Updated: Feb 22
Great pair of glutes are hard to miss, If you’re on Facebook or Instagram, then you have probably seen a couple of #fitnessgoals posts and photos. In this article, you will learn how to build glutes in time for your next selfie.
Common Mistakes When Trying to Build Glutes
Are you exercising regularly but aren’t seeing the sculpted booty that you desire? If that is the case, then you are probably doing it wrong, and so your glutes aren’t activated in the process.
To give you a clear picture, here are some of the common mistakes you might be unconsciously doing:
You are trying to build glutes while doing cardio
At first, you might think that you’re hitting two birds with one stone, but in reality, you’re just wasting time and effort. To get the best out of both training methods, keep them on separate days, more on that in our previous blog post “Why can’t I build muscles?”
You are not using enough resistance
Some people perform an endless number of toning exercises; however, if they’re not using weights that is substantial enough to help them build muscle, it’s still of no use, unless you just started training.
You are using too much resistance
They say that too much of anything is bad for you; that is also true for glutes training. For instance, if you’re using too heavy weights, it eventually starts to work against your results, your glutes will distribute the load to other nearby muscles.
You are training within a single rep range
Instead of doing it in one rep range, try blending rep ranges for better results, go for 1-5 reps with heavy weights, 6-12 reps with medium weights, and also 12-20 with low or no weights.
You are not making use of the mind-muscle connection
As opposed to just going through the motions, owning each and every rep of each and every exercise phase is strongly recommended.
You think that deadlifts and squats alone are sufficient
This might sound surprising to some, but deadlifts and squats are not primary glute exercises. They are both great for overall lower body development, but they don’t optimize gluteal strength and growth as much as glute exercises do.
You are not executing all movement patterns when training
You might feel partial to any one movement pattern. However, in order to be successful in your glutes training, you need to perform all basic movement patterns, hit he glutes from all angles and planes of motion.
Why these Practices are Messing up with Your Glutes Training
If you’re doing glutes training for a while now, and still not seeing any visible progress, chances are you’re doing it wrong. Now, we’ve already discussed the common mistakes one might be doing when trying to build glutes. In this section, we will tell you about the reasons why having those practices isn’t good for your glutes training.
To start with, you’re not really using your glutes that much in your everyday life, and so let’s just say that they are asleep and you need to learn how to activate them.While doing glutes training together with cardio seems like a good idea, it isn’t entirely a good choice. First of all, you will be forced to perform cardio at a lower intensity. Second, you aren’t optimizing the development and strength of your glutes since you will be reinforcing terrible biomechanics.
With regards to resistance, you could be using either too much resistance or not enough resistance, both of which lead to poor results. Resistance, in sufficient amount, helps to increase muscles. So, if you’re not exerting the right amount, you don’t optimize your glutes training.
Also, glute training is about going over your comfort level. If you think that you can still do more, then you probably should. If you feel that you could still do some more reps, slightly add more weight and continue. Your goal is to determine a challenging weight that will make you push harder. So, if you don’t feel muscle fatigue at all, you’re obviously doing it wrong.
What You Should Do Instead
We’ve already discussed what mistakes to avoid when doing glutes training and also identified the reasons why they’re considered wrong. Next, we’ll explain what it is that you should do to optimize your glutes training.
To help you get started, here are some pretty simple exercises that you should try out to activate your gluteal muscles:
The 4-point arm and leg raise
Single-leg elevated hip thrusts
Side plank abductions
Try performing these exercises from a rep range of 6 to 12 and with some heavy resistance. To help you train your glutes more, either you add a rubber band around your thighs, or you may stand with your feet slightly wider than your hip-width apart. Also, it’s best if you tuck in your belly button when performing these exercises to better aid with the activation of the glutes.
Moreover, here are some useful tips to make your glutes training more productive and effective:
Don’t forget to focus on your feet as well. Strive to maintain an arch in your foot while doing exercises. Do some stretches that aim to activate your hip flexors before going through the training. The most ideal one you should go for is the deep hip flexor stretch.For people who have chronically tight hamstrings, the best course of action is training in half-kneeling positions.
Looking at it long-term, these positions can aid in fixing this issue. Also, be sure to squeeze your glutes all throughout the execution of each exercise to stay balanced.Remember to always maintain proper posture, especially during exercise. Not only does good posture promote your well-being, but it also creates a sense of confidence as you go through the entire training and even after that.Aim to balance your strengths. To do this, you would need to strengthen your posterior and anterior line, especially the muscles in your posterior chain.
The effectiveness of Glutes Training from a Scientific Perspective
To ensure the successful activation of the glutes, you have to understand the muscles involved first. The ones that we’re trying to activate here is the gluteal muscles, which is composed of three individual muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.
In case you are not yet aware, we use these muscles in performing our day-to-day routines, including walking and running. However, most people never really train them particularly. Some people claim that deadlifts and squats are enough to build glutes; however, it isn’t necessarily always right. Of course, it could’ve been effective with them but not necessarily with other people.
To develop and build glutes, you need to hit the muscles directly with exercises that cause the highest percentage of muscle activation. Exercises such as hip thrusts and bridge (to name a few) are great. Incidentally, the gluteal muscles are most activated when the hips are near full extension. So, it is best if you choose exercises that target the glutes directly and that has a full range of motion.
For instance, the 4-point arm and leg raise. Although it is pretty an essential exercise, you can also add a significant amount of resistance by opting to hold a band between the opposite arm and leg. In this way, the glutes are activated to counteract the movement. Moreover, there are actually muscles that run from one glute to the opposite arm through the back that causes the glutes to burn further and activate. This just shows that you don’t need to do complex exercises in order to develop muscles.
After all is said and done, going through extensive training alone is not enough to get an incredible physique. You also need to eat clean and live healthily. So, good luck with your glutes training and continue choosing to be healthy. If you want to take it a step further and let professionals design your plan for you, answer the questions below.