Shape Up Your Glutes, 4

By way of review, let's look again at getting your glutes fired up! Remember, that your glutes are probably not firing properly because of inadequate neural drive from the central nervous system. In other words, it is probably not an issue of strength. 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

Now you're ready for your workout! Keep in mind, this is just part of your total workout which includes upper body work. To be effective, glutes (and leg work for that matter) should be trained with cardio and strength training.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) research found that the top cardio exercises for shaping your glutes (and legs) are: lunges, walking uphill, stair climbing, jogging and running. No big surprises here and no gimmicks! Just hard work! And research has proven that high intensity interval cardio is superior to longer duration, slow cardio (interpretation: go hard for 20 minutes instead of slow for 40 minutes)! Do 5-6 days of cardio exercise.

As for strength training? You can't leave out squats! Do your squats---bodyweight squats, dumbbell squats, barbell squats, split squats, lateral squats, one-legged squats, etc. Mix it up but do them. The benefits of the squat exercise extend beyond your legs. The same can be said for deadlifts (traditional, stiff-legged or other variations). Other top glute exercises are:

1) Step ups (front and lateral)
2) Standing cable or machine hip abductors
3) Standing, prone or floor hip extensions
4) Floor lateral thigh raises
5) Glute bridges and marching glute bridges
6) Pelvic raises and posterior pelvic tilts

If these exercises become easy for you, then increase resistance or weights.

Visit the posts for the first 3 parts of the glute series:

Glutes, Part 1

Glutes, Part 2

Glutes, Part 3

In the final part of this series, I will look at causes and prevention of injuries to the glute area.

Be sure and download your Free Bodyweight 500 Metabolic Fat Burner Workouts and start shaping your body faster!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Your Fitness University
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About Mark

About Mark

Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Your Fitness University, Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.

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