Most people today suffer from ‘gluteal amnesia’ or simply underactive glutes. Not just the 9 to 5 desk worker, even fitness-enthusiasts cannot fire up their glutes. The principle reason behind this is our lifestyle. So you train daily, but don’t you also spend majority of your day sitting down. The glute muscles just keep rusting away without being put to use.
The glutes are an important muscle group that are the powerhouse of the body. Developing your glutes can help improve performance, allowing you to jump, swim and run faster. Injuries occur when your glutes are underactive. The pressure from any activity falls on the lower back and the knees. A strengthened glute will shield your body from injuries. What’s more, having a shapely backside will help you fit into your new jeans better.
Work on those biceps and triceps but don’t ignore your glutes.
‘Develop your core’ has been a constant word of advice from trainers to athletes. Workouts including core strengthening regimes focus on the spine and the torso. Also known as the core of the lower muscle group, you can’t get anywhere without the glutes. The glutes are a powerhouse of strength for a holistic workout.
Are your glutes with you as you stand?
Before you begin working out you need to take a moment to asses where you stand. Do this simple exercise to find out how you fare.
The Single Leg Stance Test– Put your hands above your head, palms together. Stand on your left leg, lifting your right foot off the ground. Observe the left side your hips to see if it dips down. Now lean to the right of your body to see if the left side dips. If your left side dips it is a sign that you need to work on those glutes.
From basic to advanced, here are five workouts that will fire up your glutes.
- Clamshell– Waking up your glutes through activation can make your workout a lot more effective. The following activation exercise will ensure that you have a great workout. Lie down on one side with your head rested comfortably (use a pillow if you like). Keeping your bottom leg straight, tuck your top foot behind the bottom knee. Your hips should be forward and remain that way for the rest of the exercise. Now squeeze your glutes and try to lift your top knee above the ground. Ensure that the top foot remains behind the bottom knee.
Quick Tip- If you feel the pressure in the place your jeans pocket would be, you’re doing it right.
- Side-lying leg lift– The most simple yet the one that targets the glutes the most. Lie down on one side. Keep your legs straight and lift up the top leg. As you lift your leg, the hips should remain forward. Do not allow them to roll backwards. To challenge yourself a little, use an ankle weight.
- Donkey Kick– Start with a table-top position on hands and knees. Keeping your knee bent raise your right foot up towards the ceiling. Do not arch your back and draw your belly button inwards. Remember to squeeze the glutes of the leg you are raising. Lower and Repeat. This is a good warm-up exercise as it brings in the entire core- warming up the abs and shoulders as well.
- Reverse Lunge– Once you have activated and warmed up your glute muscles, lunges can help strengthen them. Stand tall and step your right leg back. Bend both knees down to 90 degrees and drive your left leg off by pushing into your left foot. Engage your left glute to return to standing position. Keep your core tight throughout the exercise.
- Deadlift– You have activated your glutes and strengthened them. Now it’s time to make them powerful. This exercise can improve your performance and take an athlete to the next level. You can use dumbbells for this movement. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Reach the weight on the ground. Lift it up a little, pressing strongly into your feet as you come up. Ensure that your abs are tight and spine long throughout.
There are a lot of glute-activating workouts out there. This workout has been specially compiled to include activation, strengthening, and power-building movements. You will feel the difference in the way you move, kick and jump once you include your glutes in your routine. These exercises can even help an athlete build the stability, strength and power for better performance. Follow these workouts and stay tuned to the blog for more!