Everybody wants better glutes – they should!
The glutes are an essential muscle group for far more than looking good. They provide the major force in hip extension, as well as stabilizing the lumbar spine and controlling the ab/adduction of the hip.
These are hugely important, so if you’re not training all of the glutes you’re missing out. We’re going to take you through the 5 best ways to improve Glute strength without relying on squats. This is essential if you’re struggling with deep knee flexion or you’re trying to rest your legs.
Stick with us, and you’ll learn how to build better buttocks – whatever your goals!
The Frog Pump
The Frog Pump is the first exercise – and it’s going to feel weird to start with. This was popularized by Bret Contreras, lovingly known as “the glute guy” for his work in research and coaching for glute development. Yes, there are experts in that and this exercise shows why!
The frog pump takes out the hamstrings and legs entirely, forcing you to use the glutes to generate all the force – and gain all the muscle! The butterfly position of the legs and hips puts the focus on the muscles you want to work, and you’ll feel it immediately.
Bret recommends using 20-50 reps on this exercise because the weights are going to be smaller. We recommend going a little heavier and sticking to the lower side of this range: pick a weight that is challenging and perform 20 reps with a pause/squeeze at the top of the movement!
This is a leg exercise that we use for beginners to stabilize the knees and train hip extension for the squat. You know which muscles perform those two roles? The Glutes.
The reverse lunge is a super easy exercise to train and it can bring some serious benefits. If you find it is too easy for you, you can perform it from a deficit to add extra challenge to stability and balance. Once you’ve gotten good at this you can add weight.
Weighted deficit reverse lunges is a bit of a mouthful, but they provide an amazing basis to improve lower-body function. You’re going to develop athletic potential, and a huge ass. Win-win!
This is a progression from the reverse lunge – it is more difficult, requires more balance, and it pushes your glutes to a different angle and purpose. The step-up is a longer range of movement and it challenges every function of the glutes – especially since you’re moving through a longer range of motion.
This is a great way of developing athletic power and balance, in a similar but more extreme way to the reverse lunge. You can do this with a barbell or dumbbell, just start off light and make sure you work on stability – you don’t want to fall over.
The Stiff-Legged Deadlift (SLDL)
This exercise is like a normal deadlift, but your legs don’t move throughout the lift. This means that all the work is hinging at the hips, rather than extending the knee. It requires that you use a lighter weight (because it’s tougher), but it shifts the difficulty of the lift to the glutes. You have to challenge the specific muscles that you want to develop.
Practice the SLDL, starting with light weights, and progress linearly for as long as possible. Gaining strength here is going to grow the glutes and bring up your performance in the squat and deadlift, as well as keeping your knees and hips healthy.
Barbell Hip Thrust
The barbell hip thrust is a popular exercise among powerlifters. For those of you who don’t know, these are some of the strongest humans on the planet and they pride themselves on hip strength.
The best powerlifters can hip thrust 1000lbs of pounds and have butts that look like they’re made of shapely granite. We all want that level of strength and performance. The hip thrust is key to this next-level of development as it allows you to handle serious weight that hasn’t been possible in the previous exercises.
Since muscles only get stronger and bigger when they’re challenged, it’s time to add some weight and push them to the max. It’s like a frog pump (biomechanically) except now its not with a 40lb dumbbell, its with a barbell and 100s of pounds of weight.
If you’re trying to shift focus from the squat, or you’re dealing with an injury, these are 5 of the best exercises you should be incorporating into your training. Ideally, progress from 1 to 5 and cycle between them. You need to add weight over time to see the best results, so stick with them and get stronger safely – don’t rush!
Article Submitted By Community Writer