Have you been told that you are not using your butt muscles enough? Do you want to strengthen your hips and core? This month, we are focusing on our glute muscles. We are calling it the Lazy Butt Exercise Series! So if you feel you need to strengthen and activate your glutes then this is for you.
Our glute maximus is the largest muscle in the body. It is large and powerful because it has the job of keeping the trunk of the body in an erect posture.
Strengthening the glutes and keeping them supple can help improve posture and make sitting down, standing, picking up heavy objects and climbing stairs easier.
If you are an athlete, developing strong glutes can improve athletic performance and decrease your risk of injury.
The glutes are often overlooked. You use your glutes when doing most leg exercises like squats, lunges and step ups. However most people don’t think about activating the glutes fully during these exercises which leaves them weak and the other muscles overworked or strengthened out of correct position. Follow this glute programme for the next few weeks and see an all-round improvement in glute, leg and core strength.
High Plank Glute Raise
This is a favourite of our trainer, Carrie.
This exercise works the glute maximus using your body weight, and also has the benefit of working the core as you need to hold yourself steady in a high plank position.
Why this exercise?
I have clients who can’t do glute-strengthening exercises such as squats – this is often due to knee issues or tightness. So this is a great alternative that avoid putting pressure on the knees.
I have some wrist weakness – is there a variation I can do?
Yes, sure. If you feel uncomfortable on your wrists, you can modify the exercise.
If possible, you can do this exercise on your fists to take some pressure off the wrists.
If not, then hold yourself in an elbow plank position (elbows on the floor, directly below your shoulders). Keep your hips low, and lift your leg up to hip-height by squeezing the glute.
I have done this exercise a few times, and I want to progress it. What would be the next level?
If you want to progress, you can add 10 pulses to the end of your set on each leg.
You can also add a lateral movement (moving your leg away from your body when the leg is lifted, but keeping the height the same and the leg straight).
If you want to really work into the glutes, you can start from a downward-dog position. You will no longer be working the core then, but you will get deeper into the glutes.
How to do this exercise:
1. Start in a high plank position, with your wrists below your shoulders, back straight and hips aligned.
2. Slowly lift your leg upwards, squeezing the glute to do so, so that your ankle is roughly at hip-height. Keep your hips steady.
3. Hold for 2 seconds, and return to starting position.
4. Repeat for the opposite side.
5. Do 10 reps each side
6. For an extra burn, pulse for 10 on the last rep each side
7. Do 3 sets total