Strengthening your glutes is important for proper pelvic alignment and the lower back. Christina Howells, Personal Trainer, shows you how at home.
In this workout, you will perform each movement twice through before moving onto the second exercise.
Frog hip thrust
Frog hip thrusts are an excellent glute activation exercise. Unlike traditional hip thrusts, the hips are externally rotated, which plays into the oblique organisation of the muscle fibres. This allows for a greater activation potential of both the gluteus maximus and the smaller gluteus medius muscles.
Position: Lie on the floor with your legs bent at 90 degrees, and allow your knees to drop open to the ground. The soles of your feet are together. You're making a diamond position with your legs. Arms are by the sides of your body, palms down.
Movement: Squeeze your glutes tight as you lift your hips so that your body makes a straight line with your knees. Pause at the top, still squeezing your glutes, and then return to the floor.
Aim for 20-30 repetitions for two sets.
Modified side plank with clam
This side plank variation is an excellent exercise to strengthen the smaller glute muscles surrounding your hips and activate your core and challenging shoulder stability. It's a real bum burner!
Position: Lay on your right side with your elbow directly under your shoulder. Your forearm is facing out, and your legs are bent at a 45-degree angle. Place your top hand on your hip.
Movement: Engage your abdominals to initiate the move. Push your forearm and knee into the ground to lift your hips into the air. At the same time, raise your bent left leg, lifting the knee as high as you can with control. Pause at the top and then return to the start position. You will feel the exercise in both the bottom and top hip, as well as your core and shoulder.
Aim for 15-20 each side for two sets.
Single leg Russian dead lift
This is a great unilateral exercise that works the entire posterior chain, in particular the glutes and hamstrings, while challenging both proprioception and balance.
Position: Standing balancing on your right leg.
Movement: Imagine a piece of string is tied around your waist, and someone is pulling you from behind as you focus on hinging at the hips to send your torso forwards. Allow your right knee to bend slightly. Your left leg should be straight (or it's OK if there's a slight bend in the knee) as it reaches backwards as you move forwards.
Lower yourself as far as comfortable, then use the muscles in the back of your leg to pull yourself up, squeezing your glutes at the top once you are upright. Be mindful not to round your back as your lean forwards. Make sure your hip, knee, and ankle are in alignment.
Aim for 8-12 each side for two sets.
These are a great lower-body staple excellent for toning up the glutes, targeting both the gluteus maximus and the smaller gluteus medius muscles. They also challenge core stability, co-ordination and balance.
Position: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms by your sides.
Movement: Place your weight onto your left leg, and move your right leg backwards and around your left foot, as if you were to perform a curtsey. Lower yourself deep into a lunge position, so your right knee nearly kisses the floor. Allow your hands to reach to the floor while keeping your chest proud.
Aim for 8-12 each leg for two sets.
This is an oldie but a goodie, excellent for adding the finishing touches to your glutes routine.
Position: Come onto all fours on your forearms, with your knees in line with your hips and your shoulders in line with your elbows. Your back is flat and gaze to the floor.
Movement: Flex the right foot. Brace your abdominals as you raise your right knee even with your right hip. Pause at the top, squeezing your glutes, and return to the start position.
Aim for 15-20 full kickbacks.
Now hold the knee even with the hip, drive the foot closer to the bottom cheek and pulse the movement 2 inches down and 2 inches up while squeezing the glutes with every pulse. When performing the pulses, less is more, so keep them small and controlled.
Aim for 15-20 pulses. Now change legs and repeat both the kickbacks and pulses.
For more at-home workouts, see the Monday to Friday home exercise plan for inspiration.