Having strong glutes is crucial for running, jumping, lifting weights and performing daily activities. It’s also essential for a good physique, for both men and women. Working your glutes is an absolutely essential part of your training, whether you just looking for a better physique or you’re trying to develop your athletic performance. Here are 7 glute exercises that you need to include in your program to optimise their development:
1 – Squats
Squats are one of the key exercises for lower body development, as they pretty much use all your leg muscles while strengthening your core, hips, and lower back. The lower you squat the more emphasis your put on your hamstrings and glutes.
2 – Barbell Hip Thrusts
One of the best exercises for glute development. The hip thrust activates your glutes more than any exercise. Make sure you wrap a pad around the bar before putting it on your hips, this can get painful if you can load the bar.
3 – Bulgarian Split Squats
With the exercise positioning and balance is key. With this exercise the further out you put your front foot (the foot planted on the floor) the more glute activation. The closer your feet the more quad dominant the exercise. When your reach the bottom of the movement, if you lean your torso over slightly from the hips you will again increase the emphasis on your glutes (don’t lean any more than 30 degrees).
4 – Deadlift
The deadlift is one of the best exercises you can include in your program. It is one of the best total body exercises you can do. It’s great for working your posterior chain; your back, glutes, hamstrings etc, and, is great for your posture when performed correctly.
5 – Zercher Squats
A very uncommon exercise, the zercher squat is very similar mechanically to the goblet squat. The zercher squat allows for greater depth. While naturally you have to stand wider to perform this exercise, this puts more emphasis on your glutes.
6 – Barbell Split Squat
Place the barbell across your shoulder on your traps. The split squat is slightly different to a normal lunge and is more demanding. With the split squat you start in the bottom of a lunge position, this is then your start position. Because of this you therefore have to fully engage your glutes, hamstrings and quads to drive yourself up.
7 – Stiff Leg Deadlift
The stiff leg deadlift is great for developing hamstring and glute strength. This exercise needs to be performed properly to take the focus and strain off your lower back. This is done by pushing your hips back until you feel the stretch on your hamstrings. Make sure that you keep your lower back neutral and don’t let it round. Have your feet at hip width or closer to make the exercise more demanding on your legs.
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