Glute training plan: Intermediate level
This is glute training for someone who already exercises regularly. It consists on performing more complex exercises, for which you will use the ascending pyramid technique (less repetitions and heavier loads), and some other exercises with lighter loads and more sets. The tempo (speed of each set) will be 3 seconds in the eccentric phase and 2 seconds in the 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||4×15||2/3 s||60 to 80s||90%RM|
|Leg press 45°||3×15||2/3 s||60 to 80s||70% RM|
|Step squats||3×15||2/3 s||40 to 60s||70% RM|
|Walking lunges||3×12||2/3 s||40 to 60s||70% RM|
|Pelvic elevation||3×30||2/3 s||30 to 40s||50% RM|
|Stretching||3x30s (each leg)||—||30s||—|
Free barbell squats (deep): 4×15
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°.
Leg press 45°: 3×15
This exercise focuses on the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. There are several ways in which you can place your feet (even though the muscles employed will be the same), but we can focus on a specific muscular region, depending on how we place our feet on the platform. In this case, and since this is glute training, the feet should be placed as high as possible on the platform.
Your feet should be placed as high as possible on the platform, slightly facing out. The knees should coincide with your shoulder area when descending. Legs should rotate slightly outward, so that your medial region will be exercised properly. Your hips, as well as your back, should be fully supported by the bench at all times, thus guaranteeing stability during the exercise. Also, your hands should never rest on your knees, but on the machine handles. This will ensure you’re stable and that your spine will not be affected by this exercise.
Step squats (or sumo squats): 3×15
Step squats, or sumo squats, are performed with leg abduction. As such, in addition to working the usual muscles involved in squatting, it allows 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.
Walking lunges: 3×12
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.
Place the barbell on top of your trapezius muscles and behind your shoulders. Take a step forward with one leg, heel first. Lower your body by flexing the knee of your front leg until the knee of your back leg is almost touching the ground. Bring both legs together and lunge with the other leg. Keep your torso straight. Your knees should be pointing to the same direction as the tips of your feet during this exercise. To work your gluteus maximus, your lunge should be longer.
Pelvic elevation: 3×30
Pelvic elevation is only effective when it’s done at a 30° angle and with full extension when ascending. This exercise complements the others and gives more emphasis to the glutes, hence being the last exercise of this plan.
With your back supported by a bench and your feet firmly placed on the ground, hold a barbell over your hips. Lower your hips until your glutes are almost touching the ground. Go back to your initial position, pressing your heels and contracting your glutes, and hold the load in this position at the end of the movement for 1 second for maximum contraction.