Glute training plan: advanced level
This is a glute training for an experienced gym athlete, using superset and ascending pyramid (decreasing repetitions and increasing the load) techniques. This workout is also composed of exercises with constant sets, but always with high intensity. The goal is to lead the muscle to muscular failure, breaking as many muscle fibres as possible.
The speed of each set will be 3 seconds in both the eccentric and concentric phases. This training should be performed twice a week and a 48 to 72 hours distance should be kept between trainings.
Warming up for 10/15 minutes on a bicycle before starting each training and stretching at the end is recommended. This will help increase and boost your well-being and will prevent cramps and injuries, avoiding and reducing muscle pain.
|Exercise||Repetitions||Speed||Rest between sets||Intensity|
|Free barbell squats (deep)|
|5×18, 16, 14, 12, 12||2s / 3 s||60 to 80s||High|
Unilateral reverse lunge w/barbell
|4×14, 12, 12, 10||2s / 3 s||60 to 80s||Moderate|
Hip extension with 3 supports
|4×15||2s / 3 s||40 to 60s||Moderate|
|Stretching||3x30s (each leg)||—||30s||—|
Free barbell squat (deep)
There is a study that compares work done on your leg muscles in terms of electromyographic activity. Free squats scored 43% higher in terms of muscular activity when compared to Smith squats. If you’re a beginner, Smith squats are always a better option, as they will prepare you for free squats.
The first step to performing the squat correctly is keeping your back straight during the movement. For this to happen, when you position yourself with the barbell on your back, keep your hands close to your head and your elbows pointing at the floor. Feet position: when you bend your knees and project your hips back (sitting position), your spine may arch even though you don’t want it to, or your knees may extend beyond the tips of your feet. You need to spread your legs and point your feet a bit outward to avoid this. This will allow your knees to work outwardly, not letting them go beyond the tips of your feet, while keeping your back straight. If you want to work your glutes a bit more, lower yourself more than 90°.
Due to its wider motion range, stiff is an exercise that really works the glutes. It can be performed with extended or slightly bended knees. If your knees are extended, it will work the quadriceps harder. If they’re slightly bent, you’ll work your glutes a lot harder. Even though the knees are involved in the exercise, they should remain perfectly still, i.e. they’re not active participants.
Position your legs close to each other, with slightly bended knees and with the hands holding the barbell separated by a distance slightly larger than your shoulders. Move your shoulders back, retracting the shoulder blades and lift the load, keeping your spine relaxed until the latter is perpendicular to the floor. Then, lower the load until you feel your posterior muscles stretch or until the weights almost touch the ground.
Step squats (sumo squats)
Step squats, or sumo squats, are performed with leg abduction. As such, in addition to working the usual muscles involved in squatting, they allow us to work adductor muscles as well. These may be considered small but are very important due to their major stabilising potential.
Place 2 steps in a V-shape and step onto them, one foot on each. Spread your legs and bend your knees to the sides, allowing your hips to bend backwards while keeping your back straight and your knees facing the same direction as the tips of your feet. Lower yourself until your knees and hips are completely bent. Extend your knees and hips until your legs are in an upright position. It’s important to breathe deeply before you start descending and exhale as you ascend.
Unilateral reverse lunge w/barbell
One of the most common exercises for the lower limbs is the walking lunge. Flexing the knees, extending the hips towards your front leg and slightly flexing your back leg will work your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. In this variation, your lunge will be slightly backwards and sideways, one leg at a time, so as to emphasise the glutes.
Place the barbell on top of your trapezius muscles and behind your shoulders. Take a step back with your legs, not towards your body, but slightly inwardly. Place your foot heel first. Lower your body bending the knee and the hips until the knee of your back leg comes almost into contact with the floor. Bring both legs together and lunge with the other leg. Keep your torso straight.
Unlike the traditional barbell squat, this variation adds less pressure to the spine and lumbar region. This Bulgarian variation is certainly the most advisable for those with spinal problems, not only because you won’t have the weight of the barbell on your back, but also because it’s a unilateral exercise and, therefore, the load is lighter. Also, being a unilateral exercise also makes it suitable to correct asymmetries.
Hold the dumbbells with your back to the bench, without flexing your arms. Support the top of your foot on the bench. If you feel more comfortable, you can also support only the tip of your foot. Bend your front leg to a 90° angle. Your front leg should not go beyond the tip of your foot, but it can, only slightly, if that makes you feel comfortable. Your abs should be contracted, and your spine should remain straight during the whole exercise.
Hip extension with 3 supports and extended leg
Its main goal is working out your glutes, more specifically the gluteus maximus. However, performing this exercise may enhance other movement-related muscles, more or less efficiently depending on the exercise’s motion range.
While supported by 3 points (arms, knees and feet on the ground), raise one of your legs up to your hip and turn the tip of your foot until it almost touches the floor. At the end of the set, do the same with the other leg. Make sure you distribute your body weight so as not to overload your support leg. Keep your spine and your lumbo-pelvic hip complex stable and your abdomen contracted.