The butt isn’t just a cushion to make the hours we sit on it more tolerable. It’s also not just an accessory to give our favorite jeans a boost in the back. Much more than that, the glutes are the power center for the lower body that fuel speed, strength and explosiveness. Take a look at any athlete’s assets, and you will see the tight, round and ready-to-run-fast rear view.
Athletic glutes, like those of IFBB Bikini Pro Justine Munro, aren’t built in a day and not with squats alone. (Although, squats are a key movement for sure!) Instead, the cross training efforts of an athlete include power movements, plyometrics and stabilization, as well as traditional resistance exercises.
Because we know you’re already doing a traditional lower body workout that includes your squats and presses, Justine is sharing her Posterior Power Program to add another dimension to your training. These workouts will help you to activate your glute muscles effectively, increase stability, challenge your body in new (and fun) ways, burn tons of calories, fire up your fast-twitch muscle fibers and exhaust the glutes from the minimus to the maximus, while also hitting synergistic muscles like the hamstrings.
HOW TO USE THIS PROGRAM
Beginners. If you are new to training, begin performing Part 1, the Glute Activation Band Circuit, two to three days per week to build strength and stability before progressing to the dynamic movements featured in Part 2.
Advanced – Complete Program. Perform Part 1 as a pre-exhaust circuit, and then complete the supersets in Part 2 immediately following it. While this program can certainly be your primary lower body workout for the week, it can also be a secondary lower body workout focused on improving your glute development and overall athleticism.
Advanced – Split It Up. You can also perform Part 1 and Part 2 as separate workouts. For example, Part 1 can be performed as a finisher or pre-exhaust set for another lower body day, and Part 2 can be performed without Part 1, if you are in a time crunch or have an alternative warm-up ritual.
GET IT RIGHT
BAND LATERAL WALKS
With the band secured around your calves, stand with your legs about shoulder width (or the width where you start feeling tension in the band). Then, lower into a squat position, and take a step out to the right. Step the left foot in, keeping tension in the band. Complete all reps leading with the right foot, then switch sides.
Justine’s Tip: Don’t release the tension in the band— you want to feel the outer thigh and glute engaged throughout the entire exercise.
Position the band just below your knees and lie on your side. Bring your knees toward to your torso slightly. Keeping your feet together, lift your top knee as high as you can. Lower and repeat.
Justine’s Tip: Hold the top position for 2-3 seconds each rep to increase the burn.
BAND GLUTE BRIDGE BURN
With the band positioned around your calves, lie on your back with your knees bent. Feet should be flat on the ground at a width where you feel tension in the band (about shoulder width). Pressing through your heels, lift your hips toward the ceiling. Holding the position, press your knees open a few more inches to further challenge your abductors and glutes. Release the knees slightly and then press the knees back out for 20 total reps.
Justine’s Tip: Make sure to squeeze the glutes hard at the top while moving knees in and out.
BAND OUT/IN HOPS
With the band positioned around the calf and a slight bend in the knee, jump your legs out and in like a jumping jack. Make sure to keep your core tight and body upright.
Justine’s Tip: This is a quick movement, but don’t sacrifice form and safety for speed.
Position feet in a wide stance with toes pointed slightly outward. Squat down and grasp bar narrower than shoulder width. Lift bar by driving hips forward and straightening legs. Keep weight in heels, back straight, core tight and the bar close to the body throughout the movement.
Tip: Your hips and shoulders should move simultaneously in a fluid motion.
BAND SQUAT OUT/IN JUMPS
Secure the band below your knees and descend into a squat position. Staying low, jump out into a wide squat and then jump your feet back in, keeping tension in the band.
Tip: Keep your core tight and knees pressing out. Don’t allow your knees to cave in.
DIAGONAL WALKING LUNGES
Holding dumbbells, start with your feet together. Step your left foot at a diagonal in front of you (about 11 o’clock) and lower into a lunge. Then, pressing through the left heel, ascend out of the lunge and step the right foot through at a diagonal (about one o’clock) and lower into a lunge. Continue alternating lunges.
Tip: Focus on pushing through the heel to activate the outer hip, thigh and glute.
At the end of your lunges, set the dumbbells down and sprint as fast as you can back to your starting position. Walk back to the dumbbells to catch your breath, and begin the next diagonal lunge set.
DUMBBELL STEP-UP JUMP
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, place your left foot on top of a bench/box. Pressing through that foot, launch up in the air. Then, land on the left foot (still placed on the bench) and lower your right leg back to the ground. Repeat all reps on the left before switching to the other side.
Tip: If you are unable to maintain your stability while holding the dumbbells, perform this exercise using bodyweight only.
BUNGEE BROAD JUMPS
Secure a bungee around your waist and to a solid structure. Squat low and swing your arms forward to help thrust yourself forward as far as you can. Land in a squat with the weight focused in your heels.
Alternative: If you don’t have access to a bungee for this exercise, hold a medicine ball between two hands and allow it to swing with your arms or perform it bodyweight only.
3-WAY LEG CURLS
With the toes pointing toward the floor, set the leg pad to rest between your ankles and lower calves. Curl the weight toward your glutes, stopping just short of your body. Complete 12 reps in this position, and then 12 reps with your toes facing out and 12 reps with your toes facing in.
Tip: If you are feeling pressure in the knee joint, lower the weight or eliminate one or more of the foot positions.
Pushing off the left leg, jump to your right and land on your right leg. Your left leg should cross behind you. Repeat motion to the other side.
Tip: Start slow. Once you get used to the motion, move as fast and as explosively as possible.