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If you want to wake up your glutes because they are weak, underdeveloped or just not looking the way you want them to, then this is the video you’re not going to want to miss. Here, I’m going to show you four glute exercises (only two of which you need to do) that can be done every day to help you build bigger, stronger glutes and that will have a byproduct of less hip and low back dysfunction.
The key to glute exercises and their effectiveness is to be sure you’re working on the right ones. Far too often, when people try and do glute workouts they focus on exercises for glutes that are primarily using the glute max. Trust me, if you are doing squats, lunges, step ups, leg press, deadlifts, or any other sagittal plane dominant leg exercise your glute max is getting plenty of work already.
The glute muscle that is almost always underdeveloped and weak however is the one we want to hit here. It’s called the glute medius.
The functions of the glute max and glute medius are very different. While the maximus is an effective hip extender and slight external hip rotator, the medius has an incredibly strong capability of controlling the hip in the frontal plane through abduction and the transverse plane through hip rotation. Unless you are purposely putting exercises into your hip and glute workouts that engage the muscles through these motions you simply will not develop these muscles to their capacity.
The result of not paying enough attention to the right muscles in the glutes goes way beyond just the aesthetic repercussions. The butt will not only look flat and potentially sagging but the internal hip stability and strength will be lacking which often times leads to injuries and weakness in the low back and hip muscles.
So in order to get this right there are a few things we can do. The good thing is, everything I show you here can be done at any time during the day and without any equipment needed.
The first two are performed on the floor. This is slightly inferior to the standing version but if you are a beginner it provides you with a better opportunity to engage the muscles and feel them contract. This is especially helpful for those whose glutes need to wake up having never really been stimulated through current every day activities.
While laying on your side, point the toe on the top leg down towards the ground. Be sure to bring the leg in front of the body and keep it there the entire time. Now, lift the leg up towards the ceiling as high as you can. This is called hip abduction. Don’t worry about how many reps you can do, instead focus on getting a strong contraction in the hip and hold it for a brief second before proceeding into your next rep. Keep the quality high and stop when you cannot resist the burn any more.
Next exercise, bring the leg behind the body and this time point the toe up towards the ceiling. Once again, lift the leg up as high as you can keeping the toe pointed up throughout. Stop when the burn is too much. You don’t need to do these any more than one set per day but make sure you stay consistent with it since this is where you’ll start to build the mind muscle connection needed to really see benefits.
The last two exercises can be done as an alternative to the laying down versions, and these are done standing up.
For the first one, as before, bring your leg in front of your body with the toe pointed down towards the ground. Swing the leg out to the side into hip abduction as far as you can go. Make sure to remember to drop the hip on the leg that is standing on the ground to get abduction on it as well, making this a perfect two-for-one glute exercise.
Finally, with the leg slightly behind the body, point your toe to the sky and swing your leg up. Here, as you swing be sure to rotate your hips as shown to include closed chain hip external rotation as a component of the function of the glute medius you are trying to train.
If you do these consistently I promise not only will you have a better, rounder looking butt and stronger glutes but your hips and low back will be healthier in the long run.
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