The Definitive Guide to Glute Training – Part 2
ADDING MASS TO YOUR ASS
If you are a member of the flat ass society, you are not condemned to remain a charter member forever. Just like any other muscle group in the body, the glutes can be developed. But you have got to train them smartly. That means training them specifically. Most people train their glutes as a by-product of whatever body-part they are working, Few train the glutes as separate body part. That is about to change.
The cool thing about specifically training your glutes is that strong glutes will have a massive spill-over effect onto other body part training. When you have strong glutes, you will be able to squat more. When you have strong glutes, you’ll be able to deadlift more. And when you have strong glutes, you will be able to bench press more. Strong glutes will also mean that you will have a lot less trouble with your lower back and knees. And regardless of whether you’re into football, rugby, baseball or basketball, strong glutes make you a better player.
THE AUXILIARY EXERCISES
These movements are great way to target your glutes at the end of a compound lower body workout.
Bosu Ball Hip Raises
Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet together on a bosu ball. if you don’t have access to a bosu ball, you can use a step or a stability ball. With your hands on the ground at your sides, raise your hips as high as you can into the air. Squeeze the glutes tightly in the top position. Create a nice round shelf through the lower back region. Perform twenty reps.
One Legged Jump Hip Raises
From the previous position, remove the bosu ball and bend your knees. Raise one leg off the ground so that the heel is pointing toward the ceiling. This time as you thrust your hips up, jump into the air. Try to get the stabilising foot 3-4 inches off the ground each time. Perform twenty reps.
Switch sides and do another 20 reps with the opposite foot in the air.
Double Legg Glute Bridge
From a supine position with bent legs, push through the heels and raise the hips into the air. On reaching full hip extension, tense the glutes, spinal erectors and hamstrings. You should feel the greatest muscle activation in the glutes. Be sure not to overarch your lower back. The up / down movement should be limited to the hips. Hold for sixty seconds.
Straddle a bosu ball and rest on your elbows. Bend your knees and keep your heels together. Pulse up and down with your glutes, feeling the contraction on every rep. Perform thirty reps to get a fantastic burn in the gluteus maximus.
Bowed Hip Raises
Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet together on a bosu ball. This time have your feet together and bow your knees out. Raise your hips into the air, squeezing tight on each rep. This will more specifically target the inner portion of the glutes. Perform twenty reps.
Wide Hip Raises
Lie on the floor with your knees together and feet wide apart. Raise your hips into the air, squeezing tight on each rep. Perform twenty reps.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Lunge forward and lower yourself into an extended lunge position. Keep your right knee over your ankle and rest your left knee on the ground. Hold this position for thirty seconds, then switch sides.
Stand sideways on a step, box or bench that is at least four inches high. Allow one of your legs to hang free off the side of the box. Keep both of your hips squared forward and your shoulders level. Keeping your standing leg straight, raise your free leg directly upward. Now drop the leg down. Your belt-line should alternate up and down. Do 12 to 15 reps and then repeat on the other side.
As you get stronger with this movement, you can add ankle weights to increase difficulty. Alternatively, hold a dumbbell in each hand.
Single Leg Deadlift
Stand on your right leg, with your left leg in the air behind you. Keeping your shoulders back and your back straight, hinge forward as you reach your hands toward the ground. Do not bend your knees throughout this movement. Return back up and repeat twelve to fifteen times. Do the same on the other leg.
Three Way Leg Raises
Place a resistance band just above your knees. Separate your feet and bend your knees to descend into a slightly crouched position. Balance on your left leg. With controlled, slow motions, move your right leg forward against the band’s resistance. Slowly return to the starting position. Now, without moving your right foot back on the floor, move it out to the side. Then return to the starting position. Next, move your leg directly behind you, then back again to the starting position. That is one repetition. Perform two sets of five reps on each leg.
