Glutes are important.
Why? Why are they so important? Why do you care about them? Why are you even reading this article?
because. because i said so .
Oh. Also because women who are looking for an “aesthetically enhanced posterior” would do well to train them.
A nice butt. I mean a nice butt. Women who want a nice butt usually want to train their glutes.
And for good reason! Those are the muscles that make up the butt! Man, it’s fun writing about butt fitness.
Anyway, there’s some misinformation out there about the best way to train your butt-area. So I’m going to dispel those butt-myths and give you the best butt-formation that I can give you.
1. It’s all about squats when you want to train your glutes
Not so! In 2006, a group called the American Council on Exercise conducted an experiment that to this date is the only comprehensive study on which exercises best activate your glutes. And do you know what they found?
There are a lot of exercises that highly activate the glutes. Plus, squats weren’t even the best exercise for training your glutes. There are a ton of other exercises that will help get your glutes in shape, like hip thrusts, back extensions, and deadlifts. So if you hate squats, rejoice!
Worried about hurting yourself? Avoid these 6 exercises at all costs!
2. You have to get super sore when training your glutes
A lot of people who are trying to train their posterior think that if they don’t get sore in the week after their glute day they’ve failed. That’s’ crap.
Soreness isn’t the goal in growing muscle. It’s not the end-all-be-all. It’s not even that important.
MORE: Workout Review: Jillian Michaels Killer Buns & Thighs DVD
Truth is, if you really want to get super sore, just train your glutes infrequently, do lunges, and include unfamiliar movements and congratulations, you’re going to get sore. But it won’t help your glutes that much.
3. Glutes are fast twitch muscles that should be trained with heavy weights
Scientists have done two studies on the fiber type percentage of your glutes (that means what kind of muscle they are). One study found 52% slow twitch vs 48% fast twitch, while the other found 68% slow twitch and 32% fast twitch.
In other words, your glutes are not primarily a fast twitch muscle.
That means you shouldn’t just focus on high weight / low rep exercises when training them – you should do a wide range of exercises for them.
Want to tone your arms too? Try this exercise, it’s been scientifically proven as most efficient!
4. Use progressive overload to maximize your glute gains
If you’re trying to improve the appearance and performance of your glutes, yeah, getting stronger is super important. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be loading up the weights so much that your knees cave in during squats or your back rounds during a deadlift. That’s going to cause injury – not help your glutes.
MORE: 9 Butt Exercises That Are Better Than Squats
If you’re interested in optimal progress and efficiency, you need to make sure your form is 100% on target before, during, and after your exercises. That means only using as much weight as you can handle, and making sure to stick to form all the way through your movements.
In addition, make sure to be mindful of how your glutes feel while you’re exercising. If you feel a burn – congratulations, you’re working your glutes.
5. Don’t worry about variety, just do one or two key exercises
Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.
Your glutes aren’t just one muscle. Oh no. They’re made up of 3 anatomical subdivisions, and the upper and lower gluteus maximus activate uniquely during exercise.
What does that mean? It means that squats and lunges do really well to work the lower glutes, but do not activate the upper glutes. It means that side lying hip abductions are great for your upper glutes, but not so great for your lower glutes.
What does it mean for you, the person who doesn’t care about reading all the science involved?
It means you can’t just do one exercise over and over for your glutes and expect to really improve. You’ve gotta mix things up to work the whole muscle.
Here’s why strength training is so beneficial to women.
6. Only train your glutes once per week for maximum efficiency
There are a lot of bodybuilders out there who think that each muscle group should only be trained once each week to maximize development. However, when they’ve got one specific muscle – like calves – that they feel is week and want to improve, they’ll train them multiple times in a week.
So what? So – your glutes are the biggest muscle in the body (on average)! It can handle a lot of training volume and frequency! You don’t have to worry about tiring out your glutes, they can take it!
