Our body’s posterior muscles help a great deal in staying upright and perform powerful workouts. So, it’s better to know about glutes and gluteal toning. Glutes are the common name for three gluteal muscles which make up your buttock and comprises of:
- Outermost: Gluteus Maximus
- Gluteus Medius
- Innermost: Gluteus Minimus
The gluteal muscles are necessary for standing, walking, running, jumping, swimming, and all other horizontals, vertical, and lateral movements. Glutes help with the hip joint abduction and extension and stabilize the pelvic region to maintain a healthy body balance and posture. Since glutes are your body’s largest group of muscles, it’s vital to have stronger glutes. Weak gluteal muscles are a major cause of injuries relating to the lower body, so you must workout to tone and strengthen your glutes. When it comes to glutes toning, it means losing body fat while activating and strengthening your gluteal muscles, mainly the Maximus, for strong and better contraction.
If you want to have a perfectly toned buttock, there are many cardio machines for glutes. Let’s check out!
6 Cardio Machines that Target Glute Muscles
Though treadmill offers excellent cardio exercise and burns calories, it also has various modes and settings that allow tightening and toning the lower body, including your glute muscles. Simply walking or running on a treadmill warm up your body, increases blood circulation, muscle elasticity, and endurance. Interval training, incline walking, sprint workout, lunges can turn your treadmill into one of the best cardio machines that target your glutes.
How to Target Your Glutes with a Treadmill
Increasing treadmill incline directly targets glute muscles; the higher the incline, the harder the glutes work. This induces an excellent toning effect when jogging or walking at a brisk pace on a treadmill. It gives the effect of running uphill. Fitness trainers recommend increasing incline from 12-15% for the perfect glutes toning. It’s better to perform incline walking or running without holding onto the treadmill’s handrails to achieve maximum results as this increases buttock muscle involvement.
Another way to tone and tighten glutes is walking lunges on a treadmill. All you have to do is set the speed of the treadmill slow at 2-3 miles/hour with a 10-15% incline. Try to perform 1-3 minutes of walking lunges when comfortable enough to workout with no handrails. A recovery period of 1-2 minutes on slightly inclined or flat walking is needed. Perform incline walking and lunges for a minimum of 20 minutes on no less than three days a week.
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An exercise bike effectively works on your glutes and hamstrings due to the pedal pushing motion that engages hip and back muscles. Hip extension motion occurs when you push the pedal stroke, which contracts the gluteal Maximus. This means that you lengthen or opens the front of the hip by increasing the angle. At the cycling movement’s top, thighs are parallel to a flat floor, placing hip angle at about 90 degrees. Pushing down pedal lowers thighs creating a large hip extension angle.
When it comes to a stationary exercise bike, you’ll see two main types: upright and recumbent. You push down a little more in an upright bike as pedals are positioned under the body while there is more forward pushing in a recumbent bike using a lot of hip extension since pedals are placed in front of the body. Recumbent bike features reclined body sitting position than upright body position in the upright bike. Also, a larger backrest, seat, and forward pushing motion against resistance in recumbent bike targets and contract your glutes better.
How to Target Your Glutes with an Exercise Bike
Setting a high resistance level on your stationary bike results in a more significant contraction of gluteal muscles; this mimics the climbing position. Make sure there’s enough resistance on the bike to feel the front pedal stroke. Each time the leg moves forward, the glutes strengthen in addition to quads, hamstrings, and calves. Using a powerful stroke on the pedal throughout will ultimately engage the gluteal with maintaining 60 to 100 RMP for about 20-30 minutes.
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The indoor rowing machine is excellent when it comes to toning lower body muscles as the classical rowing action works legs muscles, buttock muscles, core, and upper body muscles as well. It allows you to burn more fat and build more muscles efficiently.
How to Target Your Glutes with a Rower
To get the glutes activated while you’re rowing, start with 2-3 minutes warm-up session and then start with the typical rowing action; sit and lean forward to get machine both handles while keeping your arms and shins upright and straight. To make legs muscles tensed, push them against the footrest, and steadily lean back. This works on your core muscles to contract while back muscles relax.
The next step is to target your glutes by pulling the handle with backward elbow motion and leg pushing. In this way, the gluteal Maximus is contracted while arms will stay on sides of your torso. Make sure your knees are not stretched completely as you and seat travel backward. Adjust resistance depending on your workout intensity with multiple levels of resistance. The longer and harder stride you make, the more hip muscle extension and flexion occur. Work for about 20-30 minutes a day on a rower.
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SkiErg (Ski Machine)
The SkiErg is a ski machine that provides full-body workout utilizing glutes and hamstrings while building strength, power, and endurance. This exercise machine mimics the ski poles propulsion motion alongside slopes to reach momentum. Besides, a ski machine is one of the fastest ways to burn calories and get in shape fast that helps a great deal in toning your glutes. It offers smooth and low-impact lower-body workout. The patented flywheel or damper can be set to different challenging resistance levels combined with an adjustable elevation. This allows you to achieve any workout intensity while setting up a variety of workouts to exercise legs, core, and buttock muscles.
The Concept2 SkiErg makes the sport of Nordic skiing available to everyone. Long recognized as delivering one of the toughest workouts around, Nordic skiing develops both strength and endurance and exercises the legs as well as the arms and core.
