It’s no secret that I love glute training.
In fact, before I started training my glutes specifically, both my training and glutes were kind of “meh” (in my opinion, which is what mattered). When I started learning how to properly engage my glute muscles, I started to move better, build more strength and power in other exercises, and finally add some shape! It gave me so much more confidence in my body because I found that I no longer carried as much fear about lifting heavy. I knew my strong Glutes would help.
This has also been the case for many of my clients. Women love to see their body changing in their preferred way. And glutes are one of the easiest areas to add shape to. With consistent training, and good recovery, most women (and men) will see results within a few weeks. Of course there’s a genetic element that will dictate how much size you can add and what shape they’ll be, but it’s still worth doing simply because you can’t beat the functional benefits.
While aesthetics aren’t my number one priority right now (which I addressed in a recent blog HERE), it certainly was a few years ago, and I got GREAT results (as you’ll see below)! I also know a lot of you want to improve the jean-filling, deadlift-crushing, kettlebell-swinging capacity of your butt, so it would be a sin if I didn’t share that with you 😛
First, a little summary of my own glute journey
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll probably remember a post I did back in 2012 comparing my glutes from before and “after” training them specifically. I’d like to add an updated “after” (though I’m now going to call all of these “during”, since our training journeys never really end).
While it hardly matters what I look like, I do want you to see that it’s still possible to maintain the gains you make even when, like me, training consistently becomes more difficult or you gain body fat. It shows that muscle sticks around quite a while if you continue to feed it and stress it from time to time. This fact was super reassuring to me, since I have been struggling to training as much. Turns out, I don’t have to train as much as I thought.
The photo on the left was me in 2010 my hips measured about 34 inches and I weighed about 121lbs (I’m 5’5″ in height). The photo on the right was about a year or more later and my hips measured 36 inches at a body weight of 130lbs (I believe I also gained a inch on my chest and 2 inches on my waist, but looked so much stronger). About another half year later, my hips were up to 37 inches and I was leaner at 126/127lbs.
The next two images are of me within the last year. My hips measure 38-39 inches, and my body weight was anywhere from 136-140lbs. So I carry more body fat and less muscle, but my Glutes still retain their shape.
Of course, as you can see in this next photo from today, this is all changing again now that I’m pregnant (18 weeks):
Finally, I think it’s always worth remembering that regardless of how much body fat you carry at various points through your life, you can still build and maintain a strong, amazing butt 😀 It’s not the main marker of training “success”, and certainly not your point of value in the world, but it’s still a great area to focus some training on. When you enjoy strength training, performance goals, and feeling great in your skin, then glute training really helps tick those boxes.
[Edit from Jan 2018]
Now at 30 weeks pregnant, I still include plenty of my favourite Glute-friendly exercises in my workouts:
Which leads me to my gift for you
Since I’ve become a bit of a master of maintenance, here are five of my go-to glute exercises organised into a bonus workout download with access to tutorials on each exercise. This is a workout I frequently do, and love the simplicity. I think you’ll enjoy it too!
You can do this workout on its own, or as a finisher to another workout.
Simply enter your email below and I’ll send over the confirmation link so you can access your workout: