Once we make the decision to exercise constantly and set the results we want to obtain, the most common thing is that strengthening our glutes is among that list of results.
Beyond aesthetics and proportion, strengthening the different areas of our body brings with it many benefits. In this case, working to tone the buttocks helps to: avoid injuries, reduce lower back pain, and also help maintain good posture.
In this article we share the best exercises focused on women when you want to strengthen the glutes.
We share the exercises that will help you improve and have stronger glutes. It is very important that every exercise or movement you do is done in the proper way to avoid injury and that you can see the results. High-quality sports clothes are essential, which will always keep you dry during exercise.
If you want to discover more Fitness Exercises and Nutrition advice, have a look at fcer.org !
Table of Contents
1 – Walking lunge
Begin by bringing your right leg out in front and lowering the rest of your body so that the knee of your right leg is directly over the right ankle and the left hip should be positioned over the left knee.
As you perform the exercise, you must keep your gluteal muscles tight. To finish and do the exercise on the opposite side, focus the strength of your body on the glutes and get up on your right leg. Repeat all these steps on the left side.
2 – Plyometric 180 squad
This is one of my favorite exercises because of the dynamism that it entails. To do it, you must place your stance with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
The knees mustn’t pass the tip of your feet. Once you are well placed you can start jumping by making a 180-degree turn.
3 – Hip thrusts with a band
For this set of exercises, you must use an elastic band, which will help you create greater tension in the muscles.
Lie on your back, place your feet on the floor and bend your knees, place the resistance band or band at the height of your knees. Then raise your hips creating an arch. This will help create tension between both legs. Inhale as you lower your hips back to the position you started in.
4 – Clamshells
On this occasion, to carry out this exercise, place the resistance band around both legs and above the knees.
Lay your body on your side with your knees bent and your feet together. The best way to do this exercise is with your hips and buttocks turned in. Raise the knee that is on the other leg and keep your feet together. Return the knee to its starting position.
Do 15 reps on each side.
5 – Deadlifts
For this type of exercise, you must have a kettlebell, which you will use to create the deadlift during the exercise.
First, you must place your feet shoulder-width apart, take the kettlebell and place it between your feet.
Rotate your hips and bend your knees as if you were going to do a squat, all while grasping the handle of the dumbbell and standing up. Each time you inhale, slowly lower the kettlebell toward the ground allowing your knees to bend. Do 10 reps.
6 – Single-dead lifts
As in the previous exercise, you will also use a kettlebell. Start by holding the dumbbell in your left hand, stand on your right foot, and lift your left foot off the ground.
Keeping the weight through the midfoot to the heel, inhale and rotate your hips. Bend your knee to push your glutes back. All the time your hips must be aligned to avoid injury. As you exhale, slowly switch legs.
We recommend that you do between 10 to 12 repetitions on both sides.
6 rules to follow if you want to improve your glute workout
1) Gradually increase the loads
This remains the basis for any muscle gain, no matter what muscle you want to target. What will be more precisely important is the volume of training to increase from week to week. Indeed, you can act on 4 factors to increase your loads:
- the number of repetitions
- the number of sets
- the weight you put on the bar, the weight of the dumbbell or the disc used…
- the recovery time between sets: if you reduce the rest time a little but the weight stays the same, you are still progressing. Still, keep enough recovery time to do clean sets without impacting the load too much.
Progressive overload is key! But if you don’t manage to target the desired muscle, you won’t be able to make optimal progress. We are talking about % activation. If you have a weak muscle, the activation % is generally lower. It will therefore be important to use isolation exercises and especially pre-fatigue techniques in your bodybuilding sessions.
Be careful the technique of execution
It is indeed important to increase the loads from week to week (if possible) but not at the expense of technical quality. The movement must be well executed and in complete amplitude to maximize the muscle gain.
Also, avoid increasing the load until you have mastered a movement properly. You are more likely to injure yourself.
Also remember to focus on your target muscle! Stay focused! No cell phones during the session! ????
2) Use polyarticular and isolation exercises.
And yes, to get your butt in gear, it’s not just isolation exercises that come into play, quite the opposite. The idea is to have a complete training by working the buttocks from all angles and in different ways.
The polyarticular exercises to take buttocks
The goal is to use the main movements such as squats, lunges, deadlifts. You can then use the different variations, there are many of them. I invite you to discover my articles on the variations of the squat and the variations of the lunges.
