ALICIA SCHROTH BREAKS DOWN HOW TO BUILD UP A GORGEOUS SET OF GLUTES
The body part many women want to build the most? Their glutes. Unfortunately, this is also one of the hardest areas to build, and as we age, this becomes more difficult.
How does aging affect our glutes, you ask? To start, we begin to lose muscle mass after the age of 30, and muscle loss leads to a slower metabolism. Also, as women’s estrogen levels decline, the body stores fat differently. Both of these contribute to more fat being stored in the belly area and iliac crest, making the buttocks look less round. Gravity is another factor; as we age, the buttocks are pulled down. This is partly due to the breakdown of elastin and collagen, which are required to support firmness. Another contributor to weak and flat glutes is sitting for too long, which basically turns them off and leads to tight hip flexors. This can create a flat look and may cause other issues, including back pain. Appearance is not the only reason to strengthen and builds our glutes. Strong glutes can help reduce the risk of lower back, shoulder, and knee pain and they can help improve posture. They help stabilize the hips and improve athletic performance and functional strength. Weak glutes force the quadriceps and hamstrings to work harder, creating muscle imbalances and increasing the chance of injury and muscle strains.
The glutes are the largest and strongest muscle group in the body. They help you stand, rise from a chair, turn your legs, walk, pick up heavy objects, and climb stairs. Many people are not aware that the buttocks area is actually made up of three glute muscles that work together to abduct, extend, and rotate the hip. The gluteus Maximus is the largest. It is one of the biggest power-producing muscles in the body. It is also closest to the skin’s surface and is the one that creates shape. The gluteus medius is the next largest and sits on the outside of the hip. The gluteus minimus is the smallest and lies underneath but is vital for stabilization. In order to build this area, we must effectively work these three muscles with a variety of challenging exercises.
BATTLE ROPE WAVE WITH REVERSE LUNGE
Lunge (3 sets of 10 each leg)
Works the gluteus maximus, quadriceps, adductors, abdominals, calves, hamstrings, biceps, and shoulders.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees slightly bent and legs strong.
- Hold the ends of the rope in each hand with your thumbs parallel, like a handshake grip.
- Swing your arms up and down in a constant, controlled motion to create ‘waves with the rope.
- While waving the rope, step back and lower one knee to the ground into a reverse lunge.
- Repeat with the other leg while continuing to wave the ropes.
SQUAT JUMP BATTLE ROPE SLAM
(3 sets of 12)
Works the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus; quadriceps; abdominals; hamstrings; adductors; calves; biceps; shoulders; and back muscles.
- Stand with your knees slightly bent.
- Hold a battle rope with lots of slack.
- With the weight in your heels, squat down, then explode through the soles of your feet as you jump off the floor simultaneously driving your hands up over your head.
- Slam the rope to the floor, sinking back into a squat.
- Breathing is important for this move; inhale as you jump up, and exhale as you squat and slam.
(3 sets of 15)
Works the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus; quadriceps; abdominals; hamstrings; calves; biceps; and shoulders.
- Start in a standing position holding dumbbells appropriate for your level at your sides.
- Bend your arms and bring the weights up to shoulder height, holding them in front of you.
- Step backward with one leg, lowering your knee to the ground. Immediately bring the other knee to the ground, so you are in a kneeling position.
- Step forward with one foot and stand all the way up while pressing the weights overhead.
- Repeat starting with your opposite leg.
You may wish to do this exercise on a cushioned surface to protect your knees.
(3 sets of 12)
Works the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus; abdominals; hips; hamstrings; laterals; and shoulders.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out, and knees slightly bent.
- Keep your head up and look straight ahead.
- 3 Hold a kettlebell appropriate for your level between your legs using a two-handed, overhand grip.
- Bend your hips back until the kettlebell is between and behind your legs.
- Squeeze your glutes to extend your hips forward and swing the weight up.
- Allow the kettlebell to swing back between your legs as you bend your hips and slightly bend your knees.
- Repeat again by extending your hips and knees.
- Keep the momentum going for the required number of reps.
DUMBBELL SIDE LUNGE
(3 sets of 15 each leg)
Works the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus; abdominals; adductors; hamstrings; and quadriceps.
- Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart holding a pair of dumbbells appropriate for your level in front of you with palms facing in.
- Take a wide step out to your side, angling your foot just slightly out, and keep your torso as upright as possible.
- Lower into a moderately deep squat, keeping your trailing leg straight.
- Push back up and bring your leg back to the start position.
- Repeat with your other leg.
DUMBBELL DONKEY KICK
(3 sets of 20 pulses each leg)
Works the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus; abdominals; and hamstrings.
- Start in a quadruped position (on all fours).
- Place a weight in the crease of your left knee. Keeping your left knee bent at a 90-degree angle, lift your right leg up until you feel your right glutes engage.
- Flexing your foot, slowly pulse your foot toward the ceiling by squeezing your glutes.
- Return to start and repeat with your other leg.
Photos By CHRIS V. LINTON Follow (@CHRISVLINTON)