Gorgeous glutes. We all want them. Here are 5 unique exercises that will help you build a perkier bottom…
How To Train Your Glutes
Glute bridges, hip thrusts and cable kickbacks – these three exercises without doubt should be in every woman’s training program.
But, if you’ve been training for a while or if you train at home, you’ll appreciate some variation. That’s where these exercises come in.
However, before you even think about these exercises let’s talk about how you set up your week in terms of your training.
First of all, you need at least one day a week dedicated to training your glutes (I’m assuming you already lift weights – if not that’s your ‘first of all’).
Most guys have a “leg day.” If you’ve learned to train from your boyfriend/husband or other male friend, they wouldn’t have taught you to have a glute day because that’s not how guys train. If you’ve got one of those cookie cutter workout plans from your gym when you signed up, there won’t be a glute day either.
But – take my word for it – you need a glute day. You can have another leg day later in the week where you incorporate other exercises for your quads and hamstrings but most women need to give their glutes some focused attention.
Now that you’re convinced here’s how I structure my glute day.
I start every glute day with four or five sets of very heavy glute bridges. I lift 120-130 kg (265-285 lbs) for glute bridges. (Yep – that’s right and most days I weigh about 60 kg so that’s twice my weight!). Most of my intermediate level clients can do 60-80 kg (130-175 lbs) while my advanced clients do 100 kg (220 lbs) or more. Obviously it takes time to work up to these weights, but if you have been training for a while and you are still lifting light weights for glute bridges it’s time to up your game.
If you’ve chosen a challenging weight, you should feel pretty worn out after 4 or 5 sets of glute bridges. After glute bridges, I usually do another heavy set of something like cable kickbacks or donkey kicks on a machine. Then I move on to other exercises like the ones below.
5 Unique Glute Exercises
Kickbacks On A Bench
If you have a heavy bench, this is a fun little kickback variation. It’s even better if you have ankle weights. As with any type of kickback exercise, it’s important to squeeze your glutes every time you kick your leg back.
This exercise is actually very challenging and you’ll probably need to start with no weight at all. When performing side clams your bottom knee, calf and foot are all on the floor. They form the base from which you lift up. Your bottom leg is bent and you’ll need a folded mat under your bottom knee for comfort.
With this exercise, you always need to think about 1) keeping your hips up and 2) staying on your heels. As soon as you drop your hips, the exercise gets easy and you stop working your glutes. It’s not a super challenging exercise but you can use it at the end of your workout as a finishing movement or it also makes a good warm up exercise. It’s also a great exercise for beginners.
In this video I have one hand behind my head to support it but notice that I’m lightly supporting it only (as opposed to pulling it forward) so that it stays aligned with my spine.
Single-Leg Elevated Glute Bridges
Once your glutes are tired from all the heavy glute bridges and kickbacks, this is a good way to finish them off. I often use this exercise at the very end of a glute workout and do about 3 sets of 25 each leg. You can use a step, bench or chair to elevate your foot. Lower platforms will be easier for beginners.
Single-Leg Elevated Hip Thrusts
First of all, you need to be able to do single-leg hip thrusts with your foot on the floor before attempting this variation of the hip thrust. (In case you are wondering, hip thrusts are similar to glute bridges but your back is elevated on something like a bench, whereas glute bridges are performed with your back on the floor). More advanced trainees can try this variation with their foot elevated on another bench or step. Just make sure both benches (or whatever you are using) aren’t going to slide out from under you.
Hopefully, I’ve convinced you that you need a dedicated glute day – at least one a week. There’s so much more to lower body training than just squats and lunges. If you’ve got a flat bottom, cellulite or you carry a lot of weight on your hips and thighs, a properly designed program can make a big difference. Remember – women are different – so we need to train differently!
If you want help putting it all together, I’ve created a training program that’s all about legs. Check it out here.