Accessories can always change, but one that seems to be the consistent glam highlight and statement piece for everyone is the glutes. This holds true for men and woman alike. The glutes, also known as the peach, can provide form to an outfit but most importantly, they bring beautiful posture and strength to so many parts of the body. Whether you desire to lift, expand, or tone the glutes, this can be achieved with a bit of focus and discipline. Before you know it, you'll have glutes that will give the shining summer sun a rival.
The glutes consist of three muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, and the gluteus medius. These gluteal muscles hold an enormous amount of power. The gluteus maximus makes the most impact as it's the largest muscle in the body. However, they all synergistically work together. When focusing on each one properly with effort and resistance, they will give you the fabulous look you desire while preserving the very structure of your body. Here are the top exercises for each one.
The Heavyweight Derrière
The heavyweight derrière is about adding a weight that challenges the glutes during simple exercises. For example, one of the best timeless exercises to build the gluteus maximus is the bridge. To do this exercise, you want to lie with your back kissing the ground. Next, bend your knees while keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground with the challenging weight placed on your lower core. Once the proper position is achieved, it's time to perform the exercise. The key is to ensure your focus is on lifting the glutes with the weight, while driving through with your heels. Please note, that it is very important that you keep a neutral spine and ensure that you are not arching your lower back as you power your hips up towards the sky. Depending upon the heaviness of your weight, I would recommend doing at least four sets of 12 to 15 reps.
The Keister Kicks
When desiring to sculpt your glutes, it's important to also work the gluteus minimus which focuses on the hip abductors and adductors. An exercise that's great for this are keister kicks also known as fire hydrants. However, it's all about challenging the body. Therefore, adding a resistance band while performing this particular exercise will help expedite your results. Here's how you do it. While positioning your body on all fours, keep your legs bent and lift one leg out to the side while stopping at the height of your hip. Remember, the key to getting optimal results is realizing where to focus your resistance. Therefore, when lifting the leg against the resistance band, be sure you are lifting with your hip and feeling the burn in the area. With this exercise, do 12 to 15 reps and 4 sets.
The Perkilicious Pulse
The exercises represented above help with two of the important muscles that make up the glutes, however, you cannot leave out the gluteus medius. It's the third muscle to help you get that full and well-rounded showstopper look. I'm calling an exercise to help with this muscle, the perkilicious pulse. This includes using a challenging weight and the good old never out of fashion squat. To perform this exercise, grab your weight and be sure to check that you have proper form to prepare for your squat. Let's cover the form. It's important to ensure that your feet are shoulder width apart, your body straight and proper alignment of your spine. While holding your weight with both hands belly button height, lower your body while carrying the weight with your glutes and quadriceps. Once you are lowered, stay there, and do mini pulses while pushing your glutes out. You will feel the burn while you firm!
The next time you look at your rear view and you don't see a spotlight, just know that you have the power to transform your glutes into glam. It takes focus, discipline, a challenging resistance, and a focus on the synergy (the gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, and the gluteus minimus).
Photography by Vern West