To choose the exercises, think also to adapt them according to your morphology. Then, there are no “mandatory” exercises to gain muscle mass for your buttocks.
- Isolation exercises
- Isolation exercises have the advantage of having a better % of activation even if you lift less weight. In addition, there is less risk of injury and less joint tension because the movement is done one muscle at a time. It is therefore important for me to integrate them in each session.
Importance of the small and medium gluteus maximus
You can integrate it in all your leg workouts by varying the following exercises:
- hip abduction machine
- hip abduction pulley. You can add a mini band during the execution.
- hip abduction disc. Same for the mini-band
By using a mini-band (resistance band) above the knee during squats and on the leg press. This forces you to open your legs correctly (knee outwards). The small and medium glutes are thus solicited during the exercise and that also helps you in the good execution of the movement.
For the mini-bands, I didn’t bother ordering them on Amazon. It was a set of 5 bands for 10,95€ from the brand Insonder. I’ve had them for 2 years, they haven’t let me down yet. I use the 3 bands with the highest resistance, every week.
Vary the stretching and contraction exercises
What is also interesting is to mix in the same session stretching exercises (e.g. squat) and contraction exercises (e.g. hip thrust, i.e. you squeeze the buttocks, contract them). The contraction exercises are most often isolation exercises.
This way, you can train your glutes in different ways to increase the volume of your buttocks.
Type of gluteal exercises
- Targeting the upper or lower buttocks
- You can adapt the sessions according to your delay between the upper and lower buttocks.
To work on the upper buttocks: you should focus on hip abduction exercises (hip abductor). You can also add the hip thrust and its variants as well as the kick back pulley (hip extension).
target the lower buttocks: these are polyarticular exercises, corresponding to all the variations of the squat, lunges and deadlift.
Finally, we come back to the stretching and contraction exercises, hence the interest in using these 2 types of exercises to get the buttocks.
3) Vary the series: short and long series
In the muscles, there are two types of muscle fibers, slow and fast fibers. They do not react in the same way depending on your series, if they are short or long series. In fact, slow fibers are more reactive to long sets while fast fibers to short sets.
The idea is therefore to vary the short and long sets for the same muscle group in order to be sure to target it.
When I talk about long sets, I’m talking about 15 to 20 reps and for short sets, 8 to 15 reps.
4) Work your glutes 2-3 times a week
You may be wondering how many glute sessions per week to include in your weight training program!
As for the number of sessions for the glutes, several studies prove that it is preferable to do at least 2 sessions per week. It’s up to you to adapt the number of sessions according to you, especially if your lower body is your strong or weak point.
For example, for me it is my weak point, I have been testing for several weeks a program with 4 sessions per week to shock my buttocks more often. Of course, the intensity of my sessions is less compared to 2 sessions per week, otherwise my body would not be able to withstand the shock. This program test will be the subject of an upcoming post on my blog ????
Also keep in mind that overtraining can also slow or even stop progress because the muscle doesn’t have time to rebuild.
5) Being in caloric surplus to gain buttocks
It is also important to eat well. The buttocks need a little fat to build.
The ideal is to be in caloric surplus to facilitate muscle gain. I advocate gaining dry mass, i.e. having a caloric surplus but in a reasonable manner. The idea is not to need to lose 5-10 kg after gaining mass. It’s usually easier to gain weight than to lose it.
On the other hand, if you have too big a caloric deficit your body will tend to attack the muscles. You will therefore lose muscle mass. Food is your ally!
You must therefore ensure that you have a sufficient caloric intake and if possible pay attention to macro-nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats). To give you an idea, a woman with moderate activity should consume about 1800 kcal per day. For my part, I am currently at 2,400 kcal per day. It also depends on your basic metabolism, mine is quite fast. I easily burn calories just by breathing.
You shouldn’t be afraid to eat a little more to reach your goal.
6) Be careful with cardio, too much cardio kills cardio!
Cardio should be used in moderation if you don’t want to lose muscle and get your butt all “flabby”. Always keep a higher ratio of weight training sessions than cardio. Don’t worry whether it’s cardio or weight training, the number of calories burned is pretty similar.
Cardio will tend to make you “flabby” (I can’t think of a better term at the moment). In effect, you lose tone and firmness.
If you want to keep cardio, focus on dedicated cardio sessions or at least at the end of a strength training session. I don’t recommend cardio at the beginning of a session because it takes up too much energy. You will be less efficient for your weight training session. You can do 5 minutes of cycling to wake up your body but at low intensity (in walking mode).
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