It's time to tone your tush
Our butt is comprised of three muscles. The first and outermost layer is our gluteus maximus. Learn how to work it best with the following butt exercises.
Our butt (or, in technical terms, our gluteal area) is comprised of three muscles. The first and outermost layer is our gluteus maximus muscle. This muscle is the largest of the gluteal area (some peoples’ being much larger than others, much to their chagrin).
One of the most powerful muscles in the body, its function is to extend and outwardly rotate the hip and extend the trunk. Contrary to popular usage, it is not meant to be sat on all day long.
The other two muscles located around our rear end are the gluteus medius muscle, responsible for rotating and abducting the leg, and the gluteus minimus, the smallest glute muscle located deep within the hip joint.
Strong Butt, Strong Back
A strong rear end strengthens the lower back. This is a necessity for anyone who suffers with lower back pain as well as for those who play sports. The glutes play a major role in running, kicking, lunging, and squatting–movements used in many commonly played sports.
In 2006 the American Council on Exercise commissioned and released a study to determine the best exercises for our gluteus maximus muscle. Using electromyographic (EMG) analysis, researchers compared the muscle recruitment patterns of eight gluteal exercises.
They tested the squat, single-leg squat, vertical leg press, horizontal leg press, quadruped hip extension, step-up, lunge, and four-way hip extension. As the squat elicited the most gluteal involvement, it was used by researchers as a baseline to compare the results of the other exercises.
The good news is that all eight worked the glute muscles, proving that these are easy muscles to target. However, of the eight, the vertical and horizontal leg press fired up the least amount of glute muscle and the quadruped hip extension, four-way hip extension, and squat fired up the most gluteal muscle.
The Best Exercises for Our Gluteus Maximus Muscle
Quadruped Hip Extensions
As a trainer, I recommend that you try performing the squat on an unbalanced surface (such as a wobble board or BOSU) to fire up even more muscles.