One thing guaranteed to be at the top of all my female clients goal list is a decent set of glutes., because what women doesn’t want an awesome looking booty?!
Their job however is not only to look fantastic in a pair of jeans, but also to aid in all aspects of movement, from running and jumping, to squatting and deadlifts. So whether your goal is simply aesthetic, or to get stronger in the gym, specific exercises to target the glute should be a fundamental part of your accessory work.
The first most common mistake people make is thinking because it is such a big muscle, they must already be strong, forgetting that with long periods of sitting they become more and more dormant meaning they are a lot harder to activate correctly.
So the answer is just to squat more right? Wrong! While squats (and deadlifts for that matter) will help build up your posterior chain, in the absence of a decent set of glutes you are more likely to be at increased risk of lower back injury as other muscles try and compensate and take the load.
So how do you build this into your programme? Keep doing compound exercises like squats and deadlifts, but also consider adding in the following exercises to really get them firing. Try them as a met con at the end of your workout to really get the metabolism firing and aid in fatloss:
- Walking Lunges
- Split Squats
- Single Leg RDL
- Barbell Glute Bridge
- Step Ups
The second most common mistake people make when trying to build their glutes is forgetting to consciously work at it and taking the time and effort to make sure they feel their glutes activating.
Your body will always find a way to ‘cheat’ if it can, meaning your hamstrings, lower back or quads will take the load to save your glutes from putting in the hard yard. To overcome this focus on squeezing your glutes as hard as you can on each rep of each exercise pausing for between 1-2 seconds at the top of each rep.
Over time your body will learn to use your glutes as a primary mover, meaning not only will your numbers on your squat and deadlift go up, but you will look damn good doing it too!