Q: I have been working out for a few years and am happy with the way my body looks, except for my glutes.What are the best exercises to tighten your glutes?
A: Many women have a hard time tightening that area of the body. I think the reason is that so many women are still stuck in aerobics class.
One of the traps many women fall into is doing excessive amounts of aerobics. When you do hours and hours of aerobics, your body will actually adapt by storing more body fat on your lower body. You’re better off doing anaerobics, which are shorter bouts of higher-intensity cardio. This would include sprints or weight training that will burn the fat off of the lower body rather than store it there.
The other mistake that a lot of women make is working the glutes with only partial range of motion exercises such as millions of “doggy kicks,” usually done in aerobics class. These exercises do not have enough resistance to build the muscle. To improve the appearance of your glutes you have to use resistance. This can be your own body weight or dumbbells or a barbell. The only way to change your body is to work your muscles beyond what they are used to doing. If you lifted your body weight last week, then lift your body weight plus ten pounds this week. You must constantly be getting stronger and working harder in order to see your body change.
Some of the best exercises to add into your routine include Step Ups, Deadlifts, and Squats.
Step Ups are preformed by simply stepping up, one foot at a time, onto a step without alternating legs. Keep your weight on one leg the entire set to keep the muscles under tension. Start with your body weight and perform 10-15 repetitions. The higher the step, the more your glutes are working. Next time you do step ups, either raise the step or hold dumbbells in your hands. This is one of the best exercises to target your glutes.
(Jo-Ann S. demonstrates a weighted step-up)
Bent knee or straight leg Deadlifts are very similar to squats, except the weight is held hanging down in front of you instead of on your shoulders. You want to keep the bar right against your legs and bend your knees, keeping your back straight without leaning forward too much. Then stand up until your legs are straight and repeat. For a straight leg deadlift, your legs stay straight and you bend forward from the hip, still keeping the bar right against your legs. These are tough exercises, and I would advise you have a qualified fitness coach check your form. If done incorrectly, you could hurt yourself. Start off by just holding a stick so you are only lifting your body weight and then gradually add weight.
( Jerry B. demonstrates a split-stance deadlift)
(Marion R. demonstrates a two-handed kettlebell squat)
I would recommend that if you are trying to target a certain area such as glutes, hire a coach to design a program for you to teach you the exercises. This is the best way to get results fast and learn how to train your body. Let our program design team at Y.E.S. Fitness create a personalized program designed specifically to help you achieve your goals! We give you a FREE Fitness Strategy Session. This evaluation helps you determine where your body is now so that you have all the critical information you need before you even consider joining our gym or any other gym. Click here to learn more or contact us at 860.673.4293.