A booty is all the rage these days, and not the pirate kind, the kind that we sit on. As much as it might seem to be a vanity thing, having a strong backside is actually super important to everything that we do. You don’t need to be like J-Lo, but we all need to do some work on our tush to keep our body strong. There are a string of health issues related to weak glutes, including knee pain, lower back pain, and core instability. The solution isn’t painless, expect to have a sore backside as you start to do these exercises but the payoff, in the end, is well worth a sore tuchus.
We’re not just talking about firming, toning, and tightening, all of which are great benefits of working out your bum; we’re talking about improving your overall strength in a muscle group that does more than just padding your seat. We spend far too much time on our day with inactive glutes; we’re sitting down to commute, sitting for hours at work, and we’re sitting down too much in general. The effects of this sedentary lifestyle have a ripple effect on our overall health. Improving our core and glute strength can help combat some of the negative side effects that come with sitting on our bums all day.
No fancy gym equipment is needed, although you can incorporate resistance bands or hand weights as you become more comfortable with the movements. Good form is important when doing these exercises, so your core needs to be tight and your gluteal muscles engaged. While this isn’t exactly an instant fix, over a short period of time, with consistent work on these exercises, you’ll begin to notice a difference in how you feel and how you look. We’re often motivated by how we might look as a result of exercise but our health and wellness are also beneficiaries.
The glutes are a group of three muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, and gluteus medius. These muscles start their connection in our lower back and end along the side of our legs, which is why a weak butt can contribute to lower back and knee pain. To activate your glutes, you’ll want to do exercises that target all three of these muscle groups. Begin to offset some of those nagging issues with pain with these nine glute activation exercises to build a better bum.
When building muscle, it’s all about balance. Building up one group but neglecting others can be counterproductive. These exercises, while targeting the glutes, also work the hamstrings, quads, and abdominals. Remember to be very methodical in each of these movements; we’re not looking for speed but for good form, and sometimes lower reps at a slower pace can be more challenging than a lot of reps at a faster pace.
9 Glute Activation Movements To Build A Stronger Bum
Classic Squat: drop your bum back as you bend your knees, keeping the knee at a 90deg angle above the ankle. Your weight should be resting on your heels and your toes slightly lifted.
Forward lunge: Take a giant step forward, shifting your weight to the forward leg and dropping the knee on your back leg towards the floor. Be sure to keep your knee on the forward leg in line with your ankle, bent at the knee at a 90 deg angle.
Reverse Lunge: Take a giant step backward, shifting your body weight to the back leg and bending the forward knee.
Side Lunge: Shift your body weight to one side, hinging at the waist and pushing your bum behind you. You can alternate sides or work on isolating by doing 20 reps or 30 seconds on each side.
Sumo Squat: Fire up your glutes and work the inner thigh area with the Sumo Squat. Take a wide stance with your feet pointing at an angle outward. Bend at the knee to drop your seat towards the floor. Slowly elevate and lower and feel the burn!
Single Leg Deadlifts: this is a great exercise for improving balance as well as working your hamstrings along the way. Hinge forward at the waist, lifting one leg behind you and lowering your hand towards the floor. Complete 20 slow reps (or 30 seconds) on each side.
Donkey Kicks: Donkey kicks will fire up your glutes by isolating the muscle group and using a range of motion. You’ll work on both your bum and your hip flexors in one movement. Be sure to keep your abs engaged and don’t allow your back to arch.
Fire Hydrant: This move earned its name for obvious reasons. It is a lateral movement to target the exterior set of muscles in the glutes. Because we spend so much of our time in a forward motion (walking, sitting), it’s important to work on lateral movements to improve overall balance and strength.
Glute Bridge: Work both the abdominals and the glutes with this simple hip lift. The move is surprisingly challenging: bring your heels as close to your bum as possible and slowly lift your hips, then slowly bring them to the floor.
A better bum is more than just for looks. Strong glutes can look good but more importantly, they help us feel better by strengthening a notoriously weak point in our bodies and improving our overall well being. Your jeans and your body will thank you for all of your hard work! Check out our video tutorial on how to complete each movement.
Consult with your healthcare provider before starting any diet or exercise program.