I don’t believe there is any “wrong” way to build your glutes or any other muscle for that matter. Because, if you’re building your muscles then it doesn’t matter what you’re doing to build them, you’re still building them, right? Although building is building, I do however believe that there are more quick(er) and effective ways to build your glutes by performing particular exercises and implementing certain techniques than others.
So in this post I’m going to show you how I upped my glute progression game as well as my clients to achieve more desirable results in a quicker time frame.
1.) Workout with intensity and focus rather than just going through the motions.
Have you ever heard of Mind-Muscle Connection? If you haven’t, it’s a signal sent by the brain to your muscles telling them to contract. Through focusing and signaling your muscles to contract from your mind, it will result in a better workout as well as allow you to achieve results in a quicker time frame than if you weren’t to focus so intently on the muscles you are using in your exercises at all.
Here are 2 crucial tips that I have learned to develop a strong Mind- Muscle Connection.
1.) Do warm-up sets to activate your muscles
Start each exercises with one or two sets to 15-20 reps at a low weight. Start thinking about all of the primary muscles being worked in the exercises to really focus on them during your working sets.
Ex: Let’s pretend the exercise you are performing is Cable Side Kicks. You do 1-2 warm-up sets to activate the primary muscles (Gluteus Medius), then, after feeling the primary muscles contract in your warm up sets, you’ll know exactly what muscles you are going to concentrate on while upping the weight for more of a challenge in your working sets.
2.) Perform each rep of every exercise slowly.
Tempo-training- a good term to learn! In reference to weight training, tempo training is the rhythm at which you move a weight, including the rest time at the top of the lift and at the return of the weight to the starting position of the exercise. Although weightlifting at a quicker tempo builds speed, strength and power, it also produces overrall less muscle tension so your muscle size won't increase like it would using a slower tempo. When using a slower tempo, there is higher tension in the muscle, which is crucial to increasing muscle size.
Example of a tempo you could use while doing glute exercises: 4111
The first number in the sequence, "4" is the time (in seconds) to lower the weight after you've reached the top part of your lift. This is the eccentric or negative phase (lowering the weight), which is the exact opposite to the direction of the muscle contraction. For example, if you are squatting, you would count to 4 seconds while lowering yourself to a full squat position.
The second number "1” is the pause between the eccentric or negative phase and the concentric phases of the exercise. With a squat, this would be seen when you are at a full squat position, then you would pause for one second while moving into the concentric.
The third number is the time in seconds for the concentric (lifting the weight) or the contraction phase of the lift. For this tempo example, "1" means lifting the weight explosively, which is also sometimes represented with an "X." So if you were squatting you would have 1 second to lift the weight from the pause between the eccentric and concentric phases (the full squat position).
2.) Challenge yourself.
If you are using weights or equipment in which is not challenging you then maybe it’s time to try different exercises or it’s time to adjust the exercises so that they are challenging.
Increase the weight, do some drop sets, use resistance bands, change up your routine... you’re the only one who truly knows if you’re being challenged so get honest with yourself and ask yourself if your effort will get you to achieve the goals you set!
What has helped me and my glute progression immensely has been using the @moond resistance bands.
I’ll use them for my power squats or any other lift as well as for my at home workouts. What I like about them is that they force you to keep your knees and hips wide which allows more of a target on the glutes.
3.) Make sure to eat your required macros.
We each have different macros according to our body types. If you don’t know your macros I recommend an online macro caluculator (just type into google “macro calculator”) to at least give you an idea as to what macros as well as a base range. However, if you want to know specifics and close to exact numbers I recommend speaking with a licensed dietician or fitness professional for further in depth information tailored to your specific needs.
Eating a balanced diet or sticking to the 80/20 rule (eat 80% healthy and 20% lenient within a given week) will really help you get the results you are looking for. And my best advice to you is, don’t be afraid of carbs, fats and proteins! You want gains? You’re going to have to eat!
4.) Do Effective Exercises.
A lot of people will tell you that if you want a butt then you’re going to have to do a lot of squats. Although squatting is an effective exercise to add to your regimen and will help in your development, it isn’t the only thing you should be doing.
Here is a list of some of the most effective exercises to do for each areas of your glutes (gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, gluteus minimums)
•Cable Side Kicks
•Banded Lateral Steps
•Banded Fire Hydrants
•Seated or Standing Hip Abductor Machine
•Side Lying Hip Abduction with a weight
•Banded Triplanar Toe Taps
•Banded Monster Walks
•Banded Glute Bridges (or regular Glute Bridges)
•Weighted Hip Extensions
•Glute Bridges (try these doing single legged or at a staggered stance)
•Bulgarian Split Squats
•Cable Glute Pull- Throughs
... and the list goes on!
If you want to increase the size of your muscles, or in this case, your glutes, you’re going to have to rest. My recommendation would be to train your glutes intensely two times a week and maybe add 1 lighter glute day to your weekly regimen if you absolutely feel the need to. A common misconception is that if you want to grow a particular muscle, training them everyday or almost everyday is an effective way to do so, however this is false. If you train a particular muscle every day it will not grow as much as you would like to see considering the amount of effort you’re putting in...
It’s important to understand that your muscles grow during rest periods between sessions. When you weight train, tiny tears form in the working muscles. When you’re not working out, this is when your body repairs the temporary damage done from the training. Also, keep in mind that training any one particular muscle group excessively can result in injury.
And one last thing- be patient! Muscle growth takes time. Give yourself at least 1 month of hard work to start seeing results and once you see them, I bet you won’t plan on stopping from there! Keep at it!