Hate Leg Day? The One Muscle You Shouldn’t Neglect is…

Legs, Strength Training

Leg day might be a part of your workout routine that you’d rather skip. At times it may seem too tedious or too painful, but it’s vital for your lower body strength and core. These exercises have great long-term effects on improvements in balance, circulation, and posture.

As we look deeper, we’ll find there is a muscle we often take for granted but should not neglect – the glutes! We don’t often think of it, but glutes are essential for the adequacy of everyday functions like climbing stairs or maintaining posture while you sit at a desk all day.

It’s in your best interest to work out the glutes, so we’ll discuss the importance of glute exercises for men and how to implement these exercises into your routine.

 

The Importance of Glute Workouts

 

Your Glutes (Gluteus Maximus) is the Largest Muscle in Your Body

It is imperative to engage in glute exercises for men because the glutes are some of the strongest muscles within the body. The gluteus maximus influences the mobility and flexibility of our hips and impacts the way we put our torsos in an upright position. Proper functioning is needed for everyday use, like getting up from a seat or lifting heavy objects, as well as with exercises, like running or balancing on one foot.

 

Add a Lot to Both Men’s and Women’s Overall Aesthetic

Typically, glutes are always discussed regarding women’s physique, but nicely defined glutes can be a boost to the male aesthetic as well! A balanced distribution of muscles and fat is often desired, and this is also the case for glutes. While working to develop your pecs and biceps, don’t forget to tone your glutes to help to sculpt an overall toned body. When glutes are exercised and well-defined, you have a nicely toned look to your physique that ultimately supports the appearance of wellness and fitness. Sometimes jeans need filling out as well!

 

Helps With Pelvic Alignment

Butt exercises for men can be more advantageous than you’d initially think. In addition to the many other contributions, the gluteal muscles are also responsible for pelvic alignment. The gluteus maximus carries out the movement at the lumbopelvic region, providing force and stability. The three muscles, gluteus minimus, medius, and gluteus maximus, are each integral to the extension and rotation of the hip. This is a driving force that allows us to walk, bend, and safely execute our workouts.

 

Prevents Lower Back Pain

Working out the glutes can help you prevent lower back pain and complications related to the spine. It is common to see gluteal muscle contracture accompanied by back pain. With the glutes being the largest muscle, they are essential for the function of the lumbar-pelvic-hip region. The glutes do a lot of heavy lifting regarding lower backbone movements and standing up with a healthful posture.

If you experience contracture of gluteal muscles, in which they become tense or strained, you’ll see mobility complications, like changes in your gait (the pattern that you walk) and chronic back pain. This is because the glutes are the first muscles activated when sitting or stretching. The glutes often bear the weight of our physical activity, and when these muscles are weakened and strained, the pressure falls on our hips, backs, and knees, resulting in chronic back pain.

Doing some sumo squats can be beneficial for improving the balance and stability of the lower body. When you activate the glutes, it will strengthen the muscles and allow them to be useful for supporting the spine and improving posture, ultimately relieving back pain. Maintaining strong glutes can allow you to withstand sitting at an office desk or climbing several flights of stairs.

 

Limits the Risk of Knee Injuries

Giving attention to your glutes can also help reduce knee injuries. Weakened and tight gluteal muscles can cause patellofemoral pain syndrome, characterized by chronic knee pain. It becomes easier to injure your knees during athletic activities like running and jumping, or you feel pain as you sit for longer periods.

The gluteus maximus can decelerate stress that impacts the knee, which alleviates pain and decreases the chances of injury. This makes sumo squats a vital exercise, as some sumo squat muscles worked include the quads, the four muscles involved in extending the knee.

 

Makes it Easier to Build Stronger Quads and Hamstrings

When your glutes are inactivated and weaker, it puts strain on the secondary muscles as well as the hamstrings and hip adductors. Just as the quads are involved in the flex of the thigh and knee extension, your hamstrings help the glutes with the forward and upward motion that is enacted while you run or jump. Doing butt workouts with weights, like deadlifts, squats, or even the leg press machine, can be useful for strengthening these muscles to carry out hip or knee-related movements, like simply stretching your leg out without tension or strain.

These muscles cramp easily, so you may want to try some barbell sumo squats. With this version, the hamstrings and adductors are activated as you hold a barbell behind your neck, stand with your feet wide apart, your toes pointed outward, and push your hips backward.

 

Best Glute Exercises

 

Weighted Hip Thrusters

Some of the best upper glute exercises are the many variations of hip thrusts. The hips are largely responsible for our ability to walk and run, so it’s important to shower attention on these muscles.

Weighted glute exercises are beneficial for resistance and expanding muscle size, so you can do hip thrusters with dumbbells to increase glute size. A single-leg version consists of holding the dumbbells across your hips while raising and lowering your hips toward the floor, raising one foot as you do so. A hip thrust bench can be used to enhance the range of motion as a hip thrust bar helps with weight. A hip thrust band provides resistance as you work on the hips and abductors.

Instructions

  1. Place the bench underneath your shoulder blades.
  2. Bend your knees with your feet flat at hip-width and out in front of you.
  3. Push upward until your thighs are parallel to the floor, and then release your hips back towards the floor.
  4. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement and come down slowly to maximize TOT (time-under-tension).

 

Wide Stance Goblet Squats

One upper glute workout is the wide stance goblet squat, which works the glutes, quads, and hamstrings, as well as the spinal erectors. This upper butt workout can lift and sculpt your butt, but it’s also a full-body workout, as your core, arms, and grip are exercised. Elevating your toes on weights or boards enables better targeting of the glutes, as this increases the depth of the squat.

 

Instructions

  1. Hold a dumbbell, medicine ball, or kettlebell at chest level with both hands, standing with feet at hip-width.
  2. Repeat your squats up and down while keeping your chest upward. Pause when your knees form a 90-degree angle before coming back up.
  3. Balance on your heels instead of the balls of your feet as you squat, and maintain a wide stance with outward toes to activate your glutes and squat deeply.

 

Split Squats

Split squats are some of the best glute exercises for mass as it helps to build muscle in addition to improving balance. The objective is to activate the glutes on your front leg, with the back leg providing balance. Coordination is key in this exercise, so you’d push off your heel rather than using your toes. You can add this to your dumbbell glute exercises by doing your split squats with dumbbells in both hands with arms at your sides.

 

Instructions

  1. After finding your footing, get into the lunge position by placing one foot on the bench behind you.
  2. Hinge slightly forward at the hips, and bend your front knee to come down into a lunge.
  3. Pause when your thigh is parallel to the floor, and then push through your heel to come back up.
  4. After repeating, you can switch legs.

 

So next time you’re thinking about skipping leg day, remember this article and why it’s important to your overall fitness, mobility and aesthetics. Your legs, and your glutes especially, are too big of a muscle group to ignore. They play a pivotal role in overall strength, athletic performance, everyday functional movements, and injury prevention. Go get those legs sculpted, and put that hard work on display. Skipping leg day is one thing, but to completely skip out on your glutes is a workout sin.

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