Home Training THE BEST EXERCISE SUPERSETS TO TRAIN YOUR GLUTES AND INCREASE YOUR STRENGTH

THE BEST EXERCISE SUPERSETS TO TRAIN YOUR GLUTES AND INCREASE YOUR STRENGTH

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Working the glutes can be a catch-22 exercise in frustration. Everyone needs to work the gluteus maximus more—but without properly activated glutes, many movements cannot be done properly, or at least effectively.

Because most of us spend our days sitting, hunched over computers and behind steering wheels, we shut off our glutes. That tightens our hips and shortens our hamstrings, leading to all kinds of muscular dysfunction, most notably back problems. We’re not only setting ourselves up for ailments and injury, but also dooming ourselves to lives with a flat butt that nobody finds attractive.

To activate the glutes, think of daily life as one big glute workout. Squeeze your cheeks one at a time while stuck in traffic or in an endless meeting .instead of the escalator or elevator. Walk instead of driving short distances.

In each superset of this workout, we’ll pair a bodyweight glute activation move with one that works the glutes through lifting. This way, we efficiently activate and challenge the glutes, so we can keep moving through the workout with no rest.

Pete Williams is a N.A.S.M.-certified personal trainer and the author or co-author of a number of books on performance and training.

1. Glute Bridge and Romanian Deadlift

1A. GLUTE BRIDGE

WHY IT WORKS: It’s one of the best moves to improve the activation patterns of the glutes.

HOW TO DO IT: Lie face-up on the floor with knees bent 90° and feet on the floor. Squeeze your glutes and bridge your hips to the ceiling. Only your shoulders and hips should be on the ground. Hold the top position for two seconds, and then lower your hips toward the ground without touching. Repeat for a set of 10.

PRESCRIPTION: 2 sets of 10 reps.

1B. ROMANIAN DEADLIFT

WHY IT WORKS: Perhaps the most recognizable hamstring move, and for good reason: It’s effective in building the proper activation patterns in your hamstrings and glutes, while also strengthening your back.

HOW TO DO IT: Start with a light set of dumbbells. Form is especially key to getting full benefit from the RDL; don’t think of the exercise as bending forward but rather as sitting back with your torso moving forward instead of staying upright.

PRESCRIPTION: 2 sets of 10 reps

2. Knee Hug and Split Squat

2A. KNEE HUG

WHY IT WORKS: This move stretches the hamstring and glute of your front leg as well as the hip flexor or your back leg.

HOW TO DO IT: Lift your right knee to your chest and grab below the knee with your hands. Pull your right knee to your chest while squeezing your left glute. Return to the starting position, and repeat on the left side. Continue alternating sides.

PRESCRIPTION: 2 sets of 10 reps.

2B. SPLIT SQUAT

WHY IT WORKS: Squatting in the gym and in daily life works the glutes, but the split version with dumbbells places them fully on stretch.

HOW TO DO IT: Step out into a lunge with dumbbells at arm’s length at your sides. Lower your hips by squatting back and down. Without letting your back knee touch the floor, drive your weight back up with the front glute. Do 10 sets on one leg, and then repeat with the other.

PRESCRIPTION: 2 sets of 10 reps to each side.

3. Squat Jump and Lateral Lunge

3A. SQUAT JUMP

WHY IT WORKS: This move works the hips, knees, and ankles, but the key is using your glutes to generate power.

HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet just outside the shoulders and hands behind your head. Squat, keeping your knees behind your toes and squeezing your glutes. After holding this position for two seconds, jump vertically. Pull the toes to your shins in midair to prepare for landing. Land in the starting squat position, hold three seconds, and repeat for 10 reps. Be sure to land softly, with the hips back and down.

PRESCRIPTION: 2 sets of 10 reps.

3B. LATERAL LUNGE

4. Quadruped Rocking and One-legged Squat

4A. QUADRUPED ROCKING

WHY IT WORKS: This move combines two yoga poses—cow and child’s pose—and provides a great stretch for the glutes. The more activated the glutes, the better you’ll do.

HOW TO DO IT: Get down on all fours, and let your lower back sag. Push your hips back as far as you can, holding the lumbar arch. You should feel a stretch in and around your hips. Return to the starting position, and repeat.

PRECRIPTION: 2 sets of 10 reps.

4B. ONE-LEGGED SQUAT (aka PISTOL SQUAT)

WHY IT WORKS: This challenges not only your glutes (one at a time) but also your overall balance and core strength.

HOW TO DO IT: Stand on one foot holding dumbbells on your shoulders with elbows pointed out. Squat on one leg until your thighs are parallel to the ground—or as parallel as possible. Return to standing position using only the leg you’re balancing upon. Do 10 on one side, and then the other.

PRESCRIPTON: 2 sets of 10 reps (per side).

5. Inverted Hamstring and Front Squat

5A. INVERTED HAMSTRING

WHY IT WORKS: This move forces you to fire your glutes. Practicing such movements becomes habit in the gym and everyday life.

HOW TO DO IT: Balance on your right foot, keeping your midsection tight, and shoulders back and down. Bend at the waist with both hands out to the sides, and extend your left leg back as you fire the left glute. Your shoulder and heel should move together, forming a straight line. Return to starting position and switch legs, performing a set of 10 on each leg.

PRESCRIPTION: 2 sets of 10 reps.

5B. FRONT SQUAT

WHY IT WORKS: Like the inverted hamstring, the front squat forces you to fire your glutes.

HOW TO DO IT: Stand holding a barbell across the front of your shoulders, palms facing you and elbows in front of you. Squat until your thighs are as parallel to the ground as possible, or slightly lower. Push from the hips, and return to standing position. Make sure you maintain a strong grip on the barbell.

PRESCRIPTION: 2 sets of 10 reps with 30 seconds rest between sets.

BY , CPT