The glutes are an interesting muscle. They’re overlooked by some and enamoured by others. But when it comes to fitness, they’re essential. As the biggest muscle group in the body, strong glutes can equate to fewer back and knee injuries, better posture, and more calories burned.
I’ve condensed some of my favorite lower-body, glute-focused exercises into one, quick 10-minute workout. This combination of exercises is a great way to target the front and back of your thighs (quads and hamstrings), your inner thighs (adductors), and your butt (gluteus medius and maximus). For each exercise, aim for 20 reps. Then repeat the circuit twice from start to finish.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Lateral Step-Up With Skater Lunge
I love this compound exercise because it makes you move in three separate planes of motion. You go up, back, and sideways, which engages the hip muscles, glutes, and quads.
Targets: quads, adductors, and glutes
1. Stand next to a bench or box and step up with your right foot, letting your left leg hang off the side.
2. Step back down into a curtsy lunge by landing on your left leg and bending your left knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor. In the same motion, step your right foot back and behind you at an angle until your knee just touches the ground.
3. Pushing through your left heel, return to standing.
Hip Thrust With Wide Resistance Band
You may be familiar with the glute-isolating movement of the hip thrust, where you lie with your shoulders on a bench, feet on the floor, and squeeze your butt to drive your hips towards the ceiling. This exercise takes things to the next level by adding a resistance band, which helps recruit the gluteus media and significantly increase the intensity of the exercise.
Targets: gluteus medius and gluteus maximus
1. Place a wide resistance band around the middle of your thighs.
2. Lying back with your shoulders on the edge of a bench and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, lower your hips towards the ground.
3. Pause, then drive your hips up towards the ceiling.
4. Lower back down in a slow-and-controlled motion.
Modified Stiff-Leg, Single-Leg Deadlift
If you have a tendency to round your spine and don’t practice proper posture, this exercise can be an all-out stability challenge. However, when done properly this incredible postural movement helps strengthen your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. The key is to think about hinging at your hips rather than bending over.
Targets: hamstrings and glutes
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand.
2. Hinge forward at the waist, sliding your hips back as far as you can. Lift your left heel off the ground and slowly lower the dumbbells, maintaining a slight bend in your knees.
3. Return to standing by bringing your hips forward. Repeat with your right heel lifted.
Jumping Box Squat With Wide Resistance Band
By pairing an explosive jump movement with a resistance band, you’re recruiting larger muscles in a more significant way and increasing the intensity of the exercise. Try to land softly by imagining the ground is glass and you don’t want to break it. Also, allow your glutes to “kiss” the surface of the box or bench without fully resting before engaging in another rep.
Targets: quads, glutes, and hamstrings
1. With your feet hip-distance apart and glutes engaged, sit on a bench or box with the resistance band placed about mid thigh.
2. Squeezing your glutes, explode up so that your feet leave the ground slightly.
3. Lower directly into the squat as you land, allowing your butt to touch the box briefly before driving back up for the next rep.
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