Single Leg Squat
Stand on your left leg with your right foot out in front of you. Keep your toes pointed toward the ceiling. Your knees should be slightly bent. Stand tall (don’t round your shoulders). Keep your left knee over your ankle as you lower down into a squat. Extend your hands out in front of you for balance. Push into your heel to come back up. Repeat. Start with shallow squats and go deeper as the move becomes easier.
Side Lying Leg Lift
Lie down on your side with your legs extended out straight. Rest your lower arm under your head. Rest your top arm on your upper hip. Now, raise the top leg up while keeping your hips steady. Don’t rotate forward or backward. Lower down and repeat. Perform twenty reps on each leg.
As this movement becomes easier over time, add resistance by way of an ankle weight.
NON TRAINING DAY EXERCISES
The exercises that follow are designed to be done on your non leg workout days. Most of them don’t require any equipment, so you can do them at home! These moves are far more joint friendly than the compound exercises like squats that you’ll be doing on leg day.
Trap Bar Romanian Deadlift
Romanian Deadlfts are a great move for the traps and the glutes. but they can be particularly tough on the lower back. Using a trap bar for RDL’s is a great alternative. Stand inside the loaded trap bar and squat down to grab it. Perform a normal deadlift to bring the bar up. From there, go up and down in a hip hinge pattern. As you descend consciously forced your arms back in order to really fire the glutes. Do not rest the bar on the floor between reps.
Perform 10-12 reps.
Single Leg Barbell Glute Bridge
Load a barbell with a moderate weight (for a guy, start with a twenty pound plate on each side). Place some padding such as a wrapped towel around the middle of the bar. Now lie under the bar so that your pelvis is directly in line with the padding. Bend your knees.
Power up from the hips, contracting the glutes to lift the barbell. When you reach the top position, raise your left foot into the air, bringing it as high as you can. Now lower your hips back down. Keeping your foot elevated raise your hips again to move into your second rep. Bring the bar completely down to the floor between each rep. Hold the top position of each rep for 2-3 seconds.
You can also do this movement with both feet on the ground. However you will have to use a lot more weight to gain maximum glute activation. This can be quite uncomfortable on the hips and neck.
Perform 5 reps on each leg.
Offset Single Leg Glute Bridge
This is an even more challenging version of the previous movement. You can offset the bar by mailing the side of the bar in which the leg is doing the work, slightly heavier than other side. A difference of about ten pounds is what you are after. In order to counter the weight differential, you will have to move a little closer to the heavier side. It will take a little effort to get balanced and comfortable. But the effort will be well worth it; your glutes will be on fire.
Perform 5 reps on each leg.
Single Leg Hip Thrusts (feet elevated)
By elevating the feet and shoulders you will be able to perform your hip thrusts through a greater range of motion. Position two benches about six feet apart. Rest your elbows on one bench and your feet on the other. Lean back and drop your hips. Now move from the hip joint to bring your right leg down to the floor and then up in the air as high as possible. The right knee should be slightly bent and locked in that position. Hold the top position for a count of 3 seconds. Then slowly bring your leg back down until it almost touches the floor. Repeat five times on each leg.
This is a difficult movement. Use your bodyweight as resistance until you feel ready to add some poundage. Then, you can add a weighted vest or chains on your chest or simply hold a dumbbell in your hands.
Single Leg Barbell Hip Thrusts
This movement is very similar to the last one, except that you are now performing it with a loaded barbell across your hips. As such, it is a more advanced version of exercise. You must ensure that both benches are securely affixed to the floor (you can weight them down with weight plates). The only modification to the previous exercise description is that this time you don’t bring your leg down to the ground. It should come down to about 6 inches from the bench that your other foot is on.
Perform 5 reps on each leg.
Modified Reverse Hypers
Lie face down on a bench with your knees hanging off the bench. Grab the sides of the bench. Keep your knees and ankles together. Now extend your legs out so they are fully extended. Draw the knees into towards the bench and then slowly return them to the start position. You are moving the legs in and out. At full extension, your body should form a straight line. Squeeze your glutes tightly on each repetition.
