather than leaving your arms at your sides, hold a free weight in each hand and place your hands on your hip bones. Then complete the bridge as described above.
Follow the directions for the regular bridge position. When your hips are lifted off the floor, though, slowly extend the right leg as if you were pressing your heel into the ceiling. Hold this lift for 15-30 seconds, and then release the leg and roll down from the bridge. Then repeat again with the left leg.
This variation of the traditional lunge works the hamstrings, glutes, and outer thighs.
- Holding a weight in each hand, stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Relax your arms at your sides. This is your starting position.
- With your right leg, step back and cross your right leg behind the left leg, making a “curtsy” motion. Keep your front knee over your ankle and your chest lifted.
- Return to your starting position and then do a curtsy lunge with the left leg.
- Repeat 10 lunges on each leg, and then rest. If your legs are not too fatigued, you can add another set of lunges.
Adding movements to traditional lunges require more balance and control.
- Making sure you have ample room to move forward (a hallway or large room is perfect), stand with a free weight in each hand. Relax your arms down your sides.
- Step forward with your right foot and get into a lunge position by bending your knee until your hips are parallel with your right knee. Make sure to keep your knee directly over your ankle and your chest lifted.
- Step your left foot forward, bringing your feet together. Then lunge forward with your left leg.
- Repeat the walking lunges until you reach the end of your space, and then turn around and continue lunging until you’ve completed 20-30 lunges.
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