How to Target Your Glutes with a SkiErg
For more resistance, you need to pull harder to get the flywheel spin faster. Remember that higher strokes/min doesn’t mean great intensity. For more effective muscle toning workout, apply more power to pull to make flywheel spinning fast, creating more resistance. In order to know how much energy you’re producing, there’s a performance meter on the front. A typical range of stroke rate to tone up and tighten your muscles is 40-50 strokes/min. The proper technique helps you to get most of the workout, start with the feet being 18-24 from the damper, whereas the arms are bent at 90 degrees a little above your eye level. The drive is initiated by engaging your core muscles.
To directly target the glutes, drive the handle downwards by hinging at your hips before bending knees. After every pull, arms and hips are extended with bended knees. Thumbs aiming for thighs and wrists not bent, the arms will not extend completely. Stand up to elevate your arms for the next pull at this position. You may come upon balls and toes at each pull’s start. The main aim is to create continuous, smooth fluid motion. For a more classical skiing action, you may alternate arm pulls.
An elliptical workout machine benefits your glute muscles in the same manner jogging, running, or walking do. It’s a great cardio machine for glutes as the lower body is already in motion and working while using elliptical. The secret about building glute muscles with elliptical is the adjustable resistance and incline angle that mimics the hill or stair climbing motion without any undue stress or impact on your knees or joints. Most elliptical machines offer manual or automatic cross ramp adjustment to alter elliptical path height that targets different lower body muscles, including thighs and glutes. The gluteal muscles are most activated when a cross ramp is in an elevated position; the higher the incline, the more your glutes will work. These machines have also cardiovascular benefits as they offer a low impact workout.
How to Target Your Glutes with an Elliptical
To tighten and tone buttock muscles, what you have to do after 3-5 minutes of moderate elliptical exercise is to increase the cross ramp to 15% that immediately engages your glutes better, making them grow in tone and decrease in your buttock fat.
Increase the speed and resistance to about 8 to 11 with abdominals tight and a slight lean forward for a toning effect. Pedaling forward works best for glutes; tilt the pelvis forward during strikes while keeping shoulders relaxed but heels in contact with the foot pedals (pressing through balls of feet) while strikes to maximize the glutes workout. For best glutes toning results, do it for 3 to 5 times a week for about 30-35 minutes.
This popular cardiovascular machine called stair climber can help you achieve toned glutes. It’s an up and down motion that mimics climbing stairs and boosts heart rate, blood flow, and decreases body fat. Besides, it also builds and strengthens buttock muscles as the lower body’s major muscles are involved and working. Stair climber workout uses gluteal Maximus, calves, hamstrings, and quads. When stepping up and down, there’s more of isometric contractions with the pressing of legs. The harder you work and keep pedals off the ground, the more calories you’ll burn for a toned buttock. Ultimately, a stronger lower body will make heavy lifting, jumping, running, and other moving activities much more comfortable.
How to Target Your Glutes with a Stair Climber
Stair climbers are so easy to use; all you have to do is get on, set the resistance level, and start stepping up and down. As it’s user-friendly, you can easily focus on the workout to strengthen the lower body and burn calories. To give a boost to your glutes, push up pedals through foot heel, not with the ball on the front leg without launching body up with rear leg, and squeeze glutes as you power up.
One mistake that people usually make is that they always hold on the handrails during the workout. Stay upright and make large steps to allow maximum hip extension and flexion while keeping balance without using handles for a more challenging workout. To build up your booty muscles, working multi-directionally on stair climber; cross-over stepping, single step, leg lifts, and side to side steps target your glutes in different angles tone and lift them. Fortunately, the upward step motion of stair climbing with speed and intensity hit and activates all three gluteal muscles; Maximus, minimus, and medius.
Alternatives to machines
If you’re not a big fan of cardio workout machines or can’t afford one, many different exercises don’t require any equipment to tone your glutes.
One of the most exceptional exercises to start with is the squats, which are simple yet effective. Stand on your feet with a little wider than shoulder-width apart, hands out in front of you, and just sit back as if you’re in a chair with 10-15 repetitions in 30-60 seconds. Inhale on the way down and exhale on your way up while keeping your back flat. Stick out your glutes while going down and squeeze them when coming up. The muscles targeted during this workout are Gluteus maximus and quadriceps femoris.
Lunges are effective lower body exercises, and there are numerous variations of lunges that you can use based on your glutes toning goals. For beginners, a stationary lunge is excellent as it’s a natural functional movement. Keep one leg forward while the other leg back and drop the upper body straight down by keeping knee over the ankle and behind the toes. Keep the chin up and your back upright. Use glutes and hamstrings to push back yourself to starting position. You may do ten repetitions on one side then switch while bringing the other leg forward.
Your weak or lazy gluteal muscles may be the reason behind the back, ankle, knee, hip pain, pelvic instability, and other mobility issues. That is why there’s a need to strength and tone then correctly to prevent injury, lift more weight, walk, jump, and run faster with much ease and endurance. So, don’t neglect your glutes and get them firing using the above-mentioned workout machines.
The article has been researched & compiled by the Editorial F5F Team, a group of experienced fitness & health writers.