Whether you don't have access to a gym or you've always trained from home and want to start incorporating glute training from home... YOU CAN!
But first, I will admit training from home can be distracting! There are so many things we 'feel' we need to do when we're home that we 'put off the workout' and the day can quickly pass us by!
Knowing this, it's important to have a plan and even a set time to stay dedicated to training at home.
If you've mastered the distractions and have a few pieces of equipment, you can get started!
Now to get nitty gritty... do we just jump into a workout?
Well you could... but if you're a beginner or if you haven't trained in a while, here are a few things I would perfect first - which in a sense is a workout in itself just 'mastering' these moves.
How would mastering these moves become a workout?
To put simply, you'd practice them with 100% concentration on your technique and do so for 10-15 reps and 2-3 sets. It's easy to do an exercise for a few reps, but the real test - with even just your bodyweight, is to be able to do it for a specific amount of reps and for a few sets. After the 2nd set it's easy to get tired, lose form and this is exactly when you want to take advantage of your beginner journey by mastering these until they become easy even on the 3rd set, with great form!
Here are some beginner foundational moves which will help you strengthen your glutes from home:
1. Glute Bridge
2. Hip Thrust
5. Hinged Stance (think of it as a half squat hinged over with a straight back and being able to hold this steadily)
6. Clams & Crab Walks
7. Kick Backs
8. One Leg Balance
Once you progress and get stronger with these movements, you can then try to incorporate more advanced versions such as Bulgarian Split Squats, a variety of Deadlift variations and other exercises (I'll save that for another article).
Now in order explaining why these foundational movements are important:
1. The Glute Bridge is important and one of the first moves to master because it requires you to develop not only mind muscle connection with your glutes, but it also helps you develop core strength. While you may not feel your abs burning like a crunch exercise, the core needs to be working in order to help you curl your hips up properly. Additionally, developing the 'curl' or 'scoop' like motion with your hips is an essential skill that crosses over to other exercises in future.
2. The Hip Thrust allows you to work through deeper ranges than the glute bridge and is somewhat of a 'graduation' from glute bridges in my opinion. Once you've mastered the scooping on the floor and you know how NOT to over activate your lower back, the hip thrust on a bench/step will become second nature.
The movement of the hip thrust will allow you to maximise your glute recruitment due to the added range and is known to be one of the most popular and effective exercises to building the glutes.
If you don't have access to a gym bench, you can use a coffee table (depending on the height - and if it's stable of course), your couch or any other similar item around the house that will work for you.
3. The Squat is a great exercise not only for your glutes but also your legs. Some people prefer not to squat because they don't want to add any more muscle to their thighs or because they JUST want to work their glutes. However, squatting is a very normal and functional movement. Unless you physically can't or have pain when squatting (which usually can be fixed with proper technique or modifications), I would still recommend to incorporate them into your program from time to time.
Additionally, when you train from home and are limited to equipment, there are many variations you can do to keep things fun, so you wouldn't want to miss out.
4. The Lunge is another great exercise that not only works your glutes, but legs too. What's great about the lunge is how it helps you build unilateral strength. You develop the skill to focus on one leg with minimal effort needed from the back leg in the lunge. It's beneficial because most of us have one leg stronger than the other so it helps to build a balanced body and similarly to the squat, their are so many variations of lunges that you can do, making it a challenging exercise you won't get bored of!
5. The Hinged Stance is what I'd like to refer as the pre-requisite before learning how to deadlift or perform other exercises that require a strong isometric hold of a 'bent over' type movement. The skill to hinge forward 'properly' looks and sounds easier than it is because a lot of people have weak stabiliser muscles and tightness in their posterior chain which cause them to struggle to maintain this position properly. The ability to keep your back straight/maintain a neutral spine on demand is important when performing a lot of exercises for injury prevention and also for optimal recruitment. When we can't control our posture and lose our form, we end up compensating with other muscles that can slowly build up to over use injuries.
6. The Clam & Crab Walks exercise comes with multiple variations just like a squat and lunge so you won't get bored. These exercises properly isolate the glute medius, also known as the 'side booty' and it's quite a popular area to train because it's easy to do from home or with minimal equipment. It 'feels' good to train this area and it also helps our hips strengthen where they normally fall weak due to our modern office lifestyles. When the glute medius becomes weak, it can contribute to poor walking/running technique, hip pain, back pain and knee pain, just to name a few. Ensuring this muscle doesn't get sleepy is important for overall hip health and when it's strong we can get the most out of our workouts.
7. The Kick Back exercise also has many variations which make home training fun and is also an important exercise to do for injury prevention. You'll feel it working in the chunky part of your booty, the glute maximus. The beauty of the exercises that simulate kick back motion is that they always give your glutes a nice firm feeling after. If you've ever wanted a pick me up (or a bit of help from gravity!) a few kick backs will be the back lift you need to feel bootyful!
8. The One Leg Balance sounds simple, however to master it correctly takes not only 'practice due to the balance element' but also requires skills on how to tuck your hips forward properly (like with the glute bridge and hip thrust), quadriceps activation and core activation. The glutes work in this posture by helping you stabilise, a key purpose of your glutes.
As you can hopefully see by now, the glutes work in many different ways and also in conjunction with other muscles depending on the exercise. To develop your glutes to be as strong, stable and perky, working them in a variety of ways is best and it also helps prevent your workouts from becoming too repetitive if you get bored easily!
Now once you've mastered the technique of these exercises (which can be a workout in itself as mentioned above) you can combine them to create a workout from home.
Complete each exercise for 10-15 reps for 2-3 sets.
Here's to feeling bootyful!