Maximise your gluteus maximus

Friday, August 25th, 2017

We all secretly want that peachy bum! But did you know, a well-built bum makes you stronger and safer both during exercise, and in general life. It helps protect your lower back as less stress is put on the spine, allowing a straighter posture, as well as placing less strain on the knees when walking and running.

Arguably the most popular glute exercise is the squat, ‘butt’ many don’t gain the benefits of this exercise due to lack of knowledge or poor form. So here are some tips to build that booty:

1. The first step is perfecting your technique. Performing hundreds of squats will not help unless you’re doing them properly. Make sure:

Your feet are shoulder width apart
Your spine is in a neutral position
As you bend your knees, they don’t go over your toes
You push your heels into the floor – think of your feet as a corkscrew and screw them into the floor
You point your toes to 11 and 1 o’clock as this is where your knees will naturally track
You look straight ahead, rather than down; this will avoid curving the spine
You remember to exhale as you push through the hardest part of the squat for maximum power and oxygen intake
You squeeze those glutes at the top of the movement.

2. Vary your squat positions –this will target different parts of the glutes and legs, and make your workouts less repetitive. Why don’t you try:

Deep squats. Your hips dip lower than your knees. It almost doubles glute contribution in comparison to an average squat;
Sumo squats. Move your feet further apart than shoulder width. This works the inner glutes and thighs more than a narrow stance;
Pistol squats (one-legged squats). When first trying this technique it may be best to hold onto something sturdy to help keep your balance.

3. Increase the resistance. Body weight squats are ideal in a warm up, or used as a fat burner during a HIIT session. But if you want muscle gain, add some resistance. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated or scary either, squatting holding a kettlebell or with a powerbag can be the easiest progression.

Define that behind – the 3 muscles behind that perfect peach:

Gluteus maximus. True to its name, this is the largest of the three muscles in your behind
Gluteus medius. Shaped like a pork chop, this muscle sits near the outside of your pelvis
Gluteus minimus. The smallest of the group, it’s directly under the gluteus medius.