What a lot of people don't know is that there are three main muscles that make up the 'Glute' family. You have the big main muscle, the Gluteus Maximus, the smaller muscle which sits above the maximus called the Gluteus Medius, and then the one everyone forgets which sits behind the maximus called the Gluteus Minimus. There are several other muscles that are behind the maximus which aide in hip movement.
When working the Glutes, you want to make sure you are hitting ALL of the muscles. The Gluteus Medius is often left out but it happens to be one of the most important for 'lifting' the butt. Since it is predominately activated in hip abduction (moving the leg away from the body), Squats alone will not build them. Think side lunges, hip abduction machine, band side walking, leg lifts etc.
The Glutes become the dominant muscle group when your hip is in hyper-extension as in kickbacks, and below parallel like in a deep squat. If you aren't going that extra mile then your hamstrings and quads take center stage. It is really important to mentally activate your Glutes as well. When you squat and are about to push back up, make sure you are thinking about your Glutes squeezing together and pushing you up to standing.
Now try my favourite Glute workouts below and let me know if your butt is burning the next day!
Workout # 1
Hip Thrust with Barbell - 3 sets - 8-12 reps
Small Band Lateral Leg Lifts - 3 sets - 8-12 reps each leg (put a small band round your ankles and lift each leg out to the side as far as you can. Do one leg at a time).
Deadlifts with Barbell - 3 sets - 8-12 reps
Wide Leg Deep Squat with Barbell - 3 sets - 8-12 reps
Glute Kickback with Resistance Band - 3 sets - 20 reps each leg (put one foot through the handle of the band and put the other knee on the tubing. On your hands and knees, push the heel that's in the handle up towards the ceiling. There should be enough resistance in the band that you can just get through the reps).
Workout # 2
Thigh Abductor Machine - 3 sets - 8-12 reps
One-legged Deadlifts with Dumbbell - 3 sets - 8-12 reps each leg
Step Ups with Barbell - 3 sets - 8-12 reps each leg
Side Lunge with Dumbbells - 3 sets - 8-12 reps each leg
Sumo Squat with Dumbbell - 3 sets - 8-12 reps
Workout # 3
Lunges with Dumbbells - 3 sets - 8-12 reps each leg
Glute Bridge with Weight Plate on Thighs, feet on a bench - 3 sets - 8-12 reps
Stiff-legged Deadlifts with Barbell - 3 sets - 8-12 reps
Heavy Squat - 3 sets - 6-8 reps
Lateral Leg Lift with Cable - 3 sets - 8-12 reps each leg
Kettlebell Swings - 3 sets - 8-12 reps
Sick of your boring treadmill workout? Try my Treadmill Strength Training workout to mix things up and get your cardio AND strength workout in one.
Warm Up - 5-10 minutes, brisk walk
10 minutes - jump off treadmill, perform 10 push ups. Get back on treadmill and jog at a moderate pace.
11 minutes - repeat above.
12 minutes - repeat above.
13 minutes - repeat above.
Jog or perform HIIT sprints (if you're advanced) until the 20 minute mark.
20 minutes - step on the sides of the treadmill and perform 10 squats followed by holding a squat and pulsing for 10 counts. Get back on treadmill and jog at a moderate pace.
22 minutes - repeat above.
24 minutes - repeat above.
26 minutes - repeat above.
Jog or perform HIIT sprints (if you're advanced) until the 35 minute mark.
You can stop here and warm down or continue on for a more advanced workout...
35 minutes - hold on to the sides of the treadmill, lift your knees up into your chest and perform 10 knee raises. Target area = lower abdominals. Don't let your feet touch the ground between reps. Get back on treadmill and jog at a moderate pace.
36 minutes - repeat above.
37 minutes - hold on to the sides of the treadmill, lift your knees up and then extend your legs out together to one side of the treadmill so your toes are pointing to the ground but not touching the side of the treadmill, then bring them up again and repeat on the same side for 10 reps. Target area = Obliques. Get back on treadmill and jog at a moderate pace.
38 minutes - repeat above.
39 minutes - repeat above, but change sides.
40 minutes - repeat above.
Cool down, brisk walk for 5 minutes.
And you're done!
Let me know how you like my workout. Did it kick your butt? Did it make your treadmill workout more interesting and fun?