Have you noticed that the glutes are having a moment?
It used to be that every time I turned around I would see the Kardashians. Now, the glutes have taken the spotlight, and I can’t say I’m complaining!
I’d like to take some of the credit for there being so much press about glute training these days. I have always stressed the importance of strength training for glutes, and first launched my program The GLUTES Project four years ago. And it’s still one of my best selling programs.
There is a reason for that.
Your glutes are designed to be the largest muscle group in your entire body.
And this has huge implications for your entire body and wellbeing.
Starting in college, I became obsessed with getting a better butt. Even during times of being in great shape, I never had a great butt. And I hated it. I used to run, walk uphill, and do the stair stepper, in the hopes of building a better butt.
In my twenties, I got really obsessed and started adding in sprints and doing the Elliptical in reverse at a really high incline. These two things worked for sure, but I noticed that my butt would deflate within days if I didn’t keep up with the workouts.
Five years ago, I decided to try a different approach and started emphasizing glute-focused strength training two times each week. I cut back on cardio, and leaned into strength training more. I selected very specific exercises that I knew would build my glutes and I worked those moves hard. Once my technique was good, I really pushed myself to increase my weight loads on the exact exercises that targeted the glutes.
And wow, what a difference. I’m still mad at myself for not capturing proper progress photos, specifically of my butt, but the pics below give you an idea of my transformation.
In the first photo, I was doing tons of cardio and eating around 1400 calories per day, following a low carb approach. As progressed, I systematically cut back on cardio, increased my calories to 1800-2000 per day, and do only minimal cardio to feel well and recover. I no longer do cardio to “burn fat” or “lose weight.”
Also, as I got wiser to glute training, I spent more time on very specific exercises that built up my glutes.
For glute-building, my favorite strength moves are…
- Hip thrusts/glute bridges
- Squats (all variations)
- Bulgarian Split Squats
- Single Leg Deadlifts
- Cable Kick Back
Beyond the aesthetic changes (my butt did look gooooood), I noticed other benefits that far outweighed how I looked.
The Benefits of Building Your Glutes
- Big metabolism boost: Because your glutes are such a large muscle group, they have great power in contributing to your overall metabolism. Conversely, if your glutes are weak (and they probably are if you haven’t been training them) you are losing out on a great way in to increase your total calorie burn each day.
- Improved energy and stamina: When a huge muscle group like the glutes is weak, your entire body suffers because other muscle groups have to pick up the slack. Being such a large muscle group, your glutes are so important for balanced alignment of all your joints. Your body is literally held up in space by your muscles, and your glutes are the most important of all.
- Greater hormone optimization: Lean muscle mass helps to increase testosterone, manage estrogen, and reduce cortisol. More testosterone means better energy and a greater ability to burn fat naturally. It’s important to manage estrogen so that you avoid estrogen dominance, or low levels. More muscle also means you’ll be better able to keep the stress hormone cortisol in check.
- Reduced aches and pains: Your glute muscles (Medius, Maximus, and Minimus) all work together to hold your pelvis in its proper place. If your glutes are weak, your pelvis rotates forward more than it should, causing imbalances that affect your legs, knees and back. Many knee and hip problems start with Glute Medius, the muscle that stabilizes your hips. Many back problems stem from tight and weak hamstrings. Strong glutes improve how your entire body moves and reduces the muscle imbalances that lead to aches and pains.
- Enhanced bone density in the pelvis: Strength training is the best way to improve localized bone density. This happens when muscle tissue tugs on your bones during strength training. By building up the muscles around your pelvis (your glutes) you are improving the strength and stability of your entire pelvis and hips.
- Fewer injuries: Weak glutes are often the cause of injuries at the knee (chondromalacia patellae), hip, lower back and even shoulders.
- Improved self confidence and self esteem: When your body feels good, you feel good. Remember the last time you were in great shape? You felt invincible, right? Nothing feels better than when you know you look great in your clothes. A strong, toned and lifted butt really does make you feel like a million bucks.
If you are over 30 and have not been specifically training your glutes, you’ve got some catching up to do.
And it’s critical that you do, and that you start right now.
Yes, you can catch up.
No, you are not too old to improve.
Yes, it’s easier than you think!
What You Can Do to Begin Improving Your Glutes
STAY TUNED: Soon I will be announcing a totally free Challenge!!!! I’ll be showing you how to begin training your glutes so that you build a proper foundation, before getting too advanced. I’ll be showing you the exact activation exercises I use before beginning formal glute programming.
- If you sit a lot during the day, stand up every hour and SQUEEZE your butt muscles hard 5-10 times. This helps to improve muscle firing and keep your glute muscles more active.
- In addition to normal weekly workouts, add in 5-10 minute walks to improve hip flexibility and keep your glute muscles firing.
- If you are new to strength training, download my FREE 6 Week Interim Workout plan by clicking HERE. This will give you a foundational strength plan to begin strengthening your glutes.
- Get smart about your cardio. Too much cardio at the wrong heart rate has a tendency to increase cortisol production. Cortisol is considered a catabolic hormone, meaning that it literally breaks down muscle tissue. The exact opposite of what you want!
- If you are strength training consistently and want to get more glute-focused, stay tuned as I’ll soon be announcing a very exciting new program!
Check out this video if you want to learn more.
I pulled this video from the archive because the information is still so great, and thought you might like to check it out.
Questions or comments? I’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the section below.