It’s all about the butt! Here are 6 ways to make yours rounder, fuller, and stronger so you can rock the heck out of those new jeans.
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Pop ontoВ FitBoardВ or the fitness board on Pinterest and you’ll soon learn that it’s all about the butt! Who doesn’t want a backside that turns heads? You can do cardio until you’re blue in the face, but you won’t build a great bum unless you do some weight training. Not sure which moves or techniques are best for building the perfect booty? We’ve got you covered.
Here are five of the best glute training techniques and exercises you can do, including a complete workout from IFBB Bikini competitorВ India Paulino. Incorporate these techniques in your lower-body training regimen and you’ll be blown away by the results. A full set of glutes is in your future!
Of all the bum-friendly exercises to add to your workout routine, the squat should be numero uno. True, it’s the queen exercise of butt-building, but it’s also a great movement for athleticism, flexibility, and can even tax your cardiovascular system.
Tabitha Klausen, an IFBB Bikini competitor and proud owner of a great booty has some tips for squatting. “Old-fashioned bodyweight squats that go below parallel are a great way to start your leg workout,” she says. “They’re the perfect way to make sure you concentrate on using the right muscles throughout the workout.”
Before each leg workout, Tabitha does 4 sets of 25 reps ofВ bodyweight squats. She focuses on squeezing the glute muscles to get them firing and ready for her heavier lifts ahead.
Tabitha recommends concentrating on form rather than weight. “Focus on feeling the form through all of your exercises rather than using the heaviest weight possible,” she says. “It’s important to feel that mind-muscle connection.”
2.В Go “Wide And High”
Puzzled about how to grow your glutes without also building massive quads?В Amanda LatonaВ delivers the “wide and high” answer. “When doing any glute-focused exercise, like squats, take a wide step forward to take the weight away from your quads. Or, if you’re doing step-ups, add more elevation. Both adjustments will add more focus on the glutes specifically.”
If you’re really looking for a challenge, Amanda also recommends lunging by stepping down from an elevated platform. This increases your range of motion, which will result in greater glute muscle fiber activation and growth.
3.В Build A Glute Bridge
One problemВ Dr. Sara SolomonВ sees regularly is women who are using a regimen that neglects to correct muscular imbalances. “It’s critical to follow a workout that focuses on correcting your muscle imbalances so you can avoid running into injuries,” she explains. “Most of us spend the majority of our day sitting, which further causes the glute muscles to weaken and makes us rely more heavily on our quads and hamstrings to power through our exercises.”
One of Sara’s favorite exercises to correct this imbalance is theВ glute bridge. To perform this one, sit on the ground with your upper back against a bench, your knees bent, and your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Squeeze your glutes as you raise your pelvis high enough off the floor to create a straight line between your knees, hips, and shoulders.
Focus on usingВ onlyВ your glute muscles to do the work. If you need a bigger challenge, put a weight plate or loaded barbell on your hips for extra resistance.
Once you add glute muscle, the next step, of course, is to bring it all into sharp “bootylicious” relief. “The goal is to lose fat while maintaining my hard-earned muscle,” Solomon says. “I supplement my intermittent fasting regimen withВ BSN AminoX BCAAsВ andВ BSN’s brand new product, ISOBURN, a fat-burning protein powder. During my morning fasted training, I consume one scoop of Grape AminoX both pre- and intra-workout. I consume one scoop of AminoX immediately post workout, then every two hours post workout until I break my fast to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and halt muscle breakdown. I break my fast withВ ISOBURN 100% Whey Protein Isolate, but not immediately post workout because this is my window of opportunity to burn fat.”
4.В Try Single-Leg Squats
Because this exercise puts your body in an unbalanced position, you’ll have to recruit often-untapped muscle fibers in order to maintain balance. This added challenge will get even the most stubborn glutes to grow.
Single-leg squatsВ are often overlooked, but they’re one of the most challenging and most effective lower-body movements around. Many people won’t be able to do one right off the bat. Hold a weight in front of you for counterbalance, grab a wall for help, or put a thin plate under your heel.