Perform 15 reps.
Prone Hip Extensions
This movement is very similar to the last exercise, except that it is performed a single leg at a time. Alternate the legs so that when one is fully extended the other is at 90 degrees. Perform the movement in a slow, controlled manner. Doing the movement one leg at a time puts more focus on each side of the glutes and demands greater hip stability. As you get used to this movement, add resistance by way of ankle weights.
Perform 10 reps on each leg.
Donkey Kick Reverse Hypers
This move is a step up from the prone hip extension. Rather than alternating the legs as you bring them in and out, you keep one leg extended through the set as you bring the other leg in and out. This is an extremely challenging movement that will give you a fantastic pump in your glutes. Make sure you graduate through the previous versions of the reverse hyper before doing this one. In addition, be sure that you don’t hyper extend your lower back.
Perform 5 reps on each leg.
BUILDING SERIOUS ASS MASS
Now we are ready to start packing some size onto your glutes. The various versions of the Romanian Deadlift that follow will give you a pain in the butt that will guarantee growth.
Basic Romanian Deadlift
The Romanian Deadlift is an excellent movement to directly hit the glutes. However, it is too often performed incorrectly, with the result that it, not only takes the pressure off the glutes but causes damage to the lower back.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Using an overhand, shoulder-width grip, grab the barbell in front of your thighs. Lean forward from your hips, pushing your hips back as you guide the bar down your legs until the bar is at mid-shin level. Slowly extend at the hips to raise the bar back to the starting position.
You can also perform this movement with dumbbells. Hold the weights in an overhand grip in front of your thighs. Apart from that, perform the movement the same as the barbell version.
Power Rack Romanian Deadlift
A lot of people treat the Romanian Deadlift as a stiff legged deadlift. As a result they bring the weight down too far on each rep, taking the focus off the glutes. When you go down too fast you also risk damaging your lower back. When you perform the exercise in a power rack with the pins set at the ideal depth, you will ensure that you get a perfect rep every time.
Set the pins at the level that allows you to go down to a point where you are still maintaining a flat back. Make sure that you do not bounce the bar off the pins. Go up and down slowly, without the aid of momentum. Make sure that you start each rep from a dead stop.
Perform 10-12 reps.
Landmine Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts
Stand in front of a T-Bar Rowing bar. if one is not available simply load one end of an Olympic bar with a twenty pound plate. Stand a few feet in front of the loaded portion of the bar, facing towards it. Hold the bar in your right hand, an inch or two in front of your thigh. Now lift your right leg off the floor and move it directly back behind your body. Simultaneously lower your right arm down to the floor. Be careful not to pitch your upper body too far forward or you are likely to lose your balance. In fact, this one will take a little time to feel comfortable. Persevere because it is an awesome glute builder.
Do ten reps on the right side and then repeat with the left side.
Single Leg Hip Thrust / Leg Curl Combo
Position yourself in front of a bench, leaning down so that your elbows are resting on the bench. Angle your feet in front of you with your feet on the floor. Place a device such as a valslide, which will allow your foot to slide along the floor, under your right foot. Bring your right foot back until it is at a right angle. Raise your left leg into the air with the knee bent and the foot coming as high as possible.
Now slide your right foot out as you bring it to full extension. Simultaneously bring your left foot down to the floor. That is one rep. Perform 10-12 reps and then repeat with the other side.
In this article we have detailed 24 movements that you can put in your butt blasting arsenal (pun intended). Chose six movements and perform them on alternate days. Switch them up every workout to keep your glutes guessing and to hit them from every conceivable angle.
In the third part of this glute guide, we’ll focus on the compound movements that hit the glutes and find out how to optimize your form to boost your power and your glute busting results. Click here to read the first part and fourth part of the complete guide to glute training.