We’ve covered quite a bit in Part I and Part II of the “Feng Shui Your Butt” series, and now we are going to just get right to it. Here are the best ways to train the glutes.
These are hip dominant exercises that are driven by the hamstrings and glutes. They are much more effective than squats, dead lifts and lunges. Those are knee dominant exercises and involve a lot more quad and erector recruitment. You will use the glutes, but only at the end range of the motion.
All of these exercises are great to do, but be smart about them. Do body weight versions first, master those, then challenge yourself further. There is no valor in watching from the sidelines because you went to hard and injured yourself.
If you have any current joint issues, particularly the back, DO NOT DO THESE UNTIL YOU’VE BEEN MEDICALLY CLEARED.
1) Loaded bridges
Nothing will activate more glute fibers than this. There are several ways to load this exercise to satisfy any strength level. You can use an Olympic bar, chains, Olympic plates, a dumbbell and bands and pulleys.
You can elevate your feet on a box or a bench. You can hang from a bar or TRX with you feet on a bench. You are only limited by your ability to recruit some glute in terms of how you can do this.
If you get bored, you can start working on the single leg version.
3) Glute/Ham Raises
This is another incredible way to hammer your hips. It looks like it would be nasty on the back, but done correctly it is one the best ways to build a very stable spine and glutes that can smash a dime!
It will strengthen your erectors, hamstrings, glutes and has as many variations as any exercise you can do. Partners, 45 deg bench, straight leg, bent knee, weighted, unweighted, single leg and a whole lot more.
You can also do these with a stability ball, and essentially anything where you can pin your feet.
4) Kettlebell Swings
This exercise is great for so many reasons, there are too many to list. Strengthens your posterior chain, improves hip function, glute strength, power, power endurance, grip strength, hammers your lower abdominal wall if you do them correctly and it is incredible as burning calories.
There you have it, the best ways to hammer the glutes. These are extremely effective exercises to build an incredibly strong lower body, and I highly recommend them.
If you have any low back issues at all, DO NOT ATTEMPT THESE EXERCISES. If you have existing joint pain, see a trusted physician, physical therapist or trainer to get a full evaluation to make sure these exercises are safe for you to try.
Once you do get the green light, ENJOY!!
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THE COMMON SENSE FINE PRINT!
Never attempt any new exercises mentioned in the Fitness411 blog without a thorough evaluation from a physician, personal trainer, strength coach, athletic trainer, physical therapist or sports chiropractor.