Your glutes are your biggest and strongest muscles, so it’s no surprise that they’re also one of the most important parts of your body. Your butt plays an essential role in everything from running, walking, and jumping to sitting down and getting up again. Stronger glutes are all about creating a stable pelvis and strong hips—and there’s no better way to do that than by strengthening your posterior chain (the muscles on the backside of your body). This involves strengthening not only the hamstrings but also developing strength through exercises like squats, deadlifts, lunges and more. In this guide we’ll show you some of our favorite moves for building stronger glutes as well as explain why each exercise is effective at doing just that!
It’s all about the hip hinge
The hip hinge is the most effective way to activate your glutes and build muscle in your hips. It’s a movement that starts with the hips, ends with the hips and is done by the hips.
In a nutshell: When you bend forward from your hips, it’s called a hip hinge (think of it as sitting back into a chair). But when you bend forward from your knees instead of your hips, it’s called an abdominal crunch—which is not what we want!
A strong core means firm abs and strong muscles around them; this will help protect us during exercises like squats or deadlifts where we need stability through our lower back area. The best part? We can do these moves anywhere: at home or in our office chair!
You can’t just do deadlifts for better glutes.
You can’t just do deadlifts for better glutes. Sure, they’re a great exercise and will help you build strength in your lower body, but they don’t work the glutes as much as other exercises.
Deadlifts are a compound exercise, meaning they work many muscles at once. They also happen to be a posterior chain exercise—the same type of movement that activates the hamstrings and lower back muscles. This is why deadlifts can have such an impact on overall strength and why they’re so popular among athletes who need to perform under pressure (like Olympic weightlifters).
But while deadlifts might activate some of those same muscle groups that make up your butt, it’s important to remember that there are other moves that target those areas more directly—especially if those are your goals!
You need to stretch your hip flexors
Your hip flexors are those muscles that connect your lower back to your upper leg. It’s important to stretch these muscles, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting down or in one position for an extended period of time (like at a desk). To get started, simply lie on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Cross one ankle over the other knee so that it forms an X shape with both legs facing forward. Make sure not to bend at either side (so no leaning into it or going too far). Now that you have crossed your legs, slowly raise up off of the floor until you feel a stretch in your hip flexors—about 6 inches off is ideal—then hold this position for 30 seconds as long as it feels comfortable without any pain or discomfort before lowering back down again slowly.
Make sure you’re doing the right kind of cardio.
What does a good cardio workout look like? It should be high-intensity, low-duration. If you’re not sure what that means, take a look at the chart below.
High-intensity: Your heart rate should be above 65 percent of its max for at least 20 minutes. For example, if your maximum heart rate is 180 beats per minute (BPM), then 65 percent would be 120 BPM (180 x 0.65 = 120).
Low-duration: You shouldn’t do more than 25 minutes of cardio per session if you want to gain muscle and lose fat (on average).
Add in single-leg exercises to really make a difference.
Single-leg exercises are great for developing stability, coordination, balance, strength and flexibility. These exercises also help to improve your glute muscles’ ability to contract. Once you’ve mastered the single-leg exercise you can then move on to the next progression: performing a squat with a kettlebell on one side of your body.
Once you have mastered that movement then it’s time for another step up in difficulty (because we don’t want things getting too easy for you). So let’s say that now instead of doing these exercises with dumbbells or kettlebells as shown above there are now two dumbbells held at shoulder height in front of our chest while we perform the squat movement. This is way more difficult than just holding one weight at a time because now both sides of our body have an equal amount of weight pulling down upon them making balancing much more difficult than before!
Proper form and a combination of moves are important for building stronger glutes
It’s important to remember that strong glutes are not just about squats, lunges and hip thrusts. Proper form and a combination of moves are also key.
Stretching your hip flexors is important because tightness in this area can cause your glutes to fire less as well as cause low back pain.
Doing the right kind of cardio will help with overall fat loss and improving the look of your butt (more on that below).
Single-leg exercises like step ups, split squats, Bulgarian split squats and single leg deadlifts all work different areas of the gluteus maximus muscle group—so if you want bigger butts, these are great moves to include in your routine!