Hip mobility and strength are crucial for many daily tasks, such as getting up from a seated posture, going upstairs, or just picking something up off the ground. The glutes serve a crucial function in enhancing human performance for athletes, dancers, and other people who move for a livelihood, in addition to giving the body an attractive contour. The hamstring and adductor muscles of the thigh are hip extensors, and their main function is to extend the hip during gait (walking or running) and to provide dynamic stability when standing on one leg.
The hip extensors control the lower body's strength and the transfer of force from the ground to the rest of the body. Exercise for your glutes can help you look better and lower your chance of back injury. It's crucial to remember that weak hips might result in a hurting low back.
While the squat is a fantastic workout for improving athletic performance and physical beauty, it can hurt the knee and create low back pain when performed improperly. Try these six lower-body exercises to get the desired results if you want to strengthen your hips and build a good-looking behind while lowering your chance of injury.
Glute bridges are a hip extensor exercise that may be done on the floor or a bench safely for the back and knees. Put a weight over the bony portion of the hips to make the exercise more challenging (the ASIS of the pelvis). Focus on driving your heels into the floor and raising your hips to the ceiling while maintaining a solid low back for the greatest results. D 45-second breaks in between sets while performing two to three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions (or until fatigued).
This secure lower-body workout targets the glutes, hamstrings, and adductors, making it fantastic for your upper and inner thighs and your back. Your lumbar spine (low back) should stay firm and tight during this action, and the movement should originate from your hips. As you practice this exercise, put your hand on your low back to remind you not to let it bend.
Begin by keeping your knees slightly bent and maintaining a solid spine. When the backs of your legs start to feel tight, lean forward while pressing them toward the wall behind you (do not let your back bend). By pressing your feet into the ground and bringing your hips forward, you may return to the beginning position. Before adding resistance, practice this movement with only your body weight.
The muscles involved in stretching and generating dynamic stability of the hips during upright motions may all be worked out by just performing step-ups on a box, jogging up stairs, or even walking. Use a box at or below the level of your knees. Put your right foot on the step and step up by pushing your foot into the box. As soon as you reach the top, elevate your left knee into the air (doing so causes more movement in your right hip, which is necessary to work every muscle in that leg), descend your left leg, and then repeat all the reps on that side before switching legs. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions on one leg, switch to the other leg, and repeat.
As soon as you reach the top, elevate your left knee into the air (doing so causes more activity in the right hip, which is necessary to work every muscle in the leg), descend your left leg, and then repeat all the reps on that side before switching legs, before moving on to the other leg, complete 10 to 12 reps on the first leg. Holding dumbbells in your hands can help you raise your intensity and build muscle more rapidly.
The advantage of performing lateral or side lunges is that you work your quadriceps, which serve to shape your outside thigh and your hip extensors. Begin by placing both feet parallel. Step with your left foot firmly planted on the ground straight to your right. Reach for your right foot with your left hand as your right foot touches the ground, pushing your right hip back into the wall behind you.
(This reaching motion extends your hip's range of motion, emphasizing your glutes even more.) Put your right foot down and pull with your left inner thigh muscles to get back to standing. Perform two to four sets with a 30- to 45-second break in between, finishing 10 to 12 repetitions on one leg before switching. Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell in front of your chest to boost the intensity.
WARNING: This exercise, which is frequently performed improperly, may induce fast growth of your glutes. First off, wait until you have mastered the hip hinge before trying this exercise. You are prepared to advance to the kettlebell swing after doing two to four sets of 10 to 12 hip hinges without experiencing pain. This exercise, when performed properly, is a dynamic variation of the hip hinge (which is why mastering that movement is critical before learning this one). Start with the kettlebell between your thighs, your knees slightly bent, and your feet hip-width apart. To move the kettlebell a little behind you, lean forward while pressing your hips back (DO NOT ALLOW YOUR BACK OR KNEES TO BEND).
To move the kettlebell in front of the body, forcefully press your feet into the ground and thrust your hips forward. (Hold the weight with your hands; resist the impulse to use your shoulders; hip movement, not upper body movement.) As you hinge forward to slow the action, let the kettlebell drop back between your legs. R without allowing your knees to stoop or your back to bend for eight to twelve repetitions.
