Try These 4 Exercises to Strengthen Your Weak Glutes
Having a nicely developed butt isn’t purely for aesthetics. Weak and underdeveloped glutes are some of the biggest factors that contribute to hip and low back pain, according to Athlean-X founder Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S.
“The butt will not only look flat and potentially sagging, but the internal hip stability and strength will be lacking, which often times leads to injuries and weakness in the low back and hip muscles,” he says.
Your glutes are made up of three parts: the glute maximus, glute medius, and glute minimus. Specifically, the glute muscle that Cavaliere says is almost always underdeveloped is the glute medius.
“While the maximus is an effective hip extender and slight external hip rotator, the medius has an incredibly strong capability of controlling the hip in the frontal plane through abduction and the transverse plane through hip rotation,” says Cavaliere. “Unless you are purposely putting exercises into your hip and glute workouts that engage the muscles through these motions you simply will not develop these muscles to their capacity.”
These four exercises can help to fix that, and can be done every day to help you build bigger, stronger glutes. Pick either to work either from the floor, or standing up—you’ll work your muscles either way.
Move 1: Toe Stab Hip Raises
While laying on your side, Cavaliere advises you to point the toe on the top leg down towards the ground. Be sure to bring the leg in front of the body and keep it there the entire time. Now, lift the leg up towards the ceiling as high as you can. This is called hip abduction.
“Don’t worry about how many reps you can do, instead focus on getting a strong contraction in the hip and hold it for a brief second before proceeding into your next rep,” says Cavaliere. “Keep the quality high and stop when you cannot resist the burn any more.”
Move 2: Toe Up Hip Raises
Again, you’re on the ground. Bring the leg behind the body and this time point the toe up towards the ceiling. Once again, lift the leg up as high as you can keeping the toe pointed up throughout. Cavaliere says to stop when the burn is too much.
“You don’t need to do these any more than one set per day but make sure you stay consistent with it since this is where you’ll start to build the mind muscle connection needed to really see benefits,” he advises.
Move 3: Toe Down Hip Swings
Now, you’re standing up. Bring your leg in front of your body with the toe pointed down towards the ground. Swing the leg out to the side into hip abduction as far as you can go.
“Make sure to remember to drop the hip on the leg that is standing on the ground to get abduction on it as well, making this a perfect two-for-one glute exercise,” says Cavaliere.
Move 4: Toe Up Hip Swings
With the leg slightly behind the body, point your toe skyward and swing your leg up.
“Here, as you swing, be sure to rotate your hips as shown to include closed chain hip external rotation as a component of the function of the glute medius you are trying to train,” says Cavaliere.
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