The workout to follow is a 4-week leg routine that emphasizes glute development.
Before we get to the details, I must address four common training mistakes that may be limiting your progress.
Mistake # 1) Poor Exercise Selection
When selecting exercise, the goal determines the movement, and the movement determines the exercise. Exercises must be specific if you want specific results.
Zumba dancing, “fire-hydrant” glute exercises, and most machine-based leg exercises do absolutely nothing for glute development. The best lower body exercises are free-weight movements that begin in a standing position.
My favorites are: wide stance full squats, split squats, dynamic lunge, and various forms of the deadlift.
Mistake #2) 8 reps) Hypertrophy/Strength Training
The gluteus maximus is composed of a high percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers; fast twitch fibers respond best to low repetition training. Using both low and moderate repetition ranges will thoroughly stimulate and exhaust all available muscle fibers; this will set the stage for optimal muscle hypertrophy. Yes, muscle hypertrophy means growth. Muscle roundness and shape are a product of balanced muscle hypertrophy. There is no such thing as muscle sculpting; a muscle can grow (hypertrophy), shrink (atrophy) or stay the same.
Unfortunately, many women believe that heavy strength training will make everything bigger. I quickly jump on my high-horse and tell them; “properly executed heavy leg training does not make everything bigger, but it does make everything better.”
Mistake #3) Insufficient Exercise Range of Motion
If your hips range of motion is inadequate, you will not achieve proper squat depth that fully activates the glutes. How low is low enough? At the bottom of the squat, the greater trochanter (head of hip bone) should drop below the top of the knee cap. This means that the top of the thigh should drop to at least parallel to the floor during squat exercises.
Optimal hip mobility and lumbar/core stability are a must in order to safely perform full squats and deadlifts. Get professional instruction if necessary.
If you have a history of hip or low back problems, get assessed by a qualified professional before adding deadlifts and full squats to your program.
Mistake #4) Lack of Progressive Loading
You must progressively overload the muscles by systematically increasing muscle tension and fatigue. Increased tension and fatigue can be achieved through several methods, but the most common way is to add weight to the exercise. Body development is a moving target, training must constantly challenge your current level of strength and fitness. Add weight when you can complete the prescribed number of repetitions in good form. Mentally prepare to work harder each time you set foot in the gym.
Weeks 1-4 Follow this routine 2 days a week. An ideal split would be workout 1 on Monday and workout 2 on Thursday. The number of sets indicated does not include warm-up sets. Perform 2-4 warm-up sets for your first exercise, then 1-2 warm-ups (if necessary) for all remaining exercises.
Exercises demonstration on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/erickminor