Despite how advantageous squats maybe, some people either dislike doing them or lack the range of motion necessary to complete them correctly.
In addition to the alternatives mentioned above, Amanda Jenny, the founder of Bande, lists her top 10 squat alternatives that will give you the burn you need to make leg day the finest exercise of the week.
Once proficient with a hip bridge, you should increase the difficulty. And Jenny thinks the right next step is a single-leg bridge.
The exercise is performed the same way as a standard hip bridge, except this time, instead of placing one foot on the ground, you elevate one leg straight into the air.
Side-lying leg lifts
Here's a move from the 1980s that is still utterly applicable today. Despite being outdated, it has contemporary advantages. Jenny claims that it tones your gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, which are your abductors.
Jenny instructs, "Lie on your side with your spine aligned with the long edge of your mat." "Pike your legs forward to the mat's upper corner edge. Your top leg up to hip level. Return to hip height after a brief ascent. She advises wrapping a resistance band around your thighs a few inches above your knees to heighten the difficulty.
Here is another squat substitute that has been used for many years. Clamshells train your abductors similarly to a lying leg raise.
Jenny advises, "Lie on your side with your spine parallel to the long edge of your mat." Kneel down and softly kick your heels in the direction of your glutes. Put your heels closer together. Without losing contact with your feet, lift and drop your upper leg. Once more, she advises using a resistance band around your thighs to ramp up the action. This will increase the strain on your glutes as they open.
Interested in working on muscles other than your glutes? Reverse lunges, according to Jenny, are a terrific squat substitute since they strengthen your hamstrings, core, and quadriceps in addition to your booty. She instructs, "Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart." Step backward while bending both knees to a 90-degree angle. Drive through your front heel to go back to where you were. This exercise can be done for time or reps. In any case, you will experience the desired booty burn.
This squat version can be done while holding a barbell or two dumbbells in each hand. Jenny demonstrates how to carry out the activity with free weights for accessibility's sake. She instructs you to put your arms in front of your thighs with your palms facing in. Hold a weight in each hand.
Your hamstrings, glutes, hips, core, and back will all become stronger after performing this exercise. In that regard, it's an ideal full-body workout and not just a squat substitute.
Think about single-leg deadlifts if you want to concentrate on improving your balance. Jenny advises starting in the same manner as you would for a standard deadlift, but raise one leg first.
As you stretch your elevated leg far behind you and begin to tilt your body forward, lower your weights to the ground. When your head and heel are in a straight line, stop. Return to your balanced stance by driving through your heel while standing. Working on one leg while deadlifting helps target your calves in addition to all of the previously listed advantages.
Your core and glutes will pay the price for this barre-inspired exercise. To do it, Jenny advises placing your hands (palms facing each other) on a stool or sturdy chair, followed by putting your head on your hands. She instructs, "Walk your legs back until your head is parallel to your hips." "Lift one leg straight behind you, softening the leg that is supporting you. Lift your back leg to your highest point after lowering it till your toe touches the ground so that you can feel your glutes contract. Maintaining a strong core and avoiding engaging your back throughout this maneuver is crucial. When lifting a leg, people frequently overextend their lower back when they should just be using their glutes.
Choose three of these exercises and, after a thorough warm-up, execute three to four sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for each exercise, with a break of around 30 to 45 seconds in between sets, if you want to get a lower body workout that targets your posterior without having to do squats. Do all repetitions on one leg first, then switch to the other for optimal results. Only one of these exercises, as you can see, needs equipment, making it a great alternative if you can't make it to the gym or just want to work out at home.
Focusing on your lower body has the added advantage of helping you build lean muscle mass more rapidly, which raises your resting metabolism and boosts the number of calories you burn even when you're not doing out.
By performing strength training with weights one day and aerobic training the next, you may work your lower body virtually every day. However, if your objective is to get the ideal size and definition, you should give yourself at least 24 hours of downtime following a solid strength-training session. For instance, you may divide your workouts across three days, doing lower-body exercises on Day 1, upper-body exercises on Day 2, and cardio on Day 3. (make sure to take at least one complete rest day per week to allow for optimal recovery).