Getting Rock Hard Glutes
By Jeremy Olson
Bodybuilders are among the rare breed of people who actually care about having a rock-solid butt. In fact, it's a must that bodybuilders develop a muscular set of glutes because it looks pretty weird when you have a muscular back and legs with a saggy, jell-o butt in between. So if you're interested in developing strong and shapely glutes, here are some great exercises and techniques for doing so.
Not only are stiff-legged deadlifts great for building your hamstrings, but they are also very useful in tightening your glutes too. Unfortunately, most lifters don't get the glutes benefit they should when doing these. In order to build your glutes while doing stiff-legged deadlifts, you should squeeze the glutes at the top of the lift. This is of course in addition to keeping your knees and back straight when performing the exercise.
Lunges are another tried-and-true leg lift that people can do to build glutes. Luckily you don't have to remember any extra squeeze with lunges since the natural motion should take care of working the glutes. However, it's very important that you do the exercise correctly, which means not letting your knee go further than the toes when performing a lunge.
Apparently gyms have recognized the importance of glute exercises since they are offering machines that specifically target your butt. Many of these machines differ in how the exercise is performed, but all of them are built to isolate your glutes. So be sure and check if your gym has a glute machine because they are an excellent way to supplement other glute exercises.
Balanced Leg Lifts
Not all glute exercises involve a machine or weights since some can be done with just your body. Of course with balanced leg lifts, you should have something to hold on to so you don't fall over. To perform this exercise, grab a chair and put one leg directly behind you (no bend) while keeping the other leg flat on the floor. When your leg is behind you, squeeze your glute before bringing the leg to the floor. Do 10-15 reps on one leg before switching and doing the same on the other leg.
The name of this exercise might be deceiving since you aren't actually lifting anything with the glutes (as if this were possible). Instead, you lie on your back with knees bent; from here you'll raise your butt in the air while squeezing at the top. When doing glute lifts, it's extremely important to keep your back straight so your glutes do the bulk of the work.
Most bodybuilders know that squats work hamstrings and quad muscles. However, a lot of people don't realize that you can get a really effective glute workout in through squats too. Of course, you won't be getting the full effect of working glutes if you don't go down all the way when doing squats. So in order to build your glutes with squats, use a weight that allows you to bend a little past parallel so the glutes are really brought into the exercise.
Another effective glute exercise that doesn't involve weights is running hills. Moving up hills works your muscles in a whole new way that traditional weighted exercises can't accomplish. And hill running works more than just your glutes since it also recruits other leg muscles into the exercise. If running isn't your thing or you are too tired from a workout, you can always walk up hills as well.
One more exercise that will build the glutes is dumbbell step-ups. With dumbbell step-ups, you step onto a box or bench with dumbbells in hand; once at the top, you step back down in whatever manner is comfortable. It's highly recommended that you change the lead foot in between sets so you work both sides equally. Also, make sure that the object you're stepping on isn't difficult to reach because the worst case scenario involves tripping while doing these.
Keep in mind that you won't be able to fit all of these exercises into one session. Instead, you should do some of them in one session and others later on to find out which glute exercises you like best.