And in daily life, we need strong glutes because they can contribute to healthy movement mechanics (gait), while also, attracting significant others… kidding ! We recently put together three of our favorite kettle bell exercises for building strong glutes, and we guarantee you’re not already doing these in your program.
Before we dive into the exercises, let’s first cover the glute Maximus and medium’ anatomy and function. The glutes play such a large role in pelvis stability and everyday life that we need to frequently explore different exercise variations to best target the dynamic nature that the glutes play in our daily lives.
This variation is fantastic for targeting the glute medium and can do wonders for working pelvis and knee stability. Lower yourself slowly like a traditional split squat, then rotate 30-45 degrees toward the working leg.
The single-leg dead lift with a contralateral load is another amazing unilateral training option for explosive glute gains. Begin the dead lift and push the offset foot against the wall and slowly lower yourself down.
Once you’ve achieved depth, lift back up and return to your starting position and contract the glutes. Maintaining a consistent hip and knee position, lift the dumbbell thinking “roll up” with the back.
Slowly lower the weight with control and focus on maintaining your hip position the whole time. A goal that keeps cropping up with my clients is glute development because people want big, round butts.
Sitting on your glutes for extended periods causes the brain to forget how to activate them. You should be able to flex each cheek as easily as you can tap your big toe while your hamstrings remain completely relaxed.
Sitting in chairs for extended periods, for years on end, pulls the pelvis into a posterior tilt. This means that in normal posture, the tail bone is a little tucked under and the lower back is flatter than optimal.
People with this posture type almost always have an underdeveloped butt because when the pelvis is in this position the hamstrings will always cheat the glutes out of a job. Optimally, the neck should flex first (to look at the object you’re picking up, say), then the hips, then the mid-back (thoracic spine) and only then, if the everyday task demands it would the lower back go into noticeable flexion×.
When the lower back is first to flex, for the many times per day that you bend over, excessive compression of the lumbar disks is caused. The glutes are required for locomotive activities such as running, but the overactive hamstrings become the prime movers therefore become very partial to injury.
Before I’m criticized for suggesting that we’re supposed to bend like stiff robots, I want to clarify that all joints of the spine and hips flex a little to initiate all everyday bending or hinging patterns. Whereas, for optimal safe movement, most of the flexion should come from the hips and thoracic spine, first.
In a training environment (with exercises such as dead lifts and swings) flexing from the lower back first leads to disc damage. When a lower back flexes and rotates that’s like the perfect storm for lumbar disc injury.
Here’s an excerpt from a tongue-in-cheek section within a strength coaching manual I once wrote for a well-known fitness education company: “The posterior chain is meant to work synergistically and in unison with the other ten (or so) myocardial lines.
Teaching one chain of fascia to work hard while the rest remain dormant is a violation of common sense. Isolating the lower back, glutes and hamstrings while the feet are strapped in causes a neurological misfiring and a detriment to human movement.
Patterning multiple reps of lumbar flexion eccentrically controlled by the lower back, especially for the chair-bound masses could very well lead to bulging disks in the future. If the world changes and there’s suddenly a daily requirement for everyday people to hang over the side of a boat with a friend holding their feet and repeatedly pick penguins out of the water, our opinion on the functionality of the God will stay the same.
Hold the kettle bell by the horns and rest your wrists on your pelvis so the hips (glutes) do the work. The lower back is made up mostly of tonic, stability muscles that like to hold gentle isometric (same length) contractions all day long.
They hold the vulnerable lower back in place while the powerful hips drive movement. If these are asked to lengthen and shorten to create movement for the entire body injury tends to occur.
Glutes, on the other hand, are physic prime mover muscles that like to produce powerful contractions for very short periods. Because that’s the pattern they’ve taught their nervous system by spending too long in a chair.
The pendulum swing also involves rotating at the bottom then scooping the knees forward. This sends the kettle bell in an upward trajectory (required for the sport) and makes torso rotation, quads and hamstrings the main drivers for the movement, instead of the glutes.
Aside from loosely hooking the kettle bell, the arm and shoulder plays no part in the upswing. At the top of every swing, stand as tall as can be and clench your butt, quads and hamstrings hard.
The snatch is a swing, but the kettle bell ends in the overhead position instead of floating to chest height. The most common problems with peoples’ snatches are: hip hinge too shallow, rotation is allowed, lack of shoulder ability to own the overhead position, hook-grip too weak to catch the falling kettle bell.
It doesn’t take many glute swings, even with a light load, to make your butt feel like it’s about to explode. The glute swing is one of the hardest of all exercises to perform safely because the risk of the swinger’s lower back flexing is so high.
Lumbar flexion not only makes this dangerous, but ineffective because the lower back and hamstrings become the main drivers instead of the glutes. During hinge exercises where torso rotation is involved it’s critical for the lumbar spine to remain in a sagittal neutral position.
When the lumbar spine flexes, these articular processes drift apart and rotation is allowed to occur. Super simple and accessible, provided there’s a basic level of hip mobility in place.
A high-value exercise that develops stable shoulders, a mobile mid-back, a strong torso as well as working the glutes and patterning a good hip hinge. Plantar flexing the back ankle allows more range of motion for the hip therefore gets into the glute more.
The fact that the other hip is extended helps keep an optimal pelvic posture for hitting the glute. Exhale: keeping your body upright, drive your front heel down without using the back foot for help.
Here are 3 importance reasons why you should always focus on your buttocks or glutes above every other part of the body: The glutes are the largest muscles in the body, the clue is in the name, the Gluteus Maximus.
Huge muscles like the glutes require a lot of energy to work and maintain operations. Exercising and developing the glutes burns a large amount of calories both during and after workouts.
I’ve listed the following buttock exercises down in order of difficulty so you should become proficient with each one before moving on to the next. I’ve also included a Kettle bell butt workout for you at the bottom of this article.
This is the simplest of buttock exercises but you can make it as hard or as easy as you wish by increasing the weight. This exercise can be a little tricky but it is very important for developing coordination between your core, glutes and back.
A classic full body movement that is essential for developing the glutes. It is essential that you squat so that your knees bend a full 90 degrees otherwise you are putting more of the focus on your thighs than your glutes.
Top tip : keep your weight back on your heels and prevent your knees from caving inwards. The kneeling lunge teaches you to activate your glutes correctly by forcing a 90-degree angle at the knee.
Practice on a mat or padded floor and start without a weight just to get used to the movement. Lunges are tough if performed correctly and will hit your glutes very hard.
Working your glutes is the most important muscle group that you can focus your energy upon. Getting straight to your buttocks or glutes during your workouts will ensure that you burn the most amount of calories, improve your movement skills and protect yourself from and help eliminate back pain.