You might think the biggest muscles in your body can be found in your legs or back, but that title actually goes to the gluteus maximus; a pair of muscles that make up the bulk of your backside.
They're not just for show either. A strong set of glutes can help power you forward when running, boost your balance and even support your lower back, so working these muscles is well worth your time.
Weighted exercises like hip thrusts and deadlifts are a great way to do this, but you can also strengthen your glutes at home using just a resistance band with this workout from NASM-certified personal trainer Sadie Lee Thomas.
Thomas uses four Pilates-inspired moves to target the muscles. She uses a weight bench to do these exercises, but you can easily do them on a chair or on the floor if you're looking for a minimal equipment alternative.
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds on each leg, rest for 30 seconds, then move on to the next one. Once you've finished all four, return to the start and repeat this sequence for a total of four rounds for a glute-building workout in just 18 minutes.
Watch Sadie Lee Thomas' four-move glute workout
A photo posted by on
Though this routine only gives you a series of 30-second windows to work through each exercise, don’t take that as your cue to rush through repetitions. Instead, focus on slow, intentional movements, squeezing the glutes in order to increase muscle activity through mind-muscle connection.
This will boost the time these muscles spend under tension. As a result, though you're not moving as fast, the exercises will actually feel more challenging.
You should also keep a nice, neutral spine throughout each exercise and avoid craning your neck upwards. This position will provide a bonus core workout as your midsection muscles work to keep your torso stable.
If you're looking for more minimal equipment routines, why not try this resistance band ab workout to build core strength? You could also give this full-body resistance band session a go, or try using resistance bands to develop your mobility.
Get the Fit&Well Newsletter
Start your week with achievable workout ideas, health tips and wellbeing advice in your inbox.
Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.
An expert says this one simple shoulder stretch is an "essential addition to your routine"—here’s what happened when I did it every day for two weeks
Workout This stretch eased my shoulder pain, helped me sleep in comfort and boosted my mobility after I committed to doing it consistently for a fortnight
By Harry Bullmore Published
I'm adding these three glute exercises into my routine to relieve back pain. Here's how they work
Workout Desk-job workers like me need to try this workout
By Alice Porter Published