Having strong and round glutes have become a priority for many. With surgeries and other cosmetic procedures on the rise, we are surer than ever that strong glutes are a desirable asset to have.
However, there are ways you can grow your glutes without any need for surgery or massive money expenditure. Knowing what to do surely is essential. Yet, knowing what NOT to do is of equal value!
Here are five common glute building mistakes people do when trying to build stronger glutes.
A common mistake hindering your results may lie on the way that you are working out. Some lifters make the error to focus on how heavy they can lift rather than taking a step back to focus on all the other elements that might contribute to muscle growth.
Lifting heavy doesn’t necessarily mean that you are working your glutes. It could mean that other muscles may be doing the work for them stopping them from growing.
What to do: Let’s go back to the basics!
Lowering your weight could seem like a massive step back, but there is more to it than just going down in the weight you are lifting. By taking away the sole focus of lifting heavy, you can now focus on quality over quantity.
Quality for us means slowing your repetitions down, paying extra attention to your form, focusing on establishing a mind-body connection, and actively engaging the glutes. Apart from squeezing as hard as you can, another way to connect to your muscle is to focus on how it feels when working out. Do you feel the burn in your glutes, or elsewhere? Be mindful over your practice and start making adequate changes to optimise your results. Some exercises – such as hip thrusts – will require you to pause and hold the position. Try to focus on your form and feel the burn!
Remember, lowering the weight you are lifting doesn’t mean that it will remain that way forever. It only means that you will start perfecting and optimising your workouts to gradually increase the weight again and repeat this process repeatedly until you get the desired results.
Having shoes made for lifters isn’t always the best idea. It is essential to get clear on what type of shoe suit which type of athlete. In this case, when trying to build your glutes one silent factor that may be stopping you from getting your desired results lay on your shoe sole!
While some weightlifting shoes offer the support necessary for lifting weights, their structure may not be suitable to glute building. This is especially the case for trainers with an elevated heel. A higher elevation on the heel may help your body achieve a deeper squat that can contribute to glute building, but not in the most optimal way. Deeper squats can activate the glutes; however, they can also overwork your quads instead of prioritising the glutes.
Whilst you’re changing your shoes don’t forget to check out our glute boosting leggings!
What to do: Stop wearing shoes with an elevated heel immediately.
Instead, opt for trainers with a flat heel which will cut on your range of motion. By not going as low and actively taking care of your form, you will hit the glutes harder, achieving better results.
To support yourself, you can grab a chair or a box and try to squat slowly until you reach the chair. In this way, you will have the confidence and support to squat low enough while taking care of your form for optimal results.
While some people may find it useful to perform complex movements as a warmup or, to start their workouts without priming their muscles, optimal warmups may be a lot simpler than that. Tackling muscles such as quads from the very beginning may be provoking a deeper focus on them instead of the muscles that matter most to you – in this case, your glutes!
What to do: There are two ways you can go about this.
You could do focused exercises to achieve optimal glute activation. This means doing isolation movements which are exercises that only focus on the glutes such as donkey kicks or fire hydrants.
Or, you could use foam rolling and stretching as your secret weapon. Recent studies have demonstrated that foam rolling can suppress the nervous system and constrain muscle activity. While this might sound complex, by foam rolling muscles such as your quads, you can give your glutes no other option than to do the work themselves.
If you are hitting the gym, and you are hitting it hard and still not seeing any gains, perhaps it may be time for you rethink your workouts. Focusing on the same few movements over a long period is not always the best idea.
What to do: Think balance
In addition to evaluating whether you are incorporating a nice and structured balance of both compound – exercises that tackle more than one muscle group – and isolation movements to your workouts, you may also want to start thinking about how to challenge yourself further.
Changes such as adding single leg work or using different accessories and machines can help you get the few changes that could make the difference to your results.
Get clear on what your goals are. Develop a strategy to reach the results you want to see, and re-design your workouts to get there.
Neglecting what you eat can ultimately make the difference between making progress or staying where you are now.
Even in bodybuilding, despite needing lots of energy, paying attention to the things you are consuming to fuel your muscles is important.
You have to eat according to your goals. The trick is to identify what you want to achieve and to tailor and incorporate a balanced diet rich of proteins, fats and carbohydrates to your plate.
Remember that the most important thing to see results is to make sure you are consuming the right nutrients.
When it comes to protein, making sure you consume 1 gram per pound of body weight each day is the recommended amount for optimal muscle gain.
Carbohydrates and fats also play an important role in this process, giving you the energy to smash your workouts and recover your muscles. Failing to provide the right conditions for your body to repair – mainly through rest, sleep and food – can be one of the main reasons you don’t see results.
In the words of famous trainer Brett Contreras ‘there is an art and science to building the booty’. Building your glutes is no easy task, and giving your all is essential to success.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you identify some of the most common glute building mistakes and what not to do!