3x Bikini champion Kat Vera lists the 3 exercises for toned glutes.
Glutes help give women a curvy physique, and a shapely, tone body is a big part of the judges scoring in the International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA)/Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) bikini division. PNBA bikini athlete Kat Vera named the three glute exercises you should do if you want to build strong and toned glutes. Recently Kat Vera posted these glutes movements and a demonstration of her doing them on Instagram. Vera’s post said:
“A MUST FOR A JUICY GLUTE DAY: HIP THRUSTS, RDLS, BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUATS”
The glute exercises Kat Vera suggests for toned glutes are hip thrusts, Romanian deadlifts, and split squats.
Hip thrusts activate muscles in your hips, glutes, and quadriceps. This movement allows you to add resistance via machine, dumbbell, resistance band, and barbell. You’ll perform this movement with your back elevated on a surface and your legs in a bent-leg position to prepare for a hip extension.
The Romanian deadlift (RDL) engages the muscles in your posterior chain–erector spinae, glutes, and hamstrings. The primary difference between this movement and barbell deadlifts is that barbell deadlifts are lifted from the floor, and RDL begins with dumbbells held in your hand at hip level. As a result, the RDL will engage more of your glutes and hamstrings compared to a barbell deadlift.
Splits squats are unilateral movements, meaning single-limb exercises. Since it’s a unilateral movement, you’ll activate your core more and challenge your balance, knee, and hip stability. In addition, single-leg movements will help correct muscular imbalances in your lower limbs. Split squats are an effective exercise for targeting your quads and glutes.
The glutes are the largest muscle in your body and are responsible for hip extension, internal rotation, and abduction of your hips. In addition, your glutes play an essential part in walking, running, and jumping. Therefore, a good strength training program will include exercises targeting your glutes.
Moreover, often, tight glutes lead to lower back pain. So aside from training your glutes through the correct exercises, it’s essential to stretch your glutes and foam roll them for mobility and to reduce lower back pain.
Glutes in Natural Bodybuilding
Of course, firm and toned glutes are essential in natural bodybuilding to rank well in competition. However, in some categories, your glutes will be more critical than others. For example, in the Men’s Physique class, competitors wear board shorts, so aesthetic glutes won’t be near as important as a shredded upper body. However, in the Bikini Divas class, women are wearing bikinis. Therefore, they need to have a degree of definition and toning in their glutes.
Furthermore, muscle mass in your glutes will help women look more shapely and give them an hourglass shape, with a small waist and wide hips. That’s because building your glutes will improve women’s waist-to-hip ratio.