Whatever you do, squat down as low as you can.
5.В Do Split Squats
TheВ split squatВ is anВ excellentВ butt-building move. When you do it, think about pushing up from the bent-knee position through the heel instead of through the ball or toes of your foot. By shifting your weight to your heel, your center of balance will instantly move slightly backward and will better activate your glutes.
To make split squats even more difficult and thus put more stress on your booty muscles, put a barbell across your back. A barbell works better than dumbbells because your body position is optimized for glute muscle recruitment.
6.В Follow India Paulino’s Glute Workout!
The 2013 Bikini International winner knows exactly what it takes to earn the top spot on stage. For India Paulino, that means working her glutes three times per week! “I was always very skinny,” India says, “so I had to work hard to build my glutes.” India’s glute workouts are fast-paced, intense, and effective!
Program these exercises to increase your performance and sculpt big, strong glutes.
In today’s fitness landscape, some exercises and muscle groups seem to be allocated to certain types of lifters. Big deadlifts and bench presses belong to heavyweight dudes, while any squat variation outside of a rack and hip thrusts are relegated to the realm of Instagram influencers aimed at “booty building.” That type of view isn’t just reductive and sexist—it’s actively harming your gains. If you want to build a strong lower body, developing your butt, and therefore your glutes, is absolutely essential.
Consider the glutes your body’s anchor. These massive and powerful muscles that constitute much of your backside are pertinent in nearly every day-to-day activity.
When most lifters think of the glutes, they usually just consider the gluteus maximus, the larger glute muscle that plays a major role in hip extension. There’s no denying that the glute max is incredibly important to think about and train, but there’s also the gluteus medius and minimus, both muscles deserving of our attention.
The glute medius’ anterior muscle fibers internally rotate the thigh and the posterior fiber play a role in leg abduction. The glute minimus works in synergy with the medius and plays an important role in supporting pelvic stability in the gait cycle.
When we consider the dynamic nature of the glutes and how important they are for performance and everyday life, it’s pretty easy to see why it’s important to train them as a whole. It’s also important to recognize that the glutes are part of the body’s core. Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., That the core is composed of the following, “abs, obliques, lower back musculature, and glutes,” says Samuel. “They all work as one and, if you want a truly strong core, they must work as one.”
The glute exercises below vary greatly—and that’s not an accident. You need to add some variety to your glute workouts in order to tackle the dynamic nature and different needs that the glute maximus, medius, and minimus have.
So yeah, it’s past time to give your glutes some extra TLC. Your pants will fit better, you’ll get a spring in your step, and you might just get a little extra attention when you hit the town. Add the following moves to your workout routine for a better-looking, better-performing butt.
I have outlined for you some of the most effective proven butt building exercises. Choose three from below each day and remember consistency is important.
As you and I know we have all been blessed with different body types. Some may think of their derriГ©re as a blessing, while others would rather say their rear is a curse! I say, let’s work with what you have and turn your butt into your sexiest and most loved body part!
I have outlined for you some of the most affective proven butt building exercises. Each day that it’s time to train your lovely lower body, choose three exercises from the list below. Consistency is absolutely key in seeing, and feeling results.
The Resistance Exercises
1. Barbell Squat
Squats are an excellent and proven way of training your gluteus maximus (butt). You can add resistance by performing them while holdingВ dumbbellsВ in your hands or with aВ barВ across your shoulders. If you opt for the bar (advanced), make sure you have a spotter unless the resistance is very light.
Varying the width of your feet will change the emphasis of the exercise. The closer together your feet are, the more your quads (front of the thighs) will work. As you move your feet further apart, you’ll feel the exercise more in your hips and butt. You should always have someone check your form to be sure you’re doing squats properly.
If you go to a gym, theВ leg pressВ machine may be easier to use than doing squats with a bar, and it attacks the same region.
Lunges are another exercise that works your glutes. Singer Jessica Simpson was noted to have fallen in love with lunges as she sculpted her body to fit her daisy duke shorts in The Dukes of Hazzard.
