Bigger, stronger gluteshelp you run fasterand lift more weight in some lower-body exercises. Big booty men are also at less risk for lower back pain. Some people also find bigger glutes more aesthetically pleasing.
Glute Muscle Anatomy
When you refer to the glutes, you’re usually talking about thegluteus maximus, which is thebiggest muscle in the body. It’s the visible muscle that makes up the bulk of someone’s rear-end. However, there are actuallythree glute muscles.
Thegluteus maximusspans the backside of your hip bone and runs down into your femur. It also connects to the iliotibial band, which is a thick band of tissue that runs down the side of your leg. There are two more glute muscles: thegluteus mediusandminimus.
Thegluteus mediusruns along the side of your hip and is much less visible than the maximus. Thegluteus minimusalso runs along the side of your hip bone and inserts into the femur.
Your glute muscles extend your hip and lift your leg to the side, a movement known asabduction. They also help rotate your leg. The gluteus maximus is the biggest and most powerful of the three muscles and the most important when it comes to things like running and lifting weights.
Sprinting requires hip extension, so much so that building up stronger glutes can actually make you faster. An August 2018 study published in theJournal of Sports Science and Medicineshowed that some weighted glute exercises can helpimprove sprint performance. Sprinting is important in many sports, so men who want to increase their athletic performance should do glute exercises.
For male athletes, performance is important. However, you don’t need to be an athlete to benefit from glute training. If you’re a man who suffers from lower back pain, glute exercises can help. An August 2017 study published in theAmerican College of Sports Medicine’sHealth & Fitness Journaldiscussed the importance of glute strengthening exercises inmanaging lower back pain.
In the article, the authors explain that stronger glute muscles help you move and lift with less effort, reducing strain on your lower back. Stronger glutes can also improve your posture, which can help reduce lower back pain.
1. The Hip Thrust
To build bigger glutes, you should perform an exercise that activates the glutes and allows you to easily add resistance:the barbell hip thrust. A December 2015 study published in theJournal of Applied Biomechanicsshowed that the barbell hip thrust activates the glutes more than abarbell back squat. The latter is a well-known lower-body strength exercise, but thebarbell hip thrustis better atspecifically targeting the glutes.
Use a bench or box that won’t tip over. It should be heavy or securely fastened to the ground. Whatever object you use should be16 inches highand flat on top.
Sit in front of the box or bench with your mid-back resting on the edge.
Place a barbell on your lap. You can rest a pad on your lap between your body and the barbell, or use a bar pad that wraps around the bar. This will protect your hip bones as you’re doing the thrust.
Place your hands on the barbell.
Bend your knees and plant your feet flat on the ground.
Lean back and thrust your hips up, pressing through your heels.
Bring your hips up as high as possible. At the top, your body should form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Your knees should be bent at 90 degrees.
Relax and put the barbell down.
Try this exercise without a barbell if you’re not sure how much weight you can lift.
2. Other Glute-Building Resistance Exercises
While thebarbell hip thrustis one of the best gluteus maximus exercises, you should switch things up and add variety to your booty-building workout routine.
Move 1: Step-Ups
Step-upscan be used as part of yourglute-building routine. Use a box to step on and some dumbbells or kettlebells to add resistance.
Place a box with a flat surface on the ground.
Put one foot on the top of the box.
Step up so that you’re standing on the box.
Step back with the same foot you used to step up. Switch sides when you’ve completed your desired number of repetitions. You can hold dumbbells or kettlebells by your sides to add resistance.
If this exercise is too difficult, use a shorter box or drop the weights.
Move 2: Barbell Back Squat
While it’s not quite as effective as the hip thrust,the barbell back squatcan help youbuild your glutes. You’ll need a barbell and a power rack for this exercise.
To start, put the bar over your upper back and grab it with both hands, wider than shoulder-width apart.
Lift the bar out of the rack and take a step back.
Set your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and turn your toes out slightly.
Squat down, keeping your feet flat on the ground.
Go as low as you can; then stand back up.
You can hold a light kettlebell in front of your chest to squat instead of using a barbell if the exercise is uncomfortable.