(Article by Hannah Groves with Millie Powles)
Despite being the single largest muscle in the body, the gluteus maximus along with the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus can often be overlooked as not being of importance to our fitness goals and only something to train for a good selfie! However, these muscles are essential for not only our posture and everyday movements but improving strength for sporting activities and workout efficiency. We caught up with Millie Powles, Healthy Lifestyle Advisor for Barnsley Premier Leisure to give us her quick guide to glute workouts and their importance for women’s fitness.
IMPORTANT: The ideas in this article are purely for information only – please do not start an exercise programme until you have completed a PAR-Q and, if necessary, received medical clearance. Always warm up and cool down and never do any exercise that you are unsure of without the support of a qualified professional.
What are glute workouts and why should we consider them?
Glute workouts are any exercise to work on strengthening and tightening your gluteal muscles. It is not only important to train your glutes to get that firmly sculpted posterior that we all dream of, but also to help with balance and posture as well. The stronger your glutes are the more stable you will be in daily life, making things like balancing on one leg much easier as you will be able to keep yourself up right from the strength in your glutes.
How are glute exercises beneficial for women?
Glute exercises ae beneficially for women in many ways. It will help strengthen the glutes and the hamstrings which will help keep our pelvis in line, it will also help strengthen and support our lower back and protect our joints from impact. Strong glutes can also help with our pelvic floor as well.
Are glute and leg exercises best done in a gym with equipment or can they also be done at home?
You can literally do a glute exercise anywhere and they all have their own individual benefits. For example, in the gym you can do a glute kickback on the cable machine which with added weight will help build your strength up. Whereas at home you can do a glute bridge with no equipment required. This will make you really focus on form and technique to really feel that mind and muscle connection, which will in turn also help build strength in the glutes.
Can you talk us through some glute exercise examples and how they might it look for a beginner’s session vs an advanced workout? (e.g., use of equipment or bodyweight)
There is a mixed range of exercise you can do for glutes, some which need the gym and some which can be done at home. My favourites are glute exercises which not only works your abdominals but also work the whole of the cross links in your body including your abs, shoulders, lower and upper back as well as glutes. An exercise like this helps creates a strong stable core to help keep us up right in daily life!
One of my favourite exercises is a glute kick back used with a resistance band on the hands and knees and the resistance tube attached under the feet and held in your opposite hand to leg. This exercise can be modified for beginners to use body weight only, with the technique being developed to include the resistance tube to create more resistance and intensity.
Glute bridge is also a really good exercise that can be modified for beginners using body weight only. This can then be progressed by using a resistance band to increase intensity for a more advanced workout.
Conclusion of the best glute workout for women
Thank you, Millie for taking the time to answer our questions on glute workouts for women and reminding us of the importance of including them into your fitness programme. With exercises suitable for beginners that can be easily progressed for as you advance your workout goals, adding glutes and leg workouts will be of great benefit to your hips, posture and creating a stable core.