The New Workout for Your Glutes

Build even more strength by training the muscles around them.

The glutes make up the largest and strongest muscle group in the body, but they don’t operate in isolation, says Kupah James, group fitness instructor at Equinox clubs throughout Los Angeles. The surrounding abs, lower back, and inner and outer thighs help determine both their power and shape.
 
Engage those complementary muscles (and strengthen your glutes) with this workout.
 


Plank with Leg Abduction and Adduction
Get in a standard plank position, keeping your back flat and head and hands stationary. Elevate your right leg, then drive your hips from left to right, crossing your right leg over the left leg and back, keeping the right foot flexed. Do 3 to 5 reps. Switch legs and repeat for a total of 3 sets.

 
Starfish Crunch
Start in full (or modified) side plank, with right hand (or forearm) on floor, directly under shoulder, and hips stacked, forming a diagonal line with your body from head to toe. Extend left arm overhead and lift left leg toward ceiling (up to hip level). Keeping core engaged, pull left knee and left elbow in toward each other; extend back to start. Do 8 to 12 reps. Switch sides and repeat for a total of 3 sets.
 


Kettlebell Single-Leg Deadlift
Place a kettlebell of moderate weight on the floor, to the left of your right heel, with your left foot directly behind the kettlebell. (Keep your weight on your right foot and maintain a straight line from the top of your head to your right heel.) Push the left foot straight back and hinge forward over your right leg until you grasp the handle of the kettlebell with your left hand, with your spine and left leg parallel to the floor (or as close as you can get them). This is the start position. Holding the kettlebell, drive the right heel into the floor to stand straight up. Reverse the motion to return to start. That’s one rep. Do 6 to 8 reps, then switch sides and repeat for a total of 4 sets.
 


Back Extensions
Begin lying on your stomach, arms overhead with thumbs facing upward and feet together. Keeping ears and biceps in alignment, contract all posterior chain muscles to lift legs, arms, and chest off the floor. Perform 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps with two-second holds at the top.

 
Double Double
Start in plank position (palms under shoulders, legs extended behind you, abs engaged), with a gliding disc under the ball of each foot. Keeping back flat, drive both knees in toward chest and rotate torso as you pivot feet and knees from left to right. Return to center, drive legs back out to plank and repeat, maintaining a neutral spine throughout. Do 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps.


Knee Slides
Start in a plank position. Bring right knee up beside right wrist. Keeping toes pointed, abs engaged, and back flat, “slide” knee all the way up side of your arm, until you reach shoulder level. Slide back down and repeat. Do 8 to 10 reps. Switch sides and repeat for a total of 3 sets.