Jun 04, 2017
Welcome back my dear fit friends… I hope that last weeks blog introduction has peaked your interest and has you asking for more! I was brainstorming for this first article and feeling a bit flooded with ideas. Was it gonna be about dance or fitness or nutrition or something else completely, but then I thought there’s this one topic that most dancers need to work it and twerk it, most fit girls love to train it more then any other body part and even if your someone from neither one of those worlds, somehow it still seems to be the increasingly popular accessory in the scene these days… Booty booty booty!
Of course we have our lovely genetics that play a part in the general make up of our body and skeletal structure but that never stopped anyone from sculpting their body or booty into something else. There are so many different exercises and variations for training your glutes whether it’s incorporated in a leg day training, or on its own with bands, bars, ankle weights, body weight, machines… no joke, the options truly excite me haha but before we get to have fun with all those fun exercises and gadgets its important to make sure you are working from a good foundation and both the body and the mind are all on the same page, hence todays article BOOTYBUILDING 101!
Keying into the mind to muscle connection is such a helpful way to understanding your own body more and getting the most out of your training, and in order to connect to those muscles you kind of need to have an understanding of what those muscles are. When it comes to sculpting and shaping a big round booty there are a lot of muscles at work but are 3 main muscles that contribute to your gains, the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. The functions of these muscles include, extensions, abduction, external rotation and internal rotation of the hip joint.
The main attraction of the 3 is also the largest muscle in your body and perhaps the most powerful as well, the gluteus maximus. This large muscle is responsible for rear extensions for example plank leg lifts and donkey kicks or even just the simple mundane action of walking, but also active in more compound exercises like hip thrusts and deadlifts. It also is engaged during abduction and adduction or in more visual terms the sideways motion away and towards from the centerline of your body.
Tucked under that big gluteus maximus muscle is your gluteus medius, but it certainly isn’t hiding if your working it. It contributes more to that upper booty shape and is activated during abduction and rotation of the hip. That connection is found easily during exercises like clam shells and “pulses” (hip abductions). One of the other functions of this muscle is also the stabilisation of your pelvis which is always an important layer when it comes to proper form and alignment, and not only for when your training your glutes.
The third and smallest of the gluteus muscles is the gluteus minimus found deeper and even more tucked away behind the gluteus medius. It works together with the gluteus medius for abduction of the leg and assists in stabilizing your hip in your pelvis. For example, when raising your leg to the front your gluteus minius will be activating and stabilizing on your standing leg and the same goes for your standing leg in a single leg dead lift.
So now you have a better understanding of what muscles you are trying to connect to, its time to start moving and working that body. I made this video for you guys to get an idea of what I like to do before going heavy on my glutes. Nice thing about these exercises is you can do them as a warm up before a dance performance, before going out on the town in that tight bandeaux dress or even just on those lazy gym days (yes we all have them) when you want to stay home but still get that pump.
Once those buns are woken up and all 3 gluteus muscles are activated from different angles you will be getting the most out of your workout and feeling the burn from beginning to end, especially when you start to add weight to other compound exercises like squats, lunges, deadlifts, hip thrusts, etc.
First activation exercise starts with waking up that gluteus maximus in single leg raises to the back. Focus on keeping core engaged and pelvis straight. It’s not about how high your leg goes, it’s about engaging the glute as much as you can without compensating with your lower back. I also add circles to the leg raises to help warm up the medius and minimus muscles and work on stabilising my pelvis. Next variation is on all fours, single leg raises. Finding that same flat line from the floor, only creating a larger range of motion for the leg raise and circles, and keep hands under shoulders, knees under hips. Try 3 sets of 12 alternating legs in each position.
Second exercise is a build up of clam shell variations to wake up the gluteus medius muscle. With legs bent and feet in line with your spine, core engaged and I use my top arm on the floor to support my balance. Open your knee up as much as you can and close back in while keeping your hips aligned, without shifting in your pelvis. Usually your tendancy is to rock backwards with your hips if you don’t try to stabilise and keep your hips straight. After doing this on both sides we can move it up into the next position on hands and knees. Same idea now with opening the knee up, keeping pelvis straight to the floor. To help maintain your stability and form, push into the ground slightly with hands and supporting knee. Because we like a challenge, its time to add that handy loop band for a little extra resistance. Try each exercise 12 times with alternating legs for 3 sets each position.
Third exercise is basic build up for hip bridges, a fundamental for booty gains, and by adding those pulses at the end of each exercise Im activating and firing up all three gluteus muscles. Starting on your back with basic hip bridges followed by controlled pulses sideways by opening up your knees (small hip abductions) for that extra burn. After that we add in the loop band for more resistance and activation. Adjusting the width of your feet with the bands will also add a whole new type of burn to this simple exercise. Try a wider stance if you want to challenge yourself! Next position is elevating those shoulders by placing your upper back on a bench or stability ball,for a wider range of motion. For an extra challenge add the loop band by placing it just above your knees. You will love and hate this when it comes time for those pulses. Try 3 sets of 12, each exercise.
I could just keep going with other favourites but I’m gonna let you get started with these ones first! These basics will keep popping up in other trainings and in more advanced variations with added weight so get busy with these and you will definitely be ready for more! Click here for the full video of these exercises and feel free to leave any questions or comments below this blog or on my YouTube Channel. Hope you enjoyed this article and remember…
Love your body, love the journey