When it comes to the gym and working out, knowing where to start is definitely one of the hardest parts. It can sometimes feel impossible to know what exercises do what and how to achieve your fitness goals. Building a toned bum is currently a popular fitness goal but there is tons of contrasting advice on how to do it. Because of this, I’ve put together my five favourite exercises to target your glute muscles.
Bridges are a simple exercise because you can do them anywhere and are super effective at targeting your glutes. Start by lying on the floor with your knees up and feet placed on the ground. Dig your heels into the ground and tense your glutes as you lift your hips off the floor. Complete 3 sets of 15. For an extra challenge add a weight (I use a weighted plate) to your abdominal area.
2) Smith Machine Squats
The Smith machine is great because you can use it to train pretty much any part of your body and it’s so versatile! Add equal amounts of weight to each side of the bar and alter it so that it is at shoulder height. Start with a light amount until you know how much you can comfortably manage. Hold the bar either side of you, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and unlock the bar. Bend your knees, and keep your back straight. Remember to tense your glutes as you return to the starting position. Perform 3 sets of 12 reps.
3) Split Squats
Split squats are pretty popular at the minute because they’re so effective at working your glutes and they’re a challenging exercise. Grab a step, place it behind you and place one foot on the edge of the step with your heel raised. With your other leg step slightly forward. Then, whilst keeping your back straight bend your back leg as you would with a lunge. To increase the difficulty hold a kettlebell or use a higher step. Repeat 2 sets of 12 reps for each leg.
4) Cable Kickbacks
My favourite leg day exercise! For this exercise, you need to attach an ankle strap to a cable machine and make sure it is adjusted so that the strap is near the floor. Secure the strap around one your ankles and choose a comfortable weight. Face the weight stack, hold the frame for support and gently kick out your leg whilst keeping your hips and knees slightly bent. Remember to squeeze your glutes before lowering your leg. Make sure that the move is slow and controlled, and repeat 2 sets of 12 reps per leg.
For more advice to help optimize the effectiveness of these exercises, check out my post on achieving your perfect body and weight training here.