Don’t worry about training your glutes multiple times a week. You won’t be destroying your efficiency, you’ll be increasing it. And afterwards you’ll have awesome glutes to show off at the beach, in yoga pants, or in the bedroom at home.
Anyone have any favorite exercises when it comes to training your glutes? Let me know below!
The Biggest Glute Training Myths
- It’s all about squats when you want to train your glutes
- You have to get super sore when training your glutes
- Glutes are fast twitch muscles that should be trained with heavy weights
- Use progressive overload to maximize your glute gains
- Don’t worry about variety, just do one or two key exercises
- Only train your glutes once per week for maximum efficiency
Great article. Will keep these in mind when training!
“Upper and lower gluteus Maximus” actually your glutes consists of three muscles the gluteus medius (on the top) gluteus minimum (middle section) and then the gluteus Maximus (gives us the round plump part of our glutes on the bottom)
4. By definition progressive overload is what you describe to do in the second paragraph. PO is NOT about grabbing heavy weights and hurting yourself.
Working out my glutes is always such a pain. Before I read through some of these, I just never really felt like I was getting a good workout for them!
I have seen these myths before. Once you get down to the nitty gritty, you can really benefit from these types of exercises!
Glutes are a great! My husband comments on my backside every time I get home from the gym. That makes it well worth it for me!
Glutes are very important muscles to work on. The workouts can be tough, but the end results are always well worth it!
It is hard with diet and exercise to read about what is considered a myth and things like. Many people make great points, but there is always another side to the story that often makes you think otherwise.
Training on your glutes can be a lot of work, but I know that the results are well worth the time. You are going to look great from the backside when you are done :)
Getting those muscles worked out is going to help you in MANY ways. Just ask ANY man :)
There are plenty of ways that you can train your glutes without using way too much weight. If you are going to overload, you could be looking at an injury and that is hardly worth it.
Working out my glutes always seemed to be a difficult task. I started to do this 30 day workout challenge and there is one exercise that has seemed to help. It is called the skater slides. After 100 of those your glutes are burning and feel great as they are stretched out.
When it comes to working out your glutes, I always have the same question: How much can you work on them before you are “done”?
I would say that you just go with one goal and make sure to meet it each time you do the glutes.
When you are working your glutes, or anything for that matter, you need to keep in mind that you are not ALWAYS going to feel the burn. At one point your body will get used to it and that might be a good time to upgrade to more advanced workout moves.
Glutes look great when you work them out :) I love to have my husband give his opinion about mine, especially after a nice hard workout!
I see the logic behind these myths. I have been working on my glutes and I LOVE to feel the burn, so when I do not, I feel that my workout was not good enough. I guess it just means that I have stretched my muscles to the point that it does not hurt anymore, right?
I hated working out my glutes for a long time and it was mostly because I never saw any results. Why would I want to work so hard for nothing, right? Then I stopped doing squats and found a few other exercises that helped and I am glad that I did.
Thanks for peaking my curiosity about this topic. I always thought that if you were not a runner, doing squats was the best option for your glutes.
Working your glutes used to be much harder. Now there are so many exercises and machines that do much more, making it easier to have that nicely, shaped back side. These myths are good to tell the person that never feels they have worked out their back side enough.
I feel the same way about most exercises. I know friends that always say that if they do not “feel the burn” they feel they are not getting the best workout for their body. I know that is not the case and feel that as long as I do it on a regular basis, I am good.
I was thinking about talking to my trainer about these types of workouts as it is one part of my body that I am conscience about. Great info here to pass along as a concern.
I have been training for my glutes for some time now and I can certainly agree with these myths.
I HATE myths. How can you really be sure they are myths? I bet that if my glutes are sore I am going to feel pretty good about the workout and that is going to keep me motivated enough to keep going. Just saying!
It is great that you are dispelling these because people could be kept from doing great exercises based these types of things. I always say that it is not about being sore, or doing 1000 push ups, but it is about repetition. Get that routine down and make sure you STICK with it.