The pursuit of better glutes has never been bigger. So, why are sculpted, strong glutes such a thing?
“They’re functional,” says fitness expert Laura Williams. “We’re not just talking about Speedo and skinny jean aesthetics – strong glutes are very useful. They help protect the lower back from sitting a lot, they help lessen the load during high-impact sports… They even help distribute the load of everyday movements, such as stair climbing and carrying little people, making overuse injuries less likely. They play a huge role in protecting your joints from injury. In short, they’re a big deal.”
But you don’t need a squat rack or barbell to grow your glutes.
“If you know your way around the anatomy of your glutes,” says Williams, “you can train them very effectively using just your body weight and gravity. It’s all about knowing how to target the three areas strategically.
“Your gluteal muscles consist of gluteus maximus (the big guy), gluteus medius (the guy at the top) and gluteus minimus (the guy at the side),” she adds. “All three have big, functional roles, from rotating your hips to helping you walk.”
And then there’s the aesthetic. “I don’t think great glutes are just about looking good in clothes anymore,” she continues, “I think it’s about the strength that definition represents.”
So, how best to achieve that strength from the comfort of your living room? “In the 20 years I’ve been a personal trainer, I’ve tried and tested every glute move going,” says Williams. “And these five should do it.” And the best news? They’ll hit your upper body and core too.
Best exercises for a glutes workout
Complete this routine three times a week to see results in as little as a fortnight.
1. Kick-butt lunge
From a lunge position, lean forward from the waist and lower your body to the floor. Then push back up to standing, and flick your rear heel to your buttock. Do 20 reps on each side.
2. Weighted donkey kick
Position yourself on all fours with your weight distributed on forearms and knees. Place a weight behind your knee, and extend your foot to the ceiling and lower. Keep to a small range of movement, and do 30 reps on each side.
3. Plank with a kick
Position your weight on your forearms and the balls of your feet. Bend your left knee and lift your leg off the floor, pulsing your heel towards the ceiling. Do 15 reps on each leg.
4. Pulsing single leg bridge
Form a shoulder bridge position, with weight distributed between your left foot and your shoulders. Extend your right leg into the air alongside your left thigh and pulse your leg up and down for a count of four. Lower your leg and pulse for another count of four. Repeat this cycle for 30 seconds before switching sides.
5. Leg sweep squat
Form a shallow squat position and, maintaining a bend in the left knee, kick your left leg out to the side, keeping your foot off the floor. Do 20 kicks, then switch sides.