What’s the best way to build your glute muscles? Targeted activation.
What does it mean to activate a muscle group? Activating your muscles means you ‘turn them on’ before and during a repeated exercise. For example, to target your bicep, you might try to flex it before starting a bicep curl. Activating your muscle allows you to focus on that particular muscle or muscle group.
However, the glute muscles are notoriously difficult to activate. When squatting, you may find yourself relying more on your hamstrings and quads than your glutes. And sometimes squeezing your glute muscles isn’t enough to maintain activation.
This can be very frustrating when you’re trying to target your booty.
Resistance bands are an incredible way to activate your glutes and drive the most gain from your glute exercises. Here are 6 resistance band exercises that will help you activate and target your booty:
Squat with resistance band
Put your resistance band above your knees, across the center of your thighs. Stand with your feet slightly farther than shoulder-width apart. Point your toes outward a bit. Then, with a controlled movement, sink back as if you were going to sit in a chair. Lower yourself into a squat position. Hold your squat at the point where your glutes are most activated. Then, in a slow, controlled movement, stand up and squeeze your glute muscles. Repeat for 10-15 reps.
Sumo squat with resistance band
Repeat the exercise above, except this time, put your feet wider apart in a “sumo” stance. For advanced activation, try holding a kettlebell or dumbbell at a weight that makes reaching 12 reps difficult. Just make sure you keep your chest upward, and don’t sink forward.
Kickbacks with resistance band
Put the resistance band just above your knees. Place one or both hands on a bar, raised seat, or wall for balance. Place your feet hip width apart. Keeping your hips level with the ground, gently kick one foot behind you as far as it can comfortably go. Keep your torso tall; do not lean forward as you kick back. Lower your foot back to starting, and repeat for at least 12 reps. Then, switch to the other leg.
Sidekicks with resistance band
In the same starting position as the exercise above, raise your leg out to the side, with your foot still facing forward. Try to keep your hips parallel to the floor; don’t lean too much to one side. This is a great exercise to target the side of your glutes and build strong hip muscles. Complete 12 reps, then switch to the other leg.
Clam shell with resistance band
This popular Pilates exercise is a great way to target your glutes. Get a mat and lay down on your side. Place the resistance band just above your knees. Then, with your legs stacked, bend your knees at a 90 degree angle. Then, slowly lift your top knee, keeping your feet together. This should make your legs look like the opening of a clam shell. Raise your knee as far as your resistance band will go, then lower in a controlled movement back to start. Repeat for 10-12 reps, then switch to the other side.
Glute bridge with band
Using your mat, lie on your back. Place your feet flat on the mat, about eight inches away from your booty. Place your resistance band just above your knee. With your hands resting on the mat next to you, use the strength of your glute muscles to raise your hips into a bridge until you create a straight line from your chest to your knees. Squeeze your glute muscles at the top of this bridge. Then, release, and slowly lower. The power of this movement comes through driving weight through your heels.
Looking for more?
Looking for more ways to build the blue jeans butt of your dreams? Download our free workout blueprint for a free guide to tone, tighten, shape and lift your glute muscles.