How to grow your glutes effectively
How to grow your glutes effectively
Written by Carly Malcomson
Having well developed glutes to enhance our shape is high on the priority list for any female (males too!) but how exactly can you achieve the look? Well, I’m going to cover exactly that in this blog post so you’re much more informed and can stop wasting time with strategies that will have a minimal effect.
The importance of recruiting and engaging your glutes
If you want to maximise growth to any area, it’s essential that you maximise your training potential by training with intensity and by including effective exercises that stimulate the area. Applying progressive overload, whilst eating in a calorie surplus to adequately grow and recover is also key.
Instagram is full of the fluffy nonsense booty workouts that are going to play no part in a successful growth period. Walking sideways and doing glute kickbacks up a stair master is not going to gain you a strong and shaped peach. However recruiting and engaging your glutes effectively will.
Okay, so what does this mean for you?
Chances are for many, it’s going to mean leaving your ego at the door and going right back to basics with your training and your loads.
Why? Well, glutes are a muscle group which can be more difficult to activate. There’s not going to be a benefit in performing heavy squats (when the goal is glute development) if you’re not able to fully engage them in this lift. Similarly, there’s little point in performing heavy glute bridges when the weight is being lifted using momentum and not your glutes.
If you don’t feel them engaging fully or even at all and you can’t fathom out the reasoning the load is transferring to other muscle groups, my recommendation will always be to reach out to a professional who can coach and teach you in how to do so, until you have this nailed.
The need to have an informed training programme that you stick to
In addition to the above, it should go without saying that you need an informed training programme that you work with and stick to for a period of time. To make real progressions, you should be logging your sessions and pushing for progressive overload.
What’s progressive overload?
Progressive overload is the gradual increase of stress placed upon the body during training. In order to get stronger and for muscle tissue to grow we must force the body to load above and beyond the previously experienced tension. This can be achieved in many methods by increasing volume and intensity.
An example of how it can be easily done could be by lifting the same weight but pushing beyond the previous number of reps or sets from previous sessions, which results in an increase in volume providing a greater stimulus to grow from. Or this could be done by increasing the weight.
We also need to consider how to train hard and work with great intensity particular as your lifting age increases and as the body adapts to stimulus. As a newbie lifter you will get away with more at the beginning but over the time the requirement to train hard will need to be prioritised to continue with improvements.
The training plan will also need to complement your time and lifestyle as well as be something you enjoy so it is adhered to. Again, there is no benefit in including exercises you hate (including ones you find difficult is a different discussion) as this will only increase your chances for being uncompliant.
My top go to exercises in growing a good set of glutes (there are others of course) look as follows:
- Glute Bridges/Hip Thrust (for maximal contraction perform from a bench)
- Sumo Deadlifts
- Stiff Legged Deadlifts/Romanian Deadlifts
- Glute Ham Raise
- 45* Hip Extension
- Leg Press (Neutral and High and Wide Stace)
- Squat (providing you can hit range and engage in this lift)
- Sumo Stance Goblet Squat
- Walking Lunges
- Bulgarian Split Squat (longer stride)
What about rep ranges?
There are different approaches and reasons in using different rep ranges. An example, however, could be to work using an 8-12 rep range initially, focusing on maxing out at 8 reps and as you get stronger add a rep and so forth until you are comfortably on 12 reps. Then, then add more load and return to 8 reps and continue to push and track these progressions.
Let’s talk training frequency
Your optimal training frequency will often be determined by the point you’re at in your training journey.
As a beginner you will require less volume to create a big stimulus but as you adapt, the demand for more volume and intensity will increase.
There has been studies carried out that compare the differences in muscle gain from training with the same volume once per week and in splitting this volume up to train twice per week.
These studies showed that individuals who trained the muscle group with more frequency, even if the volume was the same, elicited more tissue growth. This of course meant that opting to train the muscle group more than once per week, particularly for a more experienced lifter, would be the preferred option.
You need to eat to grow
The body requires more calories than it expends to build muscle to make real progressions for a period of time. I completely appreciate that it can be daunting to increase calories and to eat in a surplus but in order to grow new tissue, eating is a huge component. You don’t need a huge surplus to illicit muscle growth as an increase in body fat will naturally come as a bi product. This of course means that it shouldn’t be overly uncomfortable, so long as calories are being monitored and controlled along with consistency. Chances are you’ll also find that more food, along with adequate sleep, rest and recovery, will help with your motivation, performance and adherence – win, win!
Take away points
As with anything, it’s not going to be easy. You will need to work hard and accept and get comfortable with being uncomfortable but when you start to see your progressions, the sacrifices will 100% be worth it.
If you feel ready, you’re committed to change and you want to achieve a set of results you never though would ever be possible, head on over and apply for our #Leanwithalife The 12 Week Online Coaching Programme.
If you’re a little unsure but still feel like you need a helping hand and some guidance to get you started on your transformation journey, head on over and start our free #Leanwithalife progamme 21 day trial.
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