This is the first in the series of two blog posts that will help you build the biggest muscles of your body, namely your glutes. Suffering from an achy back? A weak core? This is most likely a result of poor posture. Spending too much time sitting can weaken and deactivate your gluteus muscles, causing muscular imbalances that can lead to poor posture and unnecessary pain. Consistent exercise of the gluteus muscles plays a key role in maintaining good balance, power, and posture. Here are some of the best exercise moves that will keep your glutes strong for years to come.
1. Glute Bridges
Equipment: A single dumbbell (optional)
- Lie down on a yoga mat, keeping your back and shoulders flat on the ground.
- Place your arms by your side, palms facing down. For added intensity, you can hold a dumbbell with your hands, resting the weight between your hips.
- Draw your heels and feet in, bending your knees.
- Elevate your hips toward the ceiling, squeezing your core and glute muscles to activate them, ensuring that your knees, hips, and shoulders are in a straight line. Press your weight into your heels.
- Hold the position for approximately two seconds before releasing and returning to the original position. Perform a set of 8 to 10 repetitions.
2. Leg Extension with Glute Bridge
- Starting in the same position as the glute bridge, lay flat on your back with your shoulders and palms flat on the ground.
- With your hands by your side, elevate your hips again, but with one leg fully extended so that your toes are pointing towards the ceiling.
- While making sure your glute muscles are engaged, slowly pulse the leg upwards, and then return to starting position. Alternate with the other leg. Perform three sets of 8 to 10 repetitions with short breaks between each set.
3. Good Mornings
Equipment: Barbell (optional)
- Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Place the barbell on the trapezius muscle of your upper back, just below the back of the neck and next to your shoulders, with hands gripping the bar just next to the shoulders.
- Push your hips back as you bring your chest down to be parallel with the floor, keeping the arch in your lower back tight. Place your body weight on your heels, keeping them squarely grounded.
- Return to the starting position, with the chest taking the lead followed by the hips. Repeat the exercise for a set of 8 to 10 repetitions.
Equipment: Kettlebell (optional)
- Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles as you push back your hips into a seated position. You may hold a kettlebell for added intensity.
- Hold the position for a few seconds and return to the start position. Repeat for a set of 8 to 10 repetitions.
5. Side Squats
- For a side squat, stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- While extending your left leg outwards to the side, squat into a seated position, feeling the tension in the glute muscles in the left side of the body.
- Return to standing position and alternate with the right leg.
- Perform three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions with short breaks between sets.
Arnav Khosla | Contributing Writer