Your backside boasts the largest muscle group in your body — your glutes. Known for their power and strength, your glutes actually consist of three separate muscles — the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.
Not only do these muscles help you walk, sit, run, and jump, but they’re also famous for their curvaceous appearance. Like most other body parts, though, the glutes can vary in shape and tone. And if your glutes aren’t as big as you’d like, there are ways to help boost the size of these muscles.
The holidays are here, and although it’s filled with drinks, food, and festivities meant to divert us from our fitness goals, that doesn’t mean we can’t improve our physique. Engulfing endless amounts of eggnogs and mashed potatoes and gravy may not be the ideal diet for crushing fitness aspirations. However, the holiday season typically involves eating more calories than usual. So it’s perfect for going into a bulk, gaining as much muscle as possible, and building the perfect booty.
“Building muscle and reaching new personal records is much easier when you eat more calories. And naturally, the holidays are the time of year when you tend to eat the most calories. And the largest muscle in your body is the glutes”. So it’s only logical to want to grow the biggest muscle in your body when you’re consuming the most calories. And, of course, many women out there yearn for tone glutes. But, as it turns out, many women are also fond of men with round glutes.
The 5 Gym Glute Exercises For The Perfect Booty
You can certainly build spectacular glutes from the comfort of your home. But going to the gym is more beneficial when consuming more calories because the gym will give you access to heavier weights and equipment to target your glutes more than most home gym setups. (Of course, if you have a home gym setup akin to a commercial gym, you’re already in good hands.)
And when you’re eating more calories than normal, you must be lifting the heaviest weights to ensure you’re building more muscle than you’re storing fat. So let’s dive into the 5 movements you should do at the gym to build the perfect booty.
Wide Stance Barbell Squat
As the name implies, the wide stance barbell squat is a standard barbell squat performed from a squat rack, except with a wider stance. This exercise is an excellent lower-body compound movement that will engage all the muscles in your lower body and let you use heavy loads. But the benefit of the wider stance is that it will target more of your glutes (1).
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The dumbbell curtsy lunge is a reverse lunge, crossing to the opposite side. So you’ll lunge one leg back to the other side of your body and lunge down, then return to the starting position and do the other side. The reverse lunge already targets more of your glutes than forward lunges. And lunging on the opposite side will engage more of your glutes.
Machine Hip Abduction
The machine hip abduction targets your abductor muscles (muscles in your glutes and thighs), and it’s an excellent machine movement for contracting your glute muscles and the muscles that stabilize your glutes. However, compared to the machine hip adduction, moving your legs away from your body will target your glutes more. And this recent study concluded that it’s more effective than free weights for targeting your glutes while minimizing tensor fascia latae (IT band muscle) activation (2).
Barbell Hip Thrust
The barbell hip thrust is an excellent exercise for isolating your glutes and enabling you to overload them with heavy weight since you’ll be using a barbell. “The strength you gain from this glute isolation movement will transfer to other big lifts that require glute activation, like squats and deadlifts, furthering your lower body strength”. Moreover, the barbell hip thrust reduces the stress on your back and knees that other glute exercises, like squats, may bring. And it may activate your glutes more than standard back squats (3).
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The cable pull-through requires a hip-hinge movement to lift cable weights. A hip hinge is critical for performing deadlifts correctly so that it will improve them. This exercise promotes glute hypertrophy (growth) and activates your hamstring muscles. In addition, since this exercise is done on a cable machine, it provides constant tension on your glutes through every degree of the range of motion.
Below are the number of sets and reps we recommend you do for each exercise.
|Wide Stance Barbell Squat||3||6-8|
|Dumbbell Curtsy Lunge||3||8-10|
|Barbell Hip Thrust||2||8-10|
|Machine Hip Abduction||2||10-12|
You must perform the exercises above in the order they’re laid out. That’s because it’s best to do the more significant compound movements that target more of your lower body muscles and allows you to use the most weight. For example, wide stance barbell squats, before isolation movements like cable pull through that won’t engage as many muscles or let you use as much weight.
Moreover, you’ll want to ensure you’re resting the appropriate amount of time between sets. Rest as long as possible for the first movement to ensure you can lift the most amount you’re capable of each set; so we recommend resting for three to four minutes between sets. You can shorten your rest periods for the following exercises to two to three minutes.
The holidays are here, and it’s when we give up our fitness goals to indulge in food and drinks. So drink and be jolly this holiday season but move in the right direction to reach your goals. The holidays are the perfect time to focus on building muscle since you’ll consume more calories.
And your glutes are the largest muscle in your body, so it makes sense to capitalize on growing them while you enjoy pumpkin pie and stuffing. In addition, performing gym exercises at the gym will give you access to various equipment and allow you to use heavy weights for maximum glute hypertrophy. So try out the 5 gym movements above to build the perfect booty. And watch your glutes blossom.
- Personal Trainers Reveal “The Best Strategies To Train Squats”, Building Strength And “Alongside Deadlifts And Bench Presses”
- Glutes Development: The Best “Hamstring Exercises” To Build Power, Muscle, And Health
- 4 Moves to Tighten Your Glutes
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- Paoli, A., Marcolin, G., & Petrone, N. (2009). The effect of stance width on the electromyographical activity of eight superficial thigh muscles during back squat with different bar loads. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 23(1), 246–250. https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0b013e3181876811
- de Almeida Paz, I., Frigotto, M. F., Cardoso, C. A., Rabello, R., & Rodrigues, R. (2022). Hip abduction machine is better than free weights to target the gluteus medius while minimizing tensor fascia latae activation. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies, 30, 160–167. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbmt.2022.01.001
- Contreras, B., Vigotsky, A. D., Schoenfeld, B. J., Beardsley, C., & Cronin, J. (2015). A Comparison of Gluteus Maximus, Biceps Femoris, and Vastus Lateralis Electromyographic Activity in the Back Squat and Barbell Hip Thrust Exercises. Journal of applied biomechanics, 31(6), 452–458. https://doi.org/10.1123/jab.2014-0301
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