We don’t often discuss the gluteus maximus at FLEX. Our sister magazine, MUSCLE & FITNESS HERS, may dedicate one or two articles per issue to this posterior muscle because the glutes are an important muscle group for females, since female glutes are so important to us guys. But the fact is, females also enjoy male glutes. So to increase your chances of turning heads, focus some attention on hitting your glutes. After all, some top IFBB pros, such as Kai Greene, have found that well-developed glutes can make the difference between first place and second. The good news is that simply changing your squat stance is all it takes. A recent study from Italy found that doing squats with a wider-than shoulder-width stance increased muscle activity of the glutes by more than 40%.
MAX GLUTES LEG WORKOUT
Squats (shoulder-width stance): 3 sets, 6-12 reps
Squats (wider-than-shoulder-width stance): 3 sets, 10-15 reps
Barbell Lunges: 3 sets, 12-15 reps
Leg Extensions: 3 sets, 15-20 reps
Romanian Deadlifts: 3 sets, 8-10 reps
Lying Leg Curls: 3 sets, 15-20 reps
WHEN TO GO WIDE
Even though the workout is designed to build better glutes, you’ll still want to start with squats done in a standard, shoulder-width stance. This will allow you to go the heaviest for better overall leg development — these do a good job of hitting the glutes. Follow with wide-stance squats to really involve the glutes. After squats, perform lunges, which also hit the glutes, and be sure to include Romanian deadlifts, which focus on hams, but hit the glutes, too.
FORM AND FUNCTION
The gluteus maximus is the large muscle that makes up the butt. It starts on the hipbone and sacrum and attaches to the femur (upper leg bone). Although the glutes’ major action is to cause extension of the hip, such as the motion that occurs when you drive up out of the bottom position of a squat, it also rotates the thigh outward.