Glutes bridges are the best exercise for training your gluteus maximus
Lie flat on your back with your palms facing up, knees up and heels against the ground with your toes up.
Then, in a slow and controlled motion, lift your hips into the air until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees, then lower back down again. If your form is correct, you should immediately feel your glutes engage.
Keep repeating the exercise until you can’t comfortably complete the motion, then rest and do two more sets. Take a note of how many you completed with each set and you have a base rate to slowly build from.
If you’re having difficulty keeping your knees in position, you can squeeze a pillow or a thick book between your thighs. And when body weight glute bridges are a breeze for you, simply add weights to your routine to increase the difficulty.
However, training your gluteus maximus is only half the battle.
Don’t forget about your gluteus medius
As your gluteus medius muscles are meant to keep your pelvis in line, training them typically involves exercises which force your pelvis into an unstable position.
To do this, you can perform single-legged versions of exercises that train your gluteus maximus, such as squats and bridges.
However, if your gluteus medius muscles aren’t used to doing any work, then you’re going to struggle to perform these single-legged exercises.
An easier starting point is a leg lift.
Lie on your side with your entire body from head to heel flat against a wall, bed or other flat surface.
Then, with your legs slightly internally rotated, lift your leg into the air with your heel scraping against the surface you’re pressed against. Repeat until you can’t complete a repetition, then switch legs.
You should be able to feel the burn along the side of your buttock and thigh a few reps in if your form is correct.
As with the glute bridges mentioned above, make a note of your number of sets and repetitions and build gradually from there, adding weights or bands to your ankles when body weight is no longer challenging.
Feeling lost? Get off your glutes and come and see us
At West London Physiotherapy we can provide detailed exercise programmes tailored to your goals and lifestyle, whether you want to strengthen your glutes or power up your upper body.
As the functional trainer here, you can always get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment.