3 best exercises to strengthen your glutes in the gym

January is often the time of year when we set new fitness goals, whether it’s losing weight, running a marathon, or just building the perfect abs. (If you are looking for some of the best abdominal workouts to make this dream come true, we have found them). But what about your dream buttocks this year?

When it comes to developing your glutes, it’s a bit more complicated than just doing squats or stepping on the Stairmaster (and no you shouldn’t do a squat challenge this January either). Your glutes are the largest muscle group in the body and can be divided into three main muscles: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. There are also six support muscles that are found under the glutes.

Far from being a simple aesthetic goal, developing strong glutes is important no matter what sport you play. The glutes stabilize the body as you stand, walk, and run, while helping the body to spin and twist.

When people refer to “buttock strengthening workouts” they generally mean workouts that target all the different muscles in the glutes, mixing weight lifting and high repetitions to target the fast and slow twitch muscle fibers of the glutes. . Fast-twitch muscle fibers prepare the glutes for explosive movements, like sprinting, while slow-twitch muscle fibers are used for long-distance running and endurance exercises.

But instead of climbing on the Stairmaster, what should you be doing at the gym to help develop your glutes? Here, we turn to Sweat App Personal Trainer and Coach Kelsey Wells, who shared three of her favorite workouts in a Instagram post. Kelsey worked on a strong glute program on the Sweat app. Are you tempted to register? Read our review of the Sweat app first.

Three glute exercises to do indoors:

In her article, Kelsey Wells said she doesn’t think of barbell work as a “machine,” but it’s still a great way to build your glute muscles with exercises like barbell squats, deadlifts. Romanian land and gluteal bridges. We rounded the best glute exercises here if you’re looking for a home workout or mat inspiration.

1. Leg press

Why: A thigh press might sound terrifying, but it’s a great way to target your glutes, hamstrings, hips, and calves. A leg press is also beneficial for anyone who suffers from lower back problems and has difficulty lifting a bar on their back.

To get into the correct position, make sure you are seated comfortably, with your lower back pressed into the machine. Place your feet on the footrest about hip-width apart, making sure your feet are flat. Your legs should be at a 90 degree angle, with your knees bent to your starting position.

How? ‘Or’ What: Hold the support handles, strengthen your abdominal muscles, and move your legs away from your body, extending them outward – keep this operation slow and controlled, rather than pushing the footrest explosively. Once you’re at the top, take a break, but don’t lock your knees. Slowly return to your starting position, keeping the movement slow and controlled as you gradually bend your knees. Make sure that your head and back remain resting against the backrest during the entire exercise.

Aim for three sets of 10 reps. Start with a weight that feels heavy on the final repetition, but not too heavy that you feel like you’re putting too much pressure on your knees. If at any point you feel that you cannot control the movement, it is likely that the weight is too heavy and you need to remove some.

2. Smith squats

Why: A Smith machine is much like a squat rack, but the bar is attached to the sides of the machine, which means the bar stays in place when you squat or do a lunge. It also means you can focus on your form as the bar has a limited range of motion and can only move up and down. This is a great machine to choose if you are new to weight training and want to build your confidence. Squats target all of the gluteal muscles, as well as the quadriceps, hamstrings, adductor muscles, hip flexors, and calves.

How? ‘Or’ What: To do squats on a Smith machine, place your desired weight on the barbell and lift the barbell up onto your shoulders. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the bar in an overhand grip. Standing with your feet slightly wider than your hip width, unlock the bar by lifting it up and forward. Prep your abs and keep your weight in your heels as you slowly squat until your knees form a 90-degree angle. Take a break, then stand up and return to your starting position, again, keeping your movement slow and controlled.

Aim for three sets of 10 reps. Beginners should do this exercise without any weight on the bar at the start to ensure they get into shape right before continuing.

3. Prone hamstring curl

Why: This is a great exercise for working your hamstrings, but the second part of the movement also targets the calf muscles, glutes, and thighs. The lying hamstring curling machine is generally considered to be more effective than the sitting hamstring curls.

How? ‘Or’ What: To do this exercise, lie face down on the leg curl machine, fully stretch your legs, and place the roller a few inches above your ankles. As you bend your knees and pull your feet towards your glutes, support your hips on the bench. Pause at the top, engaging your glutes, before slowly returning your legs to the starting position.

Aim for three sets of 10 reps. For this exercise, be sure to start with a lighter weight, especially if you are new to using the machine. If the weight is too heavy, you may arch your back during the movement, which can cause injury and make the entire exercise less effective. Select a weight that feels difficult in the final rep, but still allows you to do the full set in good form.

Looking for more training inspiration? You have come to the right place. We found the best exercises to do if you sit all day, the best exercises to target your hips, and the best exercises to tone the inner thighs.

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