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Having a killer booty is something that’s in most of our “to do” lists, but actually achieving it is another matter. We wistfully scroll through all the rock solid bubble butts peppered throughout Instagram and swear that one day, it will be us.
Of course, wanting strong glutes and actually having them are two very different things, because a lot of the time we misunderstand what working the glutes actually requires and how to achieve a decent butt lift without the surgery. Not only that, but having a steel booty is about more than how it looks. There are actually a number of benefits to engaging with your glutes and building strength in the lower body in this way that will benefit your overall wellbeing.
So, it’s time to break down our butts (not as painful as it sounds) and understand how to get stronger glutes and why it’s so important outside of simple aesthetics.
To fully appreciate the benefits of strong glutes and how to strengthen them, it’s always good to know what we’re working with. There’s a lot going on underneath that soft, cushiony surface and the key to successful strength training is understanding how your body works .
The glutes are made up of three muscles. The gluteus minimus, medius and maximus, with the minimus being the smallest of the gluteal muscles and maximus the largest.
Our glutes are a stability powerhouse. It might not seem like it as they hang back there out of sight, out of mind, but they’re accountable for so much of how we move.
The glutes are responsible for hip extension, internal rotation and hip abduction (moving away from the body). They work in conjunction with the hamstrings (the three muscles at the back of our upper leg) to help us walk, run, kick and climb. So it stands to reason (pun fully intended) that they are a vital part of keeping us upright and mobile. But there are a number of other booty benefits for keeping your glutes in top notch condition.
Strong glutes will actually promote improved mobility in your hips. You’ll have more control over your hip movements which means you can take exercise further as you have the strength to increase your range and, as a result, your mobility.
Not only that, but your overall mobility will be improved in both walking and running. Strong glutes mean you can go further and for longer without tiring or cramping. Just remember to stretch them out afterwards.
There are plenty of machines and weights in the gym to aid you in your gluteal strength training, but if like many of us, time is of the essence, then investing in a set of fabric resistance bands is just as good. (Not to mention much cheaper than a gym membership.) The fabric bands are preferable because they don’t roll or pinch so you can get on with your exercises without having to fix the band every few minutes.
Ask any athlete what helps improve their performance and you can guarantee that they are tiring out that tushy. Strengthening your glutes promotes a better overall athletic performance as well as day to day. Your glutes actually generate a huge amount of power.
Imagine a horse running and visualise the muscles rippling through their rear end as they power themselves forward. This is exactly what our glutes are doing to us (albeit maybe a bit less majestically).
Having strong glutes gives you more speed, acceleration and endurance. By working out your posterior you can improve your ability to walk, run, cycle, jump, lunge or climb and not only that, you’ll be able to go for longer.
If you workout at home then consider using a fabric resistance band around your thighs when you do your glute bridges to really activate your butt and feel the burn.
We spent years believing that they key to fat loss was cardio, HIIT and anything that made us resemble a tomato. Now, these are beneficial as part of an overall workout regime, but there’s no denying that getting stuck into some weightlifting will help torch body fat and shift those kilos.
And putting this into the lower body is the most effective way to see results. You can shred body fat in half the time by incorporating some leg lifting and sculpting into your workout regime. Because the glutes and hamstrings are such big, vital muscles in how we move, they play a huge role in knocking off the fat.
Simply adding lower body resistance training into your workouts will see you sculpt a definition into your body you didn’t even realise was possible. The bigger the muscle, the more energy it requires so the more you burn.
Don’t have time for the gym and all those barbells? Not a problem. Resistance bands may look all cute and innocent but they will provide a deep burn in your glutes that will more than contribute to your desired results. Throw on a fabric resistance band and introduce your legs to some banded squats and lunges.
Because our gluteal muscles are responsible for so much of our overall stability, keeping them toned and strong can solve a lot of problems if you suffer from knee pain, lower back pain, groin pull or any number of lower body related issues. If our glutes are weak, then the alignment of the body is affected, which can lead to a number of niggles and cranky joints. With a strong booty comes stability and no more groaning when you have to kneel down clean up whatever it is your kid just spilled on the floor.
Adding in some simple resistance banded exercises like clam shells, leg lifts and push backs will help strengthen all three muscles in your glutes and give you greater stability.
In a world of desk jobs and Netflix, we are a generation of slouchers and couchers. Because of that, it’s easy to forget to activate ourselves, and even when we do exercise, we try and make do with 30 minutes on the treadmill and touching our toes to finish. So our posture has become somewhat of a liability over the years.
Thankfully, strength and resistance training our glutes can help solve a lot of postural issues. Improving strength in our hamstrings and gluteal muscles will promote better stability. Once we have achieved this we find that our hips don’t fall forwards, they sit underneath us, which instantly straightens our back and pulls in our gut. Yes, it’s true, training your glutes can help give you a flat tummy, as part of the reason it may look like you have a belly is because of how you stand, and that all links back to weak glutes.
You can easily start changing your posture at home by using a fabric resistance band around your thighs for squat based exercises. Also try putting the bands around your ankles or feet and walking sideways in a crab like fashion back and forth across your living room. It sounds simple but the fire in the butt is no joke.
Essentially, there is no bad side to training your booty, and it can actually benefit a number of areas of your body, as well as giving you better posture and improving your overall performance and endurance. So, there’s no excuse not to improve that posterior. If you’re not sure where to start, try out our Gluteus Smasheus workout. All you need are a set of fabric resistance bands, a mat or towel for cushioning and a big dose of grim determination.