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It is an area that most women want to work on. Whether they want to make theirs bigger or smaller, rounder or firmer, most women want to change it.
It is also an area of the body that most of us need to work on because it isn’t truly firing, which means all our butt workouts are really for nothing.
When our glutes don’t fire, we miss out on working the largest muscle group in our body and burning a ton of calories and fat. We also aren’t as powerful or strong, which means our lifts and our sprints aren’t as good as they could be.
And when our glutes aren’t active, we also run the risk of injury because other muscles, that really can’t handle the load, take over.
That is why it is so important to get your glutes activated and firing!
Here are 10 Mini Band Moves to get your glutes activated and help you build a better butt. These moves hit your butt from every angle!
1. Clams – Place the band just below or above your knees. Lie on your side propped up on your forearm. Place your feet together, one on top of the other. Bend your knees slightly. Lift the top knee open, keeping the feet together. Hold for a second at the top and then lower. Do not let yourself rock or rotate back as you open that top leg up toward the ceiling. Make sure to focus on just squeezing the glute to lift. Repeat all reps on that side and switch to the other side. Beginners may start without a band.
2. Glute Bridges – Place the band right above your knees and lie on your back. Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the ground just close enough that you can graze your heels with your fingertips when you stretch your arms down by your side. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees so that only your upper arm is on the ground. Do not let your knees cave in with the band. Press out on the band and drive through your heels to lift your glutes off the ground. Drive your hips up as high as possible, squeezing the glutes hard. Do not push back off your heels. Make sure you are driving straight up and that your knees aren’t caving in.
To advance this move, you can do a single leg glute bridge. Set up like you would for a two-leg glute bridge. Once set, lift one foot off the ground and straighten the leg, keeping it in line and parallel to the bent leg. Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips up off the ground as high as possible. Do not let your knees cave in or your body really rotate. Only do the single leg glute bridge if you can get your hips up as high as the two-leg glute bridge. Hold for a second or two at the top and then lower down and repeat on the same side.
3. Standing Kickbacks – Place the band just above your ankles. Face a wall, chair or anything you can use to slightly balance with. Slightly bend one leg while you lift the other off the ground. Keep the leg straight and drive that heel back into the wall behind you. Squeeze your glute as you lift. Do not rock forward to try to get the leg up higher. Height doesn’t matter. Just focus on squeezing your glute and keeping your core tight. Hold at the top and then lower down and repeat on the same side.
4. Side Shuffle – Place the band around both legs. If you place higher up the leg, the move will be easier. If you place it around your ankles, or even your feet, the move will be more difficult. Pull the band so your feet are about hip-width to shoulder-width apart. Toes should both be pointing forward and your feet should be parallel. Step laterally with one foot and then step in with the other foot. Always keep tension on the band when you are stepping and don’t let the feet come together. Always keep them about hip-width to shoulder-width apart. Every time you step try to step as far apart as possible to really work the glutes. Do not drag the back foot when you step back in. Also try not to rock as you shuffle. You can do either a straighter leg side shuffle or a lower, bent knee shuffle.
5. Monster Steps – Place the band around both legs. If you place higher up the leg, the move will be easier. If you place it around your ankles, or even your feet, the move will be more difficult. Step out wide so your feet are between hip-width and shoulder-width apart. You will then step forward and out to the side with one foot. Then step forward and out to the side with the other. You want to take “monster,” big steps, keeping your feet as wide apart as you can while moving forward. Then walk backwards in the same manner. You can do both a low monster walk (more of a squat) and a straighter leg monster walk. Try not to waddle or rotate your hips too much as you walk.
6. Standing Abductor Lift – Place the band just above your ankles. Face a wall, chair or anything you can use to slightly balance with. Slightly bend one leg while you lift the other off the ground. Keep the leg straight (but don’t lock out the knee) and lift to the side. Try not to let the toe rotate open and up. Keep the foot you are lifting parallel to the foot on the ground. Squeeze your butt as you lift. Do not lean to the side just to lift the leg higher. Keep the core tight and stand up nice and tall. Hold for a second at the top and then lower and complete all reps on that side.
If you wish to work your external rotators more, you can then turn your toe open as you lift. Just be aware that it is a different move and working the muscles in a different way.
7. Lying Abductor Lift – Place the band around your ankle and lie on your side on the ground. You can support your head in your hand while lying on your side. Stack your feet on top of each other and then lift your top leg straight as high as you can. Do not lean forward or backward or let your hips rotate forward or backward. Keep your core engaged as you lift. Also, keep the foot that you lift parallel to the one on the ground.
If you rotate the toe up toward the ceiling, you will be working your external rotators, which is a great variation that you can also include.
8. Standing External Rotation – Place the band right above your knees. Stand with your feet about hip-width to shoulder-width apart. Squat down just a little into an athletic stance. Let your knees cave in together and then press them back open. Make sure to hold once you’ve opened the knees. Beginners may feel more comfortable doing this while seated to start.
9. Lying Kickback – Place the band around your ankles and lie face down on the ground. Flex your feet with your toes on the ground. Lift one foot and drive the heel up toward the ceiling. Keep your core tight and squeeze your glute as you lift. Do not arch your back to lift the leg higher. How high you lift your foot doesn’t matter. Hold at the top and then lower. Do not let your toe rotate inward or outward as you lift. Keep it pointing straight down at the ground. Repeat all reps on one side and then switch to the other side.
10. Squat with band – Place the band just above your knees and stand with your feet between hip-width and shoulder-width apart. Your feet should be parallel. Press your butt back and sit down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Your weight should be in your heels and your chest should be up nice and tall. Do not let your knees collapse in as you squat down. Then drive back up through your heels and come back to standing. Your knees shouldn’t cave in as you stand back up. This move is a great way to make sure your glutes are engaged while doing a squat. It also helps teach beginners proper squat form. Beginners may want to perform the squat with band down to a chair or bench to help remind them to sit back as they squat.
Ten great moves to help you get great glutes! All you need is a small little $3 mini band. Here are the mini bands I used for these moves.
These moves can be used as part of a great warm up for your leg day workout or as a workout all on their own!