The glutes are a muscle group that seems to be a weird topic in strength training.
On one end, you have the majority of people that have no clue that there are muscles on their backside.
Conversely, there are people who train to build a “squat butt”.
The reason that I say it’s a weird topic is because you go from the glutes having no clue what they are doing to people that only want to train their butt.
That is one hell of a spectrum.
I have to lean towards the squat butt people.
On the surface people tend to be attracted to those that actually have a butt regardless of gender.
Not everyone , but most.
I have to take the nerdy way of looking at it and applaud the training for all of the benefits it produces.
The gluteus maximus is the biggest muscle in the lower body. Training the biggest muscle means a lot of calories burned for fat loss seekers.
There is also a glute medius (and glute minimus that I am ignoring) which is located higher on the hip. It is a muscle that is really important for injury prevention because it assists with stability of the hip.
Those with back pain, hip pain, knee pain, and sometimes shoulder pain would have their symptoms reduce with good glute work.
Some of the best exercises to train the glutes include bridges, hip thrusts, deadlifts, and RDL’s.
In order to really hit home on the hip stabilizers, single leg exercises must be incorporated.
Lunges are a great choice when working on lower body strength. The benefits do not just include the muscles of the legs/ hips, your core must also be working to prevent falling over.
Try these lunges out.
1. Forward Lunge
Forward lunges are a great middle of the road option. They are not the easiest but they can also be progressed.
One of the reasons they are harder than a split squat or reverse lunge is that the body must decelerate which means the legs have more force acted upon them.
2. Walking Lunge
This is a progression of the forward lunge. These can be good by themselves or part of a circuit that will make you want to just lay around for a while.
They have a great conditioning effect in addition to the strength and stability benefits.
3. Lateral Lunge
I like lateral lunges because it gets us out of the saggital (forward and backward) plane. Our whole lives are spent forward and back.
Training side to side movement adds a new dynamic to your training.
4. ¼ Turn Lunge
Adding in rotation to a forward lunge trains the body in a third way. The transverse plane is a 3-d or rotational plane which gets work from these lunges.
It really is just a forward lunge that you must turn in and out of. These are a good challenge.
These four lunging variations are great for a number of reasons. If you are serious about training then you cannot ignore the muscles of your behind.
Lunges are necessary for creating strength and stability from the glutes. Incorporate some of these to start building a butt that can crush walnuts.
Just be careful, jeans may become a mortal enemy of yours.