It is common to find students (especially the female audience) in the gym environment to develop the musculature of the gluteus.
Although the primary purpose is – for the most part – aesthetic, we must understand that this muscle group is much more than a “pretty face” and we must keep it with a level of strength, at least, satisfactory!
What is the gluteus?
The buttock is the strongest muscle in our body (or at least it should be) and has strong participation in various activities such as; run, jump and climb stairs.
However, due to the sustained poor posture (especially when sitting) and possible shortening, such as the hip adductors and flexors, this muscle tends to become inhibited and weak, requiring adequate strategies for its strengthening.
In addition, this musculature has a FUNDAMENTAL role in the hip, lumbar, and knee stability. Its strengthening is strongly suggested for the treatment of – eventual – injuries in these joints.
Thinking about keeping our students free of any joint pain that may appear or even minimize the losses in hypertrophy, due to the lack of training equipment, we have selected the 5 best exercises to perform at home!
Therefore, although they are all part of the gluteus complex, they have different actions, which we will achieve with the variation of the exercises.
First of all, we strongly suggest – if they have one – that they use a miniband.
This tool can enhance your training!
Some studies show that the use of the miniband during exercises can increase gluteal activation by up to 21%, being an instrument that can favor your results.
Without further ado, let’s go to our 5 exercises to perform at home and without the need for equipment!
As many already know, the squat is a powerful exercise for lower limbs, so the gluteus could not be left out of this, showing excellent results, especially when performed in greater ranges.
Until we reach an adequate degree of mobility, we can carry it out to a lesser extent, worrying about some basic recommendations:
- Don’t let your knee in, keep your knee in line with your feet.
- Prevent the trunk from tilting too far forward
- Keep your abdomen firm to stabilize.
- Make small ones at the end of the descent and climb slowly with the buttocks contracted.
The pelvic elevation is the most powerful weapon in building a strong and functional gluteus! This exercise offers a little more “isolated” work for the gluteus, from this strength, muscle activation, and recruitment is very high.
Some tips can be used to further enhance the work of the gluteus in this exercise:
- Lift your toes slightly and push on your heels as if you want to sink the floor !!
- If available, use minibands!
- Make a slight rotation of the feet outward
- Avoid placing your feet too far ahead. Keep alignment with your feet.
- Hold for 3 to 5 seconds a slight isometric contraction at the end of the movement.
The gluteus complex has its potential enhanced when we carry out activities in unipodal support, that is, on one foot!
It is based on this principle that our next exercises will be selected.
This exercise can be quite challenging for some people due to the high demand for strength and, above all, balance.
This exercise could be considered a progression of the sinking exercise (which is also an excellent exercise for the gluteus), so sinking is a good alternative in case of greater difficulties.
For the more advanced, we recommend some tips:
- Keep your eyes fixed somewhere, looking sideways can upset your balance.
- Strongly contract your abdominal muscles for greater stabilization
- Do not let your knee “get in” while running.
- Slightly tilting the torso forward can further recruit the gluteus.
- Enjoy the breadth.
- Take small breaks at the end of the descent, and tightly contract your buttocks to climb.
Unilateral pelvic lift
As explained earlier, the gluteus is able to be further recruited in exercises performed on one foot.
The pelvic elevation is no different, as it is a powerful tool, as we perform an exercise with a more “isolated” characteristic and also on one foot.
This exercise has been strongly applied as a rehabilitation strategy for low back or knee pain and being used to improve gait control, especially in running athletes.
Let’s go to the recommendations:
- Be careful not to “rotate” your hips. (When one side falls during the ascent).
- Perform the slow and controlled movement, trying to keep the gluteus contracted in the 2 phases of the movement
- Take short breaks at the end of the climb. 3 to 5 seconds can be effective.
- Lift the balls of your feet to direct the full force towards the heel.
Last, but not least, the Step-Up, or step up, is an exercise that has a high gluteal demand and is an excellent tool that can be added to your training at home.
Although the name suggests that the exercise should be performed with a step’s aid, nothing prevents us from using a bench, chair or even the sofa! Follow the step by step:
- Support your foot completely on the bench to climb.
- Slow down the descent phase as much as you can
- Do not let your knee “go in” when climbing
- Avoid prolonged pauses between one repetition and another.