Glutes exercises for women do more than sharpen appearances. Training exercises for your backside can also promote strength in other areas of the body and support good health. For this reason, Tony Horton likes to include dedicated glute exercises during the week. Below, you can find some of the most effective glute workouts for women – and learn about their potential benefits.
What Are Your Glutes?
Your glutes – aka your butt – are the biggest muscle group in your body. They contain the single biggest muscle, the gluteus maximus. The gluteus maximus supports your body’s weight and promotes good posture. Plus, it generates most of the force required for many movements, like jumping, running, or going up stairs.1,2
Additionally, your gluteal muscles are part of the muscle chain that extends from your head to your heels known as the posterior chain. This group of muscles supports lots of everyday activities, like picking things up off the ground or even sitting down. Plus, keeping the major muscles of the posterior chain in shape can help support stability.3
Reasons You Might Want To Do Glute Workouts
In general, leg strength can support your general fitness and help build muscle across the body. That’s because when you work out your legs, it releases lots of growth hormones that stimulate muscle development throughout the whole body.4
Reverse The Effects Of Sitting
Unfortunately, leg muscles and the glutes, in particular, are often overlooked and underworked. This is especially true if you sit all day for work. In a seated position, your glutes may even weaken over time. Fortunately, occasional lower body training and glute workouts may help reduce that effect.5
Promote A Healthy Back And Knees
Strong glutes can help strengthen your hip flexors, which helps keep your lower back properly aligned. Similarly, keeping those glutes strong stabilizes the pelvis, which helps keep your knees strong and stable.6
Burn More Calories
Most glute workouts for women are compound lower-body workouts. That means they engage multiple muscle groups at the same time. The more muscles you train during a workout, the more calories you’ll burn. Most glute workouts activate many large muscles, so they are very effective at burning calories to help support weight loss goals. Plus, they improve your resting metabolic rate, which means you’ll keep burning calories even after you workout.7
Great Glutes Exercises For Women
In order to build muscle in your glutes and legs, it helps to do dedicated resistance training. Running and other forms of aerobic exercise can only get you so far when it comes to actually building muscle. Bodyweight exercises are an excellent way to increase muscle strength, which is why Tony Horton has compiled these glutes exercises for women below.8
Note: Always speak to a physician before beginning any new fitness regimen.
Step-ups are a great place to start for anyone looking to strengthen their glutes. This exercise mimics the action of a lunge, with the added bonus of stepping upward to also strengthen your hamstrings and quads. Beginners should start out without any weights, but as you advance, you can introduce light weights to increase the challenge of the step-up.
- Stand with a box, bench, or step in front of you. Step your right foot up, and place it on the object. Your knee should bend to about a 90-degree angle when you step on to it.
- Then, press through your right heel to bring your left foot up on the step as well. Be careful of your surroundings, and have something nearby for balance.
- Slowly step back down, and repeat the steps for 15 reps, alternating between your left and right foot.9
Sprinter lunges are a total body workout that can build muscle mass, support balance, and strengthen core muscles. This can be a challenging exercise, so start slow, and listen to your body for signs that you are overdoing it. In this case, you can do a traditional lunge instead.
- Start in a standing position, and bring your right foot back into a lunge position. Then, lower your right hand to the ground.
- Push through your left heel to bring your right knee up toward your chest. Allow your left hand to swing inward for balance.
- Return to the original position, and repeat for 8-10 reps. Then, switch sides.10
Alternative Basic Lunge
- Stand with feet hip-width apart.
- Step forward with your left foot, and bend both knees to a 90-degree angle, getting your left thigh parallel with the ground. Maintain straight posture, and keep your core tight in this downward position.
- Push back with your left foot to return to start, then repeat with the other foot. Try for 10-12 reps, alternating between sides.11
Glute Bridge With March
The glute bridge with march is a slight variation on the classic bridge. The extra challenge added by the marching movement can help stabilize the pelvis and support the lower back. This is a particularly great workout for runners or avid walkers.
- Start out on your back with your arms by your side, palms up, and your feet flat on the ground with knees bent. Use a yoga mat for comfort.
- Press into the ground with your heels to lift your pelvis until your knees, shoulders, and pelvis create a straight line.
- Hold this position, and then slowly lift your right knee toward your chest until your hip forms a 90-degree angle.
- Return your right leg to the ground, then repeat the movement on your left side. Repeat for 8-10 reps.12
Easier Glute Bridge Alternative
If you have any concerns about balance or safety, you can also do a simple glute bridge by following steps 1 and 2 above. Simply hold this bridge position for a few seconds, then return your body to the mat. Repeat for 8-10 reps.
Bulgarian Split Squat
No glutes workout is complete without some squats. The Bulgarian split squat is similar to traditional squats, except it requires you to lift a back leg. This unique pose focuses on one leg at a time. Unilateral exercises like this are important because they mimic most everyday movements, like walking, which you do one leg at a time.
- Place a bench behind you. Slowly lift your right leg, extend backwards, and rest your foot on the bench behind you, laces down.
- Place your hands on your head behind you and brace your core.
- Bend your knees to slowly lower down into a split squat position until your left thigh is about parallel with the ground.
- Push up through your left heel to return to the starting position. Repeat for 5-8 reps, then switch sides and complete the same number of reps.13
Basic Lunge Alternative
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your chest and shoulders up and open.
- To start, shoot your hips back as if you were sitting down in a chair. Bend your knees and try to keep your chest up. Try to get your thighs as close to parallel with the ground as you safely can.
- Push up through your heels to return to start. Repeat for 8-10 reps.14
Give Your Glutes The Attention They Deserve
Glute workouts for women are a great way to hone your backside. But, most importantly, they build total body strength along the posterior chain to help support everyday motion.
Additionally, the compound movements involved with most glutes exercises for women may also help burn calories and stimulate muscle growth throughout the whole body. Follow along with some of Tony Horton’s go-to glutes exercises above to get started. Keep in mind that you’ll want to speak to a doctor before beginning any new glutes workouts.
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