There are three gluteal muscles are gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. Gluteus maximus is the largest of the three and one of the strongest muscles in the body. Gluteus maximus forms bulk of buttock mass. Gluteus maximus has its origin in posterior ¼ of the crest of ilium, posterior surface of sacrum and coccyx near the ilium, and fasica of lumbar area. Its insertion is at oblique ridge on lateral surface of greater trochanter and iliotibial band of fasciae. It performs the following actions extension of the hip, thus is very active during the push phase of the stair climb upward, and external rotation of hip. Gluteus maximus is also very important is sports such as football, soccer, basketball, hockey and volleyball.
Gluteus medius is a thick muscle largely covered by gluteus maximus. Origin is between anterior and posterior gluteal lines on lateral surface of ilium. Insertion – by short tendon into lateral spec of greater trochanter of femur. Gluteus minimus is the smallest and deepest of all three muscles. Has its origin between anterior and inferior gluteal lines on external surface of ilium. Insertion – anterior border of greater trochanter of femur. Main actions of gluteus medius and minimus include abduction and medial rotation of thighs lie underneath the gluteus maximus. Iliotibial band, made of connective tissue, transfers the force of abduction.
Since gluteus maximus is the major muscle that forms a buttock and it is mainly active when thigh is flexed and force is necessary, as during stair climbing it would be smart to perform such exercises that engage these muscle the most for a firm round buttocks.
Based on this simple principle here is a sample training workout.
- 10 min warm up on elliptical trainer or bicycle
- Lower body static stretching 10 – 12 minutes
- Butt bridge on the ball 15 reps followed by (no rest in between) butt bridge on the floor 15 reps, should be repeated 3 times, rest between sets should be 40-50 sec, after last set rest 1 min and 30 sec and go on to next exercise
- Tabata style squats – for 40 sec do as many reps as you can (depending on physical level can be done with or without weights) rest 20 sec and repeat 40 sec of work, do this for 4 minutes, rest 2 min and go on to the next exercise
- Step ups – start with one leg and continue with the same leg for 30 sec than switch, don’t rest in between, do each leg 5 times
- Finish with 10 min on the stair master emphasizing (really concentrating on what you are doing) the gluteus muscle. Do it slowly and try to contract at each step.
- Finish with relaxing 10-15 min stretching.
I would recommend performing this workout twice a week with a few modifications for the second workout. For example doing kickbacks (first weighted standing, than kneeling using just body resistance) instead of butt bridge. Than squats in a 4 sets 12-15 reps fashion. Followed by 4 sets (2 sets per each leg) stationary and 5 min of walking lunges instead of step ups and Stairmaster, respectively.