Everyone has a butt, but what most people don’t realize is there are actually three muscles that comprise our backsides: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. Most people affectionately call this group their glutes. And for those who want a good workout, there are plenty of dedicated glute exercise machine options to get these muscles toned.
While some people want to focus on their behind to help improve their confidence, others understand that this area plays a large role regarding your entire body. The best machine for glutes will help you both strengthen and tone the area, so you can reap the aesthetic and athletic benefits.
Regardless of your motivation, here are eight things you can do to help max out your glute area.
1. Get To Know Your Glutes
These muscles perform an important role in keeping you upright. They let you extend your leg forward, turn your leg outward, and even step to the side in a movement called abduction.
Indeed, these three movements are key when it comes to working out your glutes.
You’ll want to find exercises that include each of those motions, as they target the three individual components as follows:
- The gluteus minimus helps turn your leg inward or extend it to the side
- The gluteus medius attaches to the hip joint, and controls thigh rotation and abduction
- The gluteus maximus extends your thigh, like during squats, and is activated by most movements from your hips.
The minimus and medius come into play when you’re off balance. If you stand on just your left leg, for example, they’ll keep you from falling over.
2. Have Reasonable Expectations
Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to target their glute area.
Remember that working out this group of muscles won’t do anything to shrink your butt, and that building strength can actually make your lower body larger. You can definitely tone and shape your butt, and that’s what you can expect from regimented exercises.
Your hips, legs, and so on will also show the effects of your efforts.
3. Work Out Related Muscle Groups
As you work out your glutes, you’ll end up working out certain related groups. For example, your hips are closely connected to your butt, and hip exercises will probably involve at least one of the three gluteal muscles.
Your leg, hip, and knee are all important parts of working out your glutes. An abductor machine will work out your entire lower body, not just your butt, but it will build important strength in all of the muscle groups involved.
Plenty of glute exercises also include your hips, thigh, and quad area to a certain extent. These exercises will also strengthen your knee area, which is important for any active person.
4. Stretch Before You Begin
It’s important to stretch before any physical activity, and exercises centered on your butt are no different.
You’ll want to do an all-over stretch, but you should especially focus on your glutes, hip area, thighs, and legs. Downward facing dog and pigeon pose are two common yoga poses that double as stretches for your glute area and legs.
In pigeon pose, you’ll start out on all fours. Next, you move your left knee up to where your left wrist is, and then move your left ankle toward your right wrist, so that your leg is in a diagonal position. At this point, you can slide your right leg back so it’s extended behind you. To finish the stretch, switch sides and repeat the pose.
5. Get the Best Results from Exercise Machines
What’s the best machine for glutes? It all depends on your personal preference. However, there are ways to get the most out of whatever machine you end up using.
Plenty of machines are marketed as the path to a toned butt. Those are a good starting place, but they should also have a few other features. The best machines will have an adjustable range of movement. That’s an important part of adjusting how intense your workout will be and how it will take to recover from it.
You should also make sure you find an option that will strengthen your glutes without putting stress on your knee joints. Knees can take a beating during certain kinds of exercise, so avoid overworking them. When your hip and thigh area gets stronger, they’ll support the knee area.
6. Find the Right Timing for Your Workout
If you’re trying to build noticeable muscle, the timing and frequency of your workout is just as important as the kind of exercise you do. To get the best development in your glute area, you should pay careful attention to the time between your workouts.
Research suggests that the longest possible recovery time after exercise is 3 or 4 days. The best time to train is right after recovery, so you can get started building the area up again. From there, how can you decide how long to go between training sessions?
The answer always depends on the intensity of the workout, type of movement, and range of motion involved.
7. Vary Your Workout Intensity
Conventional wisdom has it that a more intense workout will yield better results. That’s true to a certain extent, but your workout plan should include some planning, too. If you’re working with a machine, chances are it has adjustable features. That may include the incline or angle of your workout. Adjustments like that can help you focus on specific areas.
It might also include an adjustable range of motion. A wider range of motion means a more intense workout, and a longer recovery time as a result. If you’re doing intense workouts with a large range of movement, take more time between workouts to ensure you can recover first. A lower range of movement requires less time.
Keep the number of reps in your routine consistent, so you can build strength in these areas. Your hips and knees will thank you.
8. Develop a Routine and Keep It Up!
Once you have an idea of how long it takes for you to recover from a given exercise, you can develop a consistent routine, with a set number of reps and a schedule.
In addition to using your glute machine, you might want to use body weight exercises, like squats.
Keep your hips and your leg muscles in shape, because they’re foundational for a strong butt.
It can take between 6 and 8 weeks to see results, so make sure to stay consistent with your routine. After weeks of sticking to the same schedule, you’ll start to form a habit, and it should be easier to stay on track the longer you continue.
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How will you update your exercise routine to max out your glutes? What exercises give you the best results? Let us know in the comments below!