Paying attention to your glutes is about much more than aesthetics. If you lead a relatively sedentary lifestyle where you spend most of your days sitting, you need to prioritize strengthening your glutes, or you’ll develop pain. Strong glutes provide many benefits, including explosive push-off power to help you with daily tasks. Here’s why you should give them some focus during workouts.
Reduces Your Risk of Injury
The neuromuscular system’s goal is to keep us moving. When it perceives weakness in the glutes, it tries to compensate by tweaking intrinsic muscle coordination. Over time, this leads to biomechanical overload, and your joints can be affected too. Glute weakness can lead to injuries such as:
- Ankle sprains
- Anterior knee pain
- ACL injuries
- Hamstring issues
- Lower back pain
Helps With Low Bone Density
Bones are not lifeless structures in your body — they respond to exercise by building more bone cells. Strengthening the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus can assist with orthopedic issues. Glute exercises such as glute bridges stabilize your core, making you less wobbly, and strengthen the muscles and tendons near your spine, which improves your posture.
More Efficient Energy Storage and Use
Muscles require more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the better equipped you are to torch calories. Working on your glutes ignites your biggest, most metabolically active muscles.
The Best Exercises for Building Your Glutes
Here are three exercises to improve your backside.
Lie face up on a mat and hold a dumbbell on your hips. The dumbbell is optional but provides extra resistance if you can manage it. Bend your knees but keep your feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips up and off the floor until your shoulder, hips, and knees create a straight line. Squeeze your glutes and activate your abs to maintain proper form. Hold the position for a few seconds before returning your hips to the ground. Repeat ten times and do two sets.
Begin on your hands and knees, with your hands below your shoulders and your knees closer together. Look down and keep your back straight as you lift one leg off the ground and outwards while keeping your knee in a 90-degree position. Lift until the leg aligns with your hips. Lower gently and repeat at least 12 times before moving to the other leg. Ankle weights or an above-knee band will intensify this ab- and glute-targeting exercise.
Banded Standing Kickbacks
Stand inside your band with it looped around your ankles. Move your right leg behind you and up and slowly return it to the starting position without touching the ground. Maintain this to and fro movement for 12 reps before switching sides. Keep your standing leg straight, don’t kick diagonally, and make a mind-muscle connection with your glutes. You can hold onto a counter or chair to help your balance.