The gluteal muscles, commonly called the butt, are the strongest and biggest muscles in your body, according to Functional Resistance Training. The gluteal muscles are attached to the pelvis, and help keep your pelvis properly aligned, reducing the risk of postural imbalances that may cause back or knee pain. Your glutes also help stabilize your hips. Your glutes, hips and pelvis work together, and a butt workout that puts your hips through a range of motion will help keep your pelvis healthy.
Squats work all of your lower-body muscles including your butt. If you are new to exercise, start with body-weight squats. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart with your arms held in front of you. Engage your core muscles to keep your back straight, and lower yourself into a controlled squat by bending your knees and pushing your hips back. Writing for Breakingmuscle.com, personal trainer and pre- and post-natal fitness specialist Nicole Crawford, says squats performed with vertical shins and an untucked pelvis emphasize your butt and strengthen your pelvic floor. Lack of flexibility may initially inhibit you, but aim to squat as low as you can over time. As you get stronger, add resistance by holding a pair of dumbbells tight to the front of your shoulders.
A study commissioned by the American Council on Exercise at the University of Wisconsin used electromyography equipment to compare the effectiveness of different exercises for the gluteus maximus---the largest gluteal muscle. The study found that the quadruped hip extension activated the most muscle fibers. To perform the exercise, kneel on the floor with your weight balanced on straight arms. Lift your right leg, and keeping your knee bent, tighten your butt as you push the sole of your foot toward the ceiling. Do 15 to 20 reps, then change legs. Do three sets.
The glute bridge is a simple but effective exercise for your glutes and hips. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abs to stabilize your back and tighten your butt as you raise your hips off the floor. Avoid arching your back by raising your hips too high. Lower your hips and repeat. Do three sets of 15 to 20 reps. If you are an advanced trainer and really want to work your glutes hard, balance and hold a barbell on your lower abs as you perform the exercise.
The hip abductor exercise works your gluteal maximus, gluteal minimus and gluteal medius. These gluteal muscles help abduct or move your thighs away from your body in a sideways motion. To do the exercise, sit on the thigh abductor machine with your legs on the inside of the pads. Pushing against the pad, move your legs apart as far as you can. Do three sets of 15 to 20 reps
- Functional Resistance Training: Reactivating and Strenghtening The Gluteal Muscles
- Breakingmuscle.com: Stop Doing Kegels: Real Pelvic Floor Advice For Women and Men
- American Council on Exercise: Glutes To the Max
- American Council On Exercise: Quadruped Bent-Knee Hip Extensions
- ExRx.net: Lever Seated Hip Abduction:
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