Building your booty isn’t just good for aesthetic purposes (although that in itself is a reason), having great glutes can significantly improve overall lower body strength and form on lunges, squats, and deadlifts. In addition, having strong hip muscles will reduce back pain, which many people suffer with ongoing. Sedentary jobs that require a lot of sitting cause the glutes to get weak and soft, which create hip and back dysfunction. Here’s a killer glutes workout.
Get a tight, round butt
Try these butt-blasting exercises:
- Kick-backs: Using an ankle band, stand upright and hold onto something at shoulder height for leverage. Keeping your knee straight, kick back one leg and pause, squeezing that glute. Try different angles – straight back, out to the side, and in between. Don’t count reps, just go til your butt is on fire!
- Clam shells: This time put the band around your knees, and lie on your side with knees bent. Keeping your feet together, open at the knees. Do equal reps on both sides.
- Barbell squats: This is a great exercise to target glutes but is not appropriate for everyone. Before performing squats, be sure you know proper form and a weight appropriate for your ability. To best target the glutes on squats, squat to 90 degrees, then initiate the movement with your glutes (rather than quads) and squeeze your glutes for several seconds upon completion of the rep.
- Kettle bell sumo squats: Stand with feet wider than hip width, toes turned out slightly. Hold a heavy kettle bell between your legs. Do squats, squeezing your glutes throughout the exercise. Do as many as you can.
- Deadlifts: This is my favorite exercise for a hamstrings and glutes workout. But it is not appropriate for everyone, consult a qualified trainer for instruction. Using dumbbells or a barbell, keep back flat and knees slightly bent. Go until your back is parallel with the floor. Initiate the concentric phase by tightening glutes, and pause after completing the rep.
- Hip abduction machine: Try variations on this basic machine. For example, lean forward, or have straight legs, or lift hips up off of the seat.
- Step-ups onto a box or bench: Use your glutes, not your quads!
- Weighted sled push: Go slow and dramatically; push off the ground using your glutes. This is a great exercise to complete your glutes workout – your butt will be toast! : )
As a trainer I find that many people have a hard time activating their glutes, especially women. This is due to weakness and/or inhibited muscles. It’s important to find which exercises are most effective for you, and stick to them consistently. Once you can easily activate your glutes on those exercises, progress to others. Remember to build muscle consistency is key! You must be aggressive and dedicated.