Your rear end is for more than just sitting on. All the big, muscle-building exercises that involve the lower body, such as the back squat, rely on the glutes to provide strength and direction to the movement. And without the glutes to direct the actions of your legs you'd tip over. Stronger glutes will make you more powerful and better able to lift more weight.
These three exercises use both explosive and targeted movements to improve muscle co-ordination and develop more powerful glutes. Try grouping them into trisets – do the required reps for exercise 1, then move on immediately to exercise 2, then 3. You should then rest for two to three minutes before repeating the triset. Focus on maintaining intensity throughout the three exercises.
Sets 3 Reps 12
Target: glutes, rest of body
Why it works: It eccentrically contracts your glutes in the crouch before powerfully contracting them as you thrust back. The two-phase explosive movement of squat thrust and two-footed jump hits the glutes twice.
- Start in a press-up position, keeping your body in a straight line.
- Bring your feet back under you then explode upwards, driving though your feet with your glutes and legs.
- Reach up with your arms to gain extra height.
Lateral bodyweight lunge
Sets 3 Reps 12
Target: glutes, adductors, quads
Why it works: By hitting the muscles from the side instead of vertically, you call your glutes to work along a different plane of motion and target different fibres within the muscle mass.
- Keep your shoulders in line with your hips as you lunge and both feet pointing forward.
- Drop until your right thigh is horizontal.
- Alternate sides with each lunge.
Overhead squat with medicine ball
Sets 3 Reps 10
Targets: glutes, quads, hamstrings, core
Why it works: The squat hits your glutes, while the medicine ball adds resistance and recruits your core muscles to stabilise your body position throughout the movement.
- Brace your core and lower into a squat, keeping your back straight.
- Stop when your thighs are horizontal and drive back up.
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