Why you should target this muscle


Have you ever done squats or lunges to try and improve the look of your rear end? We all want to look good when we squeeze into a new pair of pants, but it turns out there are other things we could be doing to try and get a better behind. What are they? Well…

Gluteus maximus vs. medius

When you do exercises like squats and lunges, you’re exercising your gluteus maximus. You might have heard this word before, because it’s the biggest muscle in your derrière and is often shortened to glutes. However, alongside this muscle is the gluteus medius which is smaller but incredibly important. Its responsible for things like hip rotation and stabilizing the pelvis, so it’s not just there for kicks.

If this muscle becomes weak, then that can lead instability in your legs, which is not what you want. Unfortunately, not all exercises target this muscle, and our lifestyles often cause it to be inactive for extended periods of time. Here are some exercises to consider if you want to strengthen your gluteus medius.

Glute bridges

This exercise isn’t too hard to do, but it will require you to use a resistance band. Place it around your legs a little bit higher than your knees and lie down on your back. Then, all you have to do is raise your hips and push your knees outwards. Repeat this for 10-20 reps, pausing each time before you go back to your start position. Soon enough you’ll start feeling the burn in your backside.

Hip abductions

Roll over from your back onto your side and get ready to work out that gluteus medius a little harder. Have one leg bent while the other is straight – this is the one you’ll be lifting. Slowly bring it up to a 45-degree angle, hold it for a second or two, and then lower it again. As with the previous exercise, repeat it for 10-20 reps and then do it on your other side. After a couple of reps, you may find it harder to continue lifting your leg to the right height, but don’t give up. If the pain is too much, then stop, but always give 100% effort. Otherwise, you’re not getting the real benefit out of the exercise.

Clamshells

You can end out your gluteus medius routine with some clamshell exercises. This is another one that looks deceptively easy, but trust us – it isn’t. Lie on your side with your legs bent together, then slowly lift the top one up to a 45-degree angle. You’re essentially opening and closing your legs, but with a lot more pain than you might expect. If you’ve developed strong gluteus medius muscles or you just enjoy feeling the burn, try adding a resistance band into the mix. It will make it harder to do the exercise, but the pay off will be greater.

With these three simple (but not easy) exercises, you should start a feel a difference in your rear end in no time at all. People with better-trained glute muscles tend to have less back pain, good balance and a stronger body overall. Do you not want that?