There’s so many reasons why you may not get to do the exercise you want or need to do for your body. Travel for work, young kids to look after, long work hours, transport difficulties, the list goes on. The following workout is designed for people with busy lives who still need to work on their glute muscle strength.
What are your glute muscles?
Essentially they are your butt muscles! The glutes are made up of several big muscles (gluteal maximus and medius) and lots of smaller stabilising muscles (gluteal minimus, piriformis, the gemelli, and quadratus femoris). They work to hold us upright, keep our hip stable and help us walk and run.
Why work on Glute Strength?
Perhaps you’ve lost some glute muscle bulk post-pregnancy, or maybe you’ve had a hip, knee or lower back injury that has led to some muscle wastage in the glutes. Perhaps you just sit too long at work, or maybe you just want to have a perkier butt! There are many reasons to work on glute muscle activation and strength. Ask your physio for advice if you’re unsure about commencing the workout.
All you need for this workout is a loop exercise resistance band. You can buy these from sports stores or online. A mat will make you more comfortable, but is not necessary.
Perform the workout with the exercise band looped around your legs just above your knees (some pictures do not depict the band). For the standing leg abduction and extension have the band just above your ankles for an extra challenge. If you’re a newbie to exercise you may prefer to start off without using the band, and slowly build up to it.
Ensure you maintain a neutral spine throughout the workout and gently engage your core muscles. Remember to continue to breathe throughout the exercise. Start with ten repetitions of each exercise, building to 20 repetitions. Repeat the circuit 3 times.
4 point kneel leg extension – extend your leg straight out behind you and then pull the knee in towards you. Repeat on the other leg.
4 point kneel heel lifts – with a bent knee extend your heel towards the ceiling, ensuring you do not arch your lower back. Repeat on the other side.
Side-lying clams – lie on your side knees bent. Keeping your ankles together raise your top knee. Repeat on the other side.
Side-lying bent knee lifts – lie on your side with knees bent. Raise your top leg, keeping your ankle and knee in alignment. Repeat on the other side.
Squats – stand with your feet a little further than hip width apart and bend your knees. Keep your spine long and knees behind your toes.
Crab walks – in a squat position walk forward 15 steps and backwards 15 steps.
Standing hip abduction – standing tall move your leg out to the side. Ensure your body stays upright and you don’t tip at the waist. Repeat on the other side.
Standing hip extension – standing tall move your leg behind you. Ensure it stays straight and you don’t tip your body forward. Repeat on the other leg.
If you experience any discomfort or pain while performing any of these exercises stop and check in with your physio to ensure the exercise is right for you or to correct your technique.
Happy Glute Strengthening!!