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Bringing Up The Rear -The Gluteus Muscles – The Glutes

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Hey everyone!

Welcome back or welcome to the page.

Today I would like to talk about the gluteus muscles. This is the final article on muscle groups. Please don’t think I left the glutes until the end because they are the least important. Far from it. This group of muscles is as important, or more important, than any other group. These are the largest muscles in the body, so as an added bonus, when you are engaging them, they burn a lot of calories!

There are three muscles to mention when we speak of the gluteus muscles, or glutes. All three are important and need exercise, and guys, you need glutes as much as women! There is a lot of information we need to cover today in this last article on all the muscle groups.

For today, we will talk about the glute muscles: where they attach at both ends, what they do for us, and how to exercise them properly.

Let’s get started!

The Gluteus Muscles

This group of muscles, the gluteus muscles, is located below your back and above your legs. OK, I’ll just say it. They areglutes your butt muscles. And they are pretty amazing. These muscles help your body stay upright and allow you to power your way through your workout. They are also the strongest muscles in your body.

As I mentioned above, there are three glute muscles: the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus.

The maximus is the muscle that gets all the attention. It is the one that gives the butt its shape. It originates on the tailbone and the pelvis as well as several other surrounding bones. It’s major attachment is to the femur, with other attachments to other bones. This origin and attachment give the maximus its functions, which will be mentioned below.

The medius originates on the hip bone and inserts on the femur. The minimus also originates on the pelvis (hip bone) and inserts into the femur. Note: this is a simplification of the origin and insertion of these muscles. They start and finish in a variety of locations with a myriad of tendons and are very complex in their structure and makeup.

The take away from this description is to remember that all three of the glute muscle work together to perform their functions on a daily basis, and when we are exercising the glutes, we are exercising all three of the muscles.

What They Do

The gluteus muscles have a complex function in our bodies. They are involved in any movement we do. They help support the body when you stand, help push you off the ground, and give you better balance in general. And that is just their major functions.

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The maximus is responsible for the movement of the hip and thigh, it raises the thigh to the side, rotates the leg, and thrusts your hips forward.

Working together, the medius and the minimus raise the legs to the side, rotate the thigh outward when your leg is straight and inwards when your hip is bent, and generally support the maximus as it works throughout the day.

It can clearly and honestly be stated that the gluteus muscles are the most important group of muscles when it comes to movement of the body. We need to remember to treat them with the respect and caring they deserve, and ensure we are exercising them in an effort to improve their functionality.

By the way, the side benefit of doing these exercises to ensure a properly functioning set of gluteus muscles is that you will have a really nice looking booty!

The Best Glute Exercisesglutes

If your glutes are weak, the other muscles in the body must compensate for that weakness. Muscles like the hamstrings, will be overloaded and may be injured, along with the joints and ligaments and tendons related to those overloaded muscles. Weak glutes are not a good thing! Let’s get to the exercises that will strengthen them and save those other muscles!

As good as machines are for building muscles, when working the glutes, remember how you use them. You are never on a weight machine in real life. Only in the gym. So you should be training them in life-like situations. Be sure the exercises you perform mimic real life. Do barbell and dumbbell a=exercises that translate into making your everyday activities easier to perform. This is known as functional training.

Another key aspect of training the glutes is the mind-muscle connection. While you are exercising the glutes, focus on squeezing them tightly and thinking about how that feels. Do the bridge (described below) and squeeze your glutes. Then every time you do a glute exercise, think of how that squeeze felt, and squeeze your glutes the same way. You will see great gains in strength and size.glute bridge

Glute Bridge – Lie face up on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze your glutes hard and keep your abs drawn in so you don’t over-extend your back during the exercise.

Single Leg Glute Bridge – similar to above, but keep one leg stretched out straight and off the ground.glutes

Sumo Glute Bridge – similar to above, but keep your feet wider apart – outside your hips, even.

Glute Bridge Walk – start in the glute bridge position and then move your right leg to the right, followed by your left leg. Move the left leg back to center, followed by the right. Repeat to the left.

 

glutesSquats – these can be done with just body weight or with a barbell. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and point your toes slightly outward. Look straight ahead and put your arms out in front of you and parallel to the ground (for body weight. If using a barbell, please hold the barbell in place on your upper back, behind your neck and on your shoulders), Breathe in through your nose, bend at the hips, pushing your butt back. As you squat, focus on keeping your knees in line with your feet. Don’t let them flare out. Squat down until your hips are lower than your knees. Breathe out of your mouth as you drive yourself back up. Repeat

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Side Lunge – stand with your feet shoulder width apart and then step to one side, bending the knee until it reaches 90 degrees. and the other leg is straight. Return to standing. Repeat on the other side.

glutesLateral step up – stand beside a bench or box. Step up with the leg closest to the bench. Then step down. Repeat. Then turn around and step up with the other leg. These can be done with body weight or while holding weights for added resistance.

Skater – this is a lateral, jumping activity. Start in a standing position, then jump to theglutes side, swinging the non-landing leg behind the landing leg. Then start going back and forth, from side to side, jumping, landing, and swinging the other leg.

Squat Jump – squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground, Push up, and jump, landing softly. Repeat.glutes

Single Leg Deadlifts – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Kick one leg straight back while bending at the hip, reaching your hand towards the floor. Return to standing. Repeat. Then do the other leg. These can be done with body weight only or while holding a weight for added resistance.

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Side to Side Squat Jump – Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Jump to the side and squat. Then jump the other direction and squat. Repeat.glutes

Donkey Kick – begin on hands and knees. Kick one leg back and up, extending your heel towards the ceiling, squeezing your glutes. Return to start position, Repeat. Then do the other leg.

Fire Hydrant – begin on hands and knees. Lift one leg to the side, similar to a dog lifting its leg to go on a hydrant. Lower leg. Repeat

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Hip Thrust – this exercise is very similar to a glute bridge, but instead of your shoulders being on the floor, they will be supported on a bench. This allows a greater range of motion, and you can add weight to your torso to increase the resistance. These can also be done in a single leg variation.

A Sample Glute Workout

Since this is the largest muscle group in the body, it can be worked out two or three times a week, if you so desire. My suggestion would be to begin with the three sets of 15 repetitions of the glute bridge, move to the three sets of 12 – 15 reps of the hip thrust (do the last set weighted, either barbell or dumbbell), and then do three sets of 12 – 15 squats, starting with body weight and then adding a barbell, increasing the weight each time. Finish with one of the other body weight exercises mentioned above, remembering to really squeeze your glutes with each repetition.

Doing this routine, or a variation of it, twice a week will guarantee your glutes remain strong and steadily increase in size and strength.

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Last Words

So there you have it.

My suggestions are just that – my suggestions. There are many ways to put together a gluteus muscle routine, and youglutes should change it up once in a while to keep your muscles guessing.

Thanks for listening.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Also, if you are a father (or mother) (or anyone for that matter) who would like an easy to follow program that includes a menu and work out information, check out this article from a few months ago.

See you in the next post.

Have a great day!

Tom

Tom Fitzsimmons

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