5 glute exercises to strengthen your lower body


Want better posture and to achieve more effective training? Try these easy glute exercises you can do anywhere, any time

Glute exercises

From travelling in the car to sitting down at our desks, we spend an average of 9.5 hours being sedentary every day.

This means we’re using our glutes (the biggest, most powerful muscles in our bodies) far less than more active generations, which can lead to poor posture, joint pain and can even increase our risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to the British Heart Foundation.

To help get your glutes moving, Nuffield Health fitness and wellbeing coaches Tan and Olivia have five simple glute exercises you can work into your routine – no matter how busy you are.

Fit a couple of reps into your day while the kettle’s boiling or during your tea break. Or turn them into a full workout by doing 10-15 reps of each exercise and repeating for up to three sets depending on time and ability…

Single leg deadlift

As well as working your glutes, single leg exercises also challenge your core stability and balance. Hold onto two dumbbells or a barbell to make it more intense.

  • Start with your shoulders upright.
  • Standing on one leg, hinge at the hip and extend the other leg behind you. Lower your upper body so that your torso is parallel to the floor while keeping a soft knee bend.
  • Reverse that movement and repeat on the other leg. 

Standing leg raises

This low-impact exercise targets and tones your thighs and glutes. Increase the intensity by strapping on ankle weights.

  • Stand tall with your shoulders back, chest up with a soft knee bend.
  • Lift one leg off the floor behind you as high as you can without bending your knee, keep your torso upright for the whole movement.
  • Release the leg back down and repeat on the other leg. 

Standing side lunge

Get your heart rate up and warm up the muscles in your glutes, hamstrings and inner thighs. Again, add dumbbells to make it harder.

  • Start in neutral position with your shoulders back, chest up and a soft knee bend.
  • Take a big step to the right keeping your torso as upright as possible, lower your body until the knee on the leading leg is at around 90 degrees, keep hips square on and toes pointing forwards.
  • Push your weight back up and return to the start position, repeat on the other side. 

Reverse lunge

A lunge is a ‘dynamic movement’, which works your whole body and targets the big compound muscles in your glutes and legs, helping to get the body into the fat-burning zone. Make it harder by jumping as you perform each rep.

  • Stand tall, chest up with your hands by your side.
  • Taking a big stride backwards, plant your toes on the floor and lower your back knee so that it dips to roughly one inch off the floor. Keep your head and torso upright and hips square on.
  • Step back into the start position, repeat on the other leg. 

Hip hinge

These help to wake up sleepy glutes while also working your hamstring flexibility and core strength. Hold a dumbbell for more of a challenge.

  • Stand tall with your hands behind your head and your knees softly bent.
  • Hinge at the hip while keeping your spine straight, being careful not to round your back and squeezing your glutes.
  • Return to start position.

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