Yes, strong and firm glutes are very on-trend at the moment and if that’s your reason for desiring a toned butt, you wouldn’t be the only one. But before we tell you how to get there, let’s also establish that the muscles in your butt, commonly called the glutes, help you run, walk up the stairs, play sports and even support you when you stand up in an upright position.
Your glutes consist of three muscles: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. When you lead a mostly sedentary life and sit for long periods of time, the glutes stiffen up and do not work as well as they should. Weak glutes can lead to injuries in the mid-low back, pelvis, knees and even ankles.
Here are three exercises that can help you strengthen your glutes:
1. Bodyweight squats
- Stand upright with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Keep your arms stretched out in front of you to maintain balance.
- While engaging your core, bend both your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Bend at your hips as if about to sit on a chair but keep your back and neck straight.
- Squeeze your glutes as you stand back up, keep your spine straight and return to your starting position.
- Repeat 10-15 times.
2. Glute bridge
- For this exercise, you have to lie on your back with your knees bent in such a way that your feet lie flat on the floor, close to your hips.
- Make sure that you engage your core so that your low back is pressed against the floor. Your hands should rest next to your body with your palms facing the floor, close to your feet.
- Lift your hips up in a way that your body comes into a bridge position, with your body being in one line from shoulders to hips.
- Once you’re in position, tighten your glutes. Hold for two seconds, and then return your hips back to the ground.
- Repeat this exercise 10-12 times.
3. Marching Glute Bridge
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and with your feet lying flat on the floor.
- While engaging your core and keeping your arms resting next to your body, lift your hips up in the same way you did to come into the bridge position.
- Now lift your right foot off the floor, bringing your knee towards your chest to a point that your calves are parallel to the floor and your hip has hinged to about 90 degrees.
- Return your right foot to the floor without lowering your hips and lift your left foot off the floor to repeat the same motion on the opposite side.
- Continue to march this way for about 2-3 minutes (or as long as your comfortably can) while keeping your hips lifted.
For more information, read our article on Squats.
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