Modern Everyday Superwomen

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Re: ‘What is up with my glutes?!’

on August 12, 2014

Last week I wrote a post titled, ‘What is up with my glutes?’, asking my fit friends to give me and my readers some advice on building a rounder bum.  I received a wonderful letter from a MES reader responding to that post, and I wanted to share it with you.

Here is her response to building the gluteal muscles:

1. Anatomy –  The trick to isolating muscle groups is really understanding the anatomy and the proper form of the exercise.  Be your own trainer.  Learn the anatomy of the glutes:  Once you understand anatomy and form all the current trending “best butt blaster workouts” or whatever are just revisions of what you already know (and you can easily figure out what would actually work and what is kind of silly). 


Check out this great article: ‘Butt-ology 101’ at

2. Recovery – All muscles need recovery time after training to build/repair; it is very important to give your muscles two days or so for recovery and eat protein. Understand the types of muscle fibers (we want both, of course but the slow twitch has the bulk). If you want to build the gluteus maximus (the one that protrudes), building muscle with high weight and low reps is the way to go. At the last rep in each set you want your glutes to be maxed out (couldn’t do another rep) – so you need weights or resistance bands. Also be sure to work all the muscles in the glutes.

3. Embrace what God gave you. Some of it is just genetics and how your hips/spine/muscles/fat deposits are structured.


I love, love, love, the weight machine that isolates the glutes. It takes the thinking out of it. If you’re not not at the gym you need either ankle weights or resistance bands. Here’s how to replicate it at home:

Ankle weights:

Lay down on stomach and bend one knee so foot is parallel to ceiling. Engage your core and VERY slowly, keeping your knee bent only squeeze your glute (not your back or hamstring muscles) to raise the knee off the floor keeping foot parallel to ceiling, hold and lower very slowly. Have enough weight strapped around your ankle/calf that you can only do 6-8 reps. Do 2-3 sets of this on each side.

( ^ I did this on Friday – very effective!)

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Place a chair in front of you and secure resistance band with enough tension. Facing chair place one foot in strap and bend knee at 90 degree angle (foot parallel to wall behind you). Engage core and place hand on back of chair for support. Focus! Only using the glutes, and keeping leg at 90 degrees push foot towards the wall behind you. Do not use hamstrings or back muscles. Make sure the resistance is strong enough that you can only do 6-8 reps before maxing out.

Other glute exercises:

Clam shell: Laying on your side bend both knees – feet in line with your hips and shoulders, knees make a triangle. Leaving bottom leg on floor, use the maximus medius / minimus to “open the clam shell”, raising the top knee up. Strap the ankle weights around your top knee so that you’re using high enough weight to max the muscles out.



Of course, there are squats, lunges, all sorts of leg lifts and all of those are really good too. But, they don’t isolate the muscle groups as much, which is important if you want to build a particular muscle group.


Thank you Rachael for a fantastic answer to our glute questions!  I only have two things to add and those are my favorite booty exercises:

The Single Leg Hip Raise is a great one but it BURNS, which is a good thing so don’t quit until you can’t do another rep!




I switch position of the raised leg and sometimes point it toward the ceiling and sometimes keep in in line with the grounded leg.  If I’m feeling like I need a challenge,  I like to play with the raised leg while in bridge position and lower it to point horizontally and then raise it back to the ceiling before lowering to the ground.  This is difficult, but it does work the glutes nicely!

Last but not least, here is a great workout I found on Pinterest from that really set my glutes on FIRE:


Image from


So there you have it!  If you’re looking to build a bodacious behind – you now know what it takes and have some great workouts to get you started.  Thanks again to Rachael for a great response!


Is there anything that we missed?  If you have any suggestions or comments, PLEASE SHARE!  I love hearing from you!


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