Shape Up Your Glutes, 1

When doing a fitness assessment, one of the questions that I ask a woman client is this: What are the areas of your body that you would like to make more fit? The number one--slam dunk--answers are hips (saddle bags) and buttocks (sagging, fat, etc.)! Overfat thighs and triceps (grandmother arms) are close seconds!

There is one prerequisite to getting your rear area in gear! You need to make sure your glutes are firing properly! Any personal trainer worth his or her salt wants to help clients prevent injuries and improve quality of life. Improving the client's physical appearance is the fringe benefit of fitness.

The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle of the buttocks. The anatomy of the gluteal region (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus) is shown below:

The glutes don't fire properly when the hip flexors (psoas, iliacus, tensor fascia latae, etc.) are overactive or tight. This can happen due to poor flexibility or prolonged sitting. When the hip flexors don't work properly, its antagonist (mainly the gluteus maximus) becomes weak. This is known as reciprocal inhibition (when muscles on one side of a joint become tight or overactive, it shuts down the muscles on the other side of the joint). When a prime mover (such as the gluteus maximus) becomes weak, other muscles (synergists) take over the function that the prime mover should be doing.

Some injuries that occur because of inactive glutes are hamstring injuries, piriformis syndrome, knee ACL tears and low back injuries. Okay, enough of the technical stuff!

So, what do you need to do to fire up your glutes?! First, you need to understand why your glutes are not firing properly. They are probably not receiving the neural drive from your central nervous system.

So, it is probably not an issue of strength. Their are some exercises you can do to correct this problem. First, you need to lengthen tight muscles.

The stretches are listed as follows (use self myofascial release with foam roller before doing these stretches):

1. Hip Flexor Stretch
2. Quadriceps Stretch
3. Bodyweight Lateral Lunges (for adductors)

Then, you need to activate (fire up) your glutes with these exercises:

1. Glute Bridge
2. Opposite Leg Opposite Arm Raise
3. Glute Kickbacks

Lastly, exercise the fired up glutes with these exercises:

1. Bodyweight squats
2. Lateral tube walks
3. Walking Lunges

In the next 4 parts of this series, I will discuss what you are really interested in---shaping up your glutes!

Be sure and download your Free Bodyweight 500 Metabolic Fat Burner Workouts and start shaping your body faster!  There are 3 levels:  beginner, intermediate and advanced.  Start at your level and progress.


  1. Hi Mark,
    Really great article! Thanks for sharing these really useful tips.

  2. Mark, thanks for these great tips about my "glutes." I wasn't aware of the difference it makes. I do exercise daily because I sit at the computer a lot when working. :-)

    I like the thoroughness of your work. I wonder, though, what some of these exercises look like. Can't quite picture some of them.


Post a Comment

About Mark

Hi, I'm Mark Dilworth, Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and Myofascial Release/Self Massage Specialist.

Since 2006, I have helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle habit changes with my 5-Star Body Transformation Plan, where YOU are the main STAR.

The 5-Star Plan helps you to achieve better long-term health, which includes body transformation and ideal body weight.

I do not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.

Get new posts by email: