The glute muscles are responsible for the appearance and shape of the buttocks. There are certain exercises designed to work these muscles effectively. Though squats tend to activate the muscles more than some other exercises like vertical or horizontal leg presses, they do not necessarily generate better results than most other exercises designed for the glutes. Here are some more effective glute workouts.
Hip Flexor Stretch (used to relax the hip flexors prior to glute activation exercises):
Step 1: Start in a forward lunge. Drop the back knee down to the floor. Keep the forward lunging knee either over or behind the ankle, rather than in front of it.
Step 2: Raise the arms and hands over the head. Look up.
Step 3: Press the hips forward and down toward the direction of the floor. If done successfully, you will feel stretching in the thigh, groin, hip, and torso areas.
Step 4: Hold this position for up to 30 seconds, then release it and repeat the exercise on the other leg.
Step 1: Lie on the back and place the hands by the sides. Bend the knees and place the feet flat onto the floor. The feet should be under the knees.
Step 2: Tighten the muscles in the buttock and abdomen.
Step 3: Raise the hips, creating a straight line from the knees to shoulders.
Step 4: Squeeze the core areas of the body. Do this by attempting to pull the belly button toward the spine. Maintain the straight line from knees to shoulders and hold for up to 30 seconds, then release.
Quadruped Hip Extension:
Step 1: Begin on the hands and knees on the floor.
Step 2: Tighten the core. Contract the abdomen in order to stabilize the spine.
Step 3: Contract the left buttocks. Place a hand on it to make sure it is contracted.
Step 4: Raise the left leg slowly, maintaining a 90-degree bend in the knee.
Step 5: Raise this leg until the left thigh is almost parallel with the ground.
Step 6: Lower the leg and repeat in a serious of ten repetitions per leg.
Step 7: Once this exercise is mastered, the intensity can be increased by adding an ankle weight or putting a light dumbbell behind the knee.
Doing these exercises will give you the firm “gluteus maximus” that you always wanted!