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How to Get Strong Glutes

I want to show you how to get strong glutes!  I’m going to be talking about three muscles that you are probably neglecting during your workouts.  I’m going to show you how to activate those muscles and how to get a more effective workout so you can get strong glutes.

How to Get Strong Glutes

All this month on the Shape It Up channel we are talking about getting your rear in gear.  In today’s episode I’m going to show you how to activate your glutes.

What are the glutes?

The glutes are basically your tush, if you didn’t know that already, or your rear.  

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The glutes are made up of three muscles:

  1. Gluteus maximus

  2. Gluteus medius

  3. Gluteus minimus

Gluteus Maximus

  1.  largest of the three muscles 

  2. assists you with power

  3. Some common movements when you use your gluteus maximus:

  4. going upstairs

  5. rising from a sitting position

  6. climbing

  7. running faster than walking pace

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Gluteus Medius

  1.  middle sized muscle

  2. assists you stabilize your pelvis

Gluteus Minimus

  1. smallest of the three gluteus muscles

  2. assists the gluteus medius

  3. helps during hip rotation.

To get strong glutes, all three of the muscles need to work together by:

  1. stabilizing the hip

  2. assist in running

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  1. with hip rotation

  2. with leg extension

When these muscles stop working you can have serious problems throughout your entire body, whether that be back or leg pain or discomfort

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Four Exercises to Help you Get Strong Glutes

We are going to dive into the four exercises that are going to help you make sure you are activating your glutes when you are doing your workouts.  I have to give credit to Bret Contreras. He has an awesome book out called Strong Curves. He goes into a lot of detail about the glutes. If you haven’t heard of him, he is the Glute Man.  He goes over the exercises that I’m going to show you.

Here are four exercises to make sure you are activating your glutes when you are working out.  

We are going to start with the first exercise to see if your glutes are being activated.

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The Clam

  1. Lay down on your side on a mat.  

  2. Stack your legs on top of each other and keep your feet together 

  3. Lift your leg up and then slowly lower.

  4. Lift your leg up and slowly lower.  

Nicole’s Trainer Tips:

The important thing is that you don’t want your hips to drop back, you want to keep your hips stacked and as you bring that leg back you should feel your glute kicking in.

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The Bridge

  1. Keep your feet hip-width apart

  2. Place your hands down by the mat

  3. Engage your glutes 

  4. Tip your hips up 

  5. Lift those glutes up to the ceiling

Nicole’s Trainer Tips:

 At some point you should feel your glutes clenching and tightening up. Dig your heels into the floor, relax your neck and try to get those hips up as high as you can and hold that. Make sure your legs don’t go out, keep your knees in line with your hips and then slowly lower.  

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Bent Knee Leg Extension

The bent knee exercise is similar to a donkey kick but you are not extending your leg.

  1. Get up on all fours

  2. Bring the leg back while keeping the knee bent

  3. Lift foot up towards the ceiling

Nicole’s Trainer Tips:

Really focus in on those glutes. Don’t arch your back – no movement in your back. Depending on your flexibility will determine on how high your leg is going to go.  Again, we are trying to focus on those glutes. When you bring the leg up, your glute should be firing and really tight. It’s not about lifting your leg really high, it’s really just about firing that glute, holding it and then lowering it down.

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Single Leg Bridge

The fourth exercise is the single leg bridge which is similar to the bridge above but (obviously) on one leg.  

  1. Lie on you back on the floor

  2. Hands are down by your side

  3. Take one leg and cross it over the knee of opposite leg.

  4. Push hips up towards the ceiling.

Nicole’s Trainer Tips:

Keep your hips stable. As you lift your hip up keep  firing in that glute. Try to keep your hips level, do not tip your hips. Don’t let the hip drop because now you are not working your glutes.

I would love for you to try out those exercises and see if you truly are engaging your glutes when you work out.  In the next Shape It blog,  I am going to be talking about Dead Butt Syndrome.  

Yes, Dead Butt Syndrome – it’s a real thing! Check it out HERE.

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