The world has suddenly gone crazy for shapely curvaceous glutes. Made famous by the likes of
Kim Kardashian, J-LO & Nicki Minaj every woman seems to want that hour glass silhouette & large
round glutes. However, you need not reach for those booty boosting pants as there is a much
longer lasting & effective solution.. You need to lift! As a trainer who has worked in a commercial
gym I have worked with many female clients wanting to ‘lose weight & tone up’ Their traditional
routine would be to perform an hour’s worth of cardio consisting of the rower, treadmill, cross
trainer & elliptical. Often left feeling deflated despite their efforts many would be left wondering how to achieve that honed, strong body they’ve always wanted yet afraid of the free weight area fearing they would ‘bulk up’ & add excessive muscle tissue losing their womanly shape.
If I have learnt anything over my time as a Personal Trainer it is this…The best thing a woman can
do for their body is to lift! Women will not become ‘bulky’, overdeveloped or masculine through
lifting weights- they will instead increase their BMR (basal metabolic rate- the measure of how
many calories we will burn at rest), shape their glutes, hamstrings & arms & alter their body composition reducing body fat & increasing ffm (fat free muscle).
I can remember a time when I would perform hours of cv dreaming of the perfect hour glass shape yet never knowing how to get there. Knowledge is power, education is everything & I wish that I knew then what I know now. If you want to create that bootylicious shape & look great in your favourite jeans you must make weight training your ally. Undoubtedly one of the greatest exercises for building strong developed glutes is the squat.
Developing muscles in your posterior chain the squat will hone & shape your glutes. This exercise
will leave you functionally strong & work pretty much every muscle group in your body. In order to
execute the squat you must stand with your feet approximately hip width apart & weight into your
heels. Queue your hips back & down driving your heels into the ground aiming for parallel depth
keeping your chest proud & shoulders back. Your hips should be in an anterior tilt position (imagine a bowl of water at the front of your hips & tipping the contents out as you sit back. Good mobility in your hips & calf will aid movement & depth so look to perform dynamic stretches in between sets as ‘active recovery’. Those who find it difficult performing this movement may want to try Box Squatting to recruit the correct muscle groups, increase stability & teach good form.
Made popular by Strength coach Bret Contreras the hip thrust is by far the most effective exercise to engage gluteal muscles & encourage muscular development. Executed by lying supine (face up) driving your heels into the ground & lifting hips up to create a bridge position. The progressions/variants for this exercise are as follows- feet elevated, shoulders elevated, single leg (can be paired with a single leg movement such as split squat), with a barbell, weighted with feet elevated or shoulders elevated. Varying the stimulus or quite simply switching up your workouts can work wonders for adding Glute size & strength.
When performing weighted the use of a sponge/foam pad is recommended by Glute Guru ‘Bret
Contreras’ he quotes “The glutes won’t fire as hard as possible if they detect pain. You need to
have the bar padding to get a better workout”.
One of my favourite exercises for developing strong, round glutes. Ideally to increase Glute
activation get the leg straight with hip extended before you step up with opposing leg. Aim to stay
tall as you drive yourself onto the box/step & squeeze your shoulder blades together driving your
chest up. Can be performed body weight, single leg for additional gluteal ‘burn’ or with dumbbells/
a barbell on your back.
Known as a hip hinge exercise. You should be able to perform a Romanian Deadlift with very good
form & relative load before attempting this exercise. The good morning requires a strong core as to not let the weight dictate form & pattern of the movement. Use your Abdominals & back (squeezing the shoulder blades) to oppose the weight keeping our chest up, driving our hips back & engaging the hamstrings & gluteals to perform.
The future of female fitness is weight training. Learn to love the process, learn how to push your
body in ways never thought possible, reap the rewards that you deserve!
Strong is the New Skinny