Recently it seems we are all fixated on how to exercise our way to the perfect peach. Do we need to be putting in hours on the stair master? Which is best heavy or light weights? Is body weight alone enough?
Let’s find out.
Firstly let me tell you that when it comes to the glutes, you need to mix it up. The glutes are made up of both fast twitch and slow twitch muscles. Fast twitch muscles will benefit more from heavier low rep compound exercises such as deadlifts, squats and lunges whereas slow twitch muscles respond better to overloading with high volume, lighter weight exercises with body weight only, cable and resistance machines. If you want to train lower body twice a week then consider one day of low repetition heavy lifting and one day of lighter weights with higher volume.
Secondly we need to think about which exercises will be most beneficial here. For all you cardio bunnies out there, you should definitely think about adding in strength training to your routine. Excessive cardio can result in muscle wastage especially if you are not consuming enough protein and indeed calories in general and no one wants to end up with a flat pancake bottom! The stair master is good but only if you really concentrate on pushing through the heels on each step to target the bottom and just use it for short bursts, not hours on end.
The best exercises to grow that perfect derrière are the classic big moves of deadlift, squat, lunge and split squats mixed in with more isolating moves such as hip extension work and glute bridge exercises. During squats, having the feet slightly wider than hip width will actively target the butt rather than the quads and during deadlifts make sure to squeeze the butt as you come back up.
There are also several things we can do to get the most out of our exercises and one of them is time under tension. Simply speaking this means the time the muscle is under strain during the exercise, so to get the most out of every rep you should make each move as slow and controlled as possible, holding at the top and really focus on the glutes doing the work.
We also need to fatigue the muscles fully which creates micro tears in the fibres which then heal stronger and thicker. You may experience muscle pain after you workout known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) which can last a few days but just think of it as your body building itself better and stronger. When it comes to rest periods you should wait around 30 seconds up to a minute between sets. This relatively low rest will ensure you work those glutes to the max and see the best results.
So there you have it! Now go forth and train, make sure you are eating enough calories, take in some quality protein and as ever if you have any questions then make sure to get in touch on Facebook at Tempo Personal Training or on Instagram @luisamcloughlinpt