Fitness Competitor Glutes! by Linda Cusmano
In the past 10 years while preparing my physique for
Fitness Competitions I have found that there is an arsenal of gluteal
exercises that can harden up those tush muscles. Tight, smooth gluteal
muscles are every woman's desire and can be achieved with the right
combination of exercises in partnership with proper diet and cardiovascular
The gluteal muscles are comprised of the gluteus maximus
and just underlying are the gluteus medius and minimus. These muscles
act on the hip joint and are trained while running, walking, stair climbing,
skipping and squatting, but there are 5 exercises that I will cover
today which will really isolate that area. I find these exercises most
1) Butt blast
Using a workout bench lay on your tummy with your
legs from the hip down hanging off the bench. Feet are simply resting
on the ground. Holding the bench from in front, heals together, knees
slightly bent, lift both legs up until your glutes are fully flexed.
In doing this you bring your legs up as far as you can, then slowly
drop, but just before touching the ground you will lift again and repeat
for 3 sets of 10-20 reps.
If you want to get creative, you can add ankle weights
to increase the intensity.
2) Butt thrust
For this exercise you need a mat and step bench.
Place the step bench at the end of the mat. Lying face up on the mat
put your feet on the bench with knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Your
back should be raised off the mat in a bridge so that only shoulders
and head are on the mat and in this position you thrust your hips toward
he ceiling, tightening the butt, then drop back to just below 90 degrees
and repeat for 3 sets of 20. Once this gets easier you can place weight
plates on your hips supporting them slightly with your hands for more
3) Single leg thrust
This exercise is similar the last one except here
you keep one leg in the air holding the knee just above your stomach
during the thrusting. Once one leg is complete you do the next and alternate
after each set. For increasing the intensity here you would use an ankle
weight on the leg that is in the air.
4) Prone hip extension
This is a very small and simple exercise done face down on the mat.
Basically you lift one leg at a time lifting the whole leg from the
hip while tightening the tush. Both hips remain on mat through exercise.
Perform 3 sets of 20 per leg. Again to increase intensity ankle weights
can be introduced.
5) Prone Heal raise
On your mat, on your bell and, raise one leg in a 90 degree angle with
the sole of that shoe parallel to the ceiling, leg in line with back
or just above. Bring heal toward the ceiling, knee remains bent, then
down slowly to torso level and repeat for 3 sets of 20. Don't forget
the other leg!
Try to perform this routine worked in with your normal
training. Hit your gluteals 2-3 times per week and once you reach closer
to your goal you can cut it down to once per week.
In combination with these exercises you should make
sure to incorporate some cardiovascular work, particularly the type
which also impact those butt muscles that you are trying so hard to
improve. Prime choices as I mentioned above are jogging, walking, step
master or step classes, skip rope and one I forgot to mention before
which was kickboxing, one of my favorites!
Simple kicks for 15 mins daily done on a heavy bag will do wonders.
Make sure to do 15 to 45 mins cardio 3 to 5 times per week in combination
with your weight training. Those looking for more weight loss should
keep to, or work up to the higher end of those numbers.
Proper diet directly affects the aesthetics of your
back end. Excess salts, sugars and fats can add layers to your tush
area giving it a larger appearance and definitely looking a lot softer
rather than that nice firm look. Eating clean, whole foods are the last
key. Here are some quick key points!
-Keep to natural foods such as fruits, vegetables,
whole grains instead of breads or flour products and avoid packaged
or pre-made foods.
-Use salt and sugar substitutes if you really have to add salt or sugar
flavorings, this will eliminate water retention.
-Choose lean meats or fish, beans, tofu and chicken for your proteins
rather than fattier cuts of meat or whole milk products.
-Never fry anything and avoid fats while you are still working on that
physique, there are many alternative cooking methods such as broiling,
BBQ, roasting, steaming and baking (don't forget your microwave it helps
hold nutrients in the food) but do choose omega rich essential fatty
acids to top your cooked food with as they will help with your goal.
-Eat an average of 6 meals per day, 3 main and 3 snack rather than 3
big meals and starving the rest of the time. Space these meals out for
every 2-3 hours.
-Avoid caffeine to avoid water retention, it may act as a diuretic at
first but can lead to bloating depending on how much you drink and your
-If you can, stick with sodium free water and as long as you are still
working on that firming up goal, choose water over any other beverages.
Linda Cusmano Model for all Photos