At the Gym Project, we are always encouraging our members to get into the weight section and start strength training, this is especially important for females wanting to grow their glute muscles (and getting up those Falmouth hills!)
Female weight training is becoming more and more popular (and rightly so), so here is a quick post for you girls wanting to grow some booty. Without fail, every female that comes in to have a consult with us, wants to work on their bum. We are all for this, as glute muscles not only look good, but are vitally important for posture, a number of athletic movements, and prevention of back pain.
Most of us now work in jobs which means we sit on our bums all day. This is especially true for students. This leads to our bums getting lazy, which means the glute muscles not contracting properly. On top of this, desk workers will have chronically tight hip flexors and piriformis (takes the slack for weak glutes). So before we get into any training, you should hit up some glute activation exercises and stretch out those hips and piriformis. Did we mention we run a stretch and mobility class every Tuesday at 7pm?
Glute activation and stretching
Hip Flexor Stretches
Banded Crab Walks
Body Weight Hip Thrusts
Glute Building Exercises
Squats – These beauties are the daddy of all leg exercises, that will not only work the bum but all the leg muscles. They should be a staple of any booty-building routine. A little pointer to focus more on glutes in the squat. Focus on pushing the glutes back in the descent, at the bottom contract the bum hard and forcibly bringing your hips forward over your feet. Again squeezing hard at lockout.
Deadlift Variations – All deadlift variations will hit the glute muscles, but some will be more appropriate for the majority of people. The conventional deadlift may not be the best if your bum is weak as your hamstrings and lower back will compensate. We would recommend using the Romanian deadlift variation (see picture). Set up like a regular deadlift, once you are at the top of the lift, this is where things get a little different. Take a slight bend in the knee, then lower the bar by bending at the hips, keeping your back flat. You want to keep the bar as close to your shins as possible. Make sure you are pushing your bum backward. If you aren’t feeling it in your hamstrings, push your bum back more. After you have reached your stretch point, don’t force this, lift the bar upwards by extending at the hips and squeezing your bum (as shown in the picture)
Hipthrusts- Research has shown that the barbell hip thrusts has the most glute activation out of all exercises. We prefer the version where your shoulder blades are rested on the bench (see picture). Drive through your heels and squeeze your glutes. Make sure you don’t hyperextend your back. Also pad up the bar or these can be a little painful!
Walking Lunges/ Bulgarian Split Squats – These can both be done with bodyweight, dumbbells, or with a barbell. For walking lunges make sure you are keeping your chest up and spine straight. Aim to keep all of your weight on the front heel, whilst lowering the back knee to the floor. You want to create a 90-degree angle in the front knee. Similarly, with split squats, we want our front foot far enough forward to create a 90-degree angle, whilst keeping our chest up.
Beginner Glute Workout
Squats 4 Sets x 8 Reps (use a weight which is challenging but you can still have good form)
Leg Press (ideally 45-degree angle machine) 3 x 15 Reps ( foot position – feet high and wide on plate)
Hip Thrusts 3 sets x 12 Reps (again pick a weight which is challenging but you can maintain good form
Advanced Glute Workout
Barbell Squat 5 Sets x 5 Reps ( use 70% of your maximum)
Romanian Deadlift 3 Sets x 8 Reps / GHR 3 Sets x 6 Reps
Barbell Hipthrust 3 Sets x 12 Reps
Walking Lunges 3 Sets x 12 Reps or up and down gym track (each leg)
Heavy Prowler pushes 2 Sets x Up and Down track (40m) (wide legs, low handles)