Here’s a guest blog post written by our partner FreeSoul
Other than simply looking amazing and filling your jeans, your glutes exist for many more reasons! Whatever you refer to it as: your booty, butt, backside, or bum, is a major muscle group made up of your gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. These three muscles make up your glutes which are the largest and strongest muscles in your body.
Developing and strengthening your glutes can help to improve your posture, relieve lower back pain and make everyday movements like standing, sitting and climbing stairs a lot easier! During our workouts, the glutes are given a ton of attention, as they are key in explosive movements during athletic performances (such as jumping and sprinting). Strengthening your glutes is also a great way reduce the risk for injuries.
Here’s a mixture of compound and isolation work to effectively sculpt that booty!
#1 Glute Bridge (optional leg extension)
The glute bridge is a great isolation movement that will ensure you feel the burn. Start by laying on your back with your knees bent, feet flat and shoulder-width apart, and hands by your sides. Then, slowly perform a pelvic tilt and raise hips straight up off the ground, engaging glutes and bracing your core. Create a straight line with your body, aligning your knees, hips, and shoulders. Once in the proper position, hold it and clench your butt so your hips stay lifted and then lower down slowly, creating your own resistance. If you’re feeling more advanced, extend one leg, or you can even begin to alternate legs if you’re feeling like a pro.
#2 Crossover/Curtesy Lunge
Just as the name would suggest, imagine doing a curtsy and making it more controlled and more engaged. Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and lift your right foot, stepping backwards and to the left to cross behind and farther left from the left foot. From this crossed position, lower to a lunge, which will engage your glutes, core, and force your hamstrings to lower. These areas are also where you should feel the most tension (the burn). Finish by pushing off with your left foot to stand. Repeat on the other side.
#3 Diagonal Squat
You can never go wrong with improving your squat game! Begin standing with your feet wider than hip width and your arms at your side. Step your right foot back on a right diagonal, send your hips back and bend your right knee as you land in your step. It is important to keep your left leg straight while flexing your foot. Also, remember to keep your chest up and core engaged. Return to starting position and repeat on the other side.
#4 Side Skaters
Get in the rhythm as you jump side-to-side with this one! Stand with your feet close together and crouch down by pushing your hips back, keeping your back flat and core fully engaged. Jump as far as you can to the right, landing lightly on the ball of your right foot and your left foot in the air. Now jump as far as you can to the left, engaging your glutes to push off, and land lightly on the left foot. Repeat.
#5 Single-Leg Deadlift
One that will test both your strength and your balance. Begin standing on your right leg, with a slight bend in your knee to protect from injury. Keep your back flat as you hinge forward at the hips into a deadlift, sending left leg back high behind you and arms below you. Only lower as far as you can without curving your back, this is important so you don’t lose your form. Engage and use your right hamstrings, core and glutes to stand. Repeat on the other side.
After an intense workout, it’s always a good idea to recover with a high-quality protein shake, we recommend Free Soul’s Vegan Protein Range because paying attention to your post-workout nutrition and recovery will allow you to maximise the reward of the efforts you’ve put in. A good post-workout routine may help to optimise body function and performance. Their protein blends are free of gluten, soy, fillers, and artificial ingredients plus they’ve been reinforced with minerals, vitamins, and adaptogens to impact hormonal balance, bone density, energy, and hair, skin, and nails. To get the most of your workouts, click on the Free Soul link above and get 10% off with your first order.