In this weeks blog I’ve decided to chat about one issue that REARS up time and time again in emails – “How can I tone my bum…” “How can I get bigger glutes?” “How do I exercise my bottom?”
I have to be honest I used to leave “Leg Day” to itself and train them once a week – but as I noticed the small changes in my lower body I realised it was the area I should be giving MORE attention to. I’ve discussed in these blogs before that I usually change my workout program every 6 weeks. Currently I am doing a mixed weights workout 4 days a week – hitting each body part with at least one exercise per day. One thing I’ve included in three of those days however are Hip Thrusts.
1: Hip Thrusts
The Hip Thrust really is the best glute building exercise. The knees stay bent so that the hamstrings cannot work so hard – forcing the glutes to work that little bit harder. This move also keep the glutes under constant tension causing a deep burn so you will know your working it right.
From a seated position on the floor, position your upper back across a bench – around the bottom of the shoulder blades. Make sure the bench is secure so that it cannot move or slide. Place the barbell across the hips – use a towel or padded protector or it will hurt and bruise!! Bend the knees with the feet on the floor. Take a deep breath and raise your hips making sure to push through your heels. Raise the hips as high as possible, give your glutes a squeeze at the top and then gently lower back towards the ground. If you are starting out with these choose an appropriate weight for 10-12 repetitions. As I mentioned I am currently including them three days a week. I use the following reps and sets.
Day 1: 3 x 10-12
Day 2: 3 x 20
Day 3: 3 x 5
2: Glute Bridge
Lie flat on the floor on your back with the hands by your side and your knees bent. Your feet should be placed around shoulder width. This will be your starting position. Pushing mainly with your heels, lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight. Breathe out as you perform this part of the motion and hold at the top for a second. Slowly go back to the starting position as you breathe in. Aim for 12-15 reps for three rounds. Add weights accordingly, starting with a dumbbell and working your way up to a barbell as with the hip thrusts. I always get clients to hold and squeeze the glutes for a second at the top of each repetition just so the glutes are really fired up.
Position your legs using a shoulder width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Keep your head up at all times and also maintain a straight back. This will be your starting position. Now “sit on the imaginary chair” continuing down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees. Stand back up to the start position and squeeze the glute. If you are having difficulty start using a chair to guide you. Position yourself with a squat stance in front of the chair and gently lower yourself down to a full seated position and back up to stand. The chair is a great way for you to use a full range of motion with good form. If you are starting out aim for three sets of 12-15 reps. As you get stronger you can up the weight and reduce the reps to work on strength too. I often squat with different weights and rep ranges. e.g 3×8, 4x 6, 5×5, 4×12
4: Step Ups
One of my all time favourite glute exercises! With a knee high step and a weight simply step up with your full foot and step back down again. Alternate legs and aim for 20 reps three times. Simple as that!
For more information on exercises and demonstrations of different workouts for different body parts – make sure you are following me on Instagram.
***Remember if you are adding a weight – choose a weight that challenges you for the number of reps you are performing. If you are unsure at all – ask a member of staff at your gym to help you.***