Here are several different types of lunges:
As a refresher on how to do a lunge, let’s review theВ stationary lunge with dumbbells.
Hold two dumbbells to the side of your body. Bring one leg forward and stand so that you have good balance. Bend both legs and allow the dumbbells to bring your body down towards the ground, making sure your front knee does not go past your toes. At this time the other knee will almost touch the floor; then come back up. Do all of the reps with one leg forward and then continue with the second leg.
3. Hip Extension
Hip extension is a movement that I will always include in my pre-contest training or when I want my butt to look its best. This exercise, which I have learned as “Flutter Kicks” will surely make your hamstrings and glutes burn with delight. OK, maybe this doesn’t sound like fun to you, but if you simply give me a chance here, you may start enjoying it as much as I do.
On a step or platform, (or on your bed if you train at home) lie facedown with hips on the edge of the step, legs straight with toes resting lightly on the floor. (If you are using a bed, your legs will be off the edge and your feet high off the floor.) Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings and straighten the legs until they are level with the hips.
Lift one leg higher then the other and alternate. Move each leg as though you are doing a flutter kick in water. Try doing 3 sets of 20 repetitions on each leg.
Do you want more? Once you have done your 3 sets of Flutter Kicks, in the same position, contract your glutes and hamstrings so that your legs are parallel with the floor and move your legs open, then close. When you close them, have one leg cross over the other. Alternate each rep, which leg is crossing over. Try doing 2-3 sets of 20 repetitions on each leg.
Deadlifts are excellent for your hamstrings, butt and lower back, but form is critical! Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart, and your weights in front of thighs (barВ orВ dumbbells). Keeping back flat and abs in, bend forward from the hips and lower your torso until your weights reach your shins.
This is where it’s time to SQUEEZE your butt to raise back up. Remember to keep your weights (bar) close to your legs throughout the entire range of motion, with just the slightest bend in the knees. Make sure that you don’t hyper extend your knees. Do 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
Stepping Your Way To Tight Buns
Stairmasters and climbers when used at a slower frequency with honest, normal steps will recruit your butt muscles into action. Do you ever see people at the gym leaning on the machine with their arms and staying on their tiptoes? You have either seen them, or are one of them.
Spending 30 minutes on the climber, cheating your way through each step will not bring you results. Feel your body weight as you step down through your heel of each foot. The benefit of completing full steps rather than short mini steps is that your legs and glutes will be enjoying a better workout, as will your heart.
Yes this way may be more challenging but it’s the challenge that will raise your cheeks and heart rate = burned calories = fat loss. If you think that steppers will make your butt bigger, you may be eating more then you think. Steppers and a treadmill (on a high incline for walking) have been the foundation for keeping my butt firm, and round.
Start at 20 minutes 3 days / wk. If you want to make noticeable changes, step your way up to 30 – 45 min sessions, 5 – 6 days a week.
Before I let you hit the gym, there are a few points that are important to know.
- You can’t choose where you gain weight. If you start eating more and lifting weights, there is no guarantee that your butt will be the area reaping the benefits.
- The shape of your butt is primarily based on genetics. Looking at your parents or other relatives you will probably notice that you have inherited some of their genes.
- Doing lower body exercises (along with upper body training and cardio) and eating more calories than you burn can help you build muscle but your genetics will decide how much your butt can really change.
- There isn’t one magic exercise that will make your butt change. Consistency in the gym paired with a nutrient packed eating plan with adequate amounts of protein will be your keys to bringing out the best your glorious glutes have to offer!
This is one of the most requested content here at Femniqe.
A workout that help shrinks your midsection while challenging your glutes for growth.
That’s goal for the 13 minute small waist and bigger glutes routine. After breaking down each workout, we’ll dive into nutrition.
Without the right nutrition you will never see results.
The Glute Builder + Small Waist Workout Overview
For this exercise routine 3 workouts will work your midsection and the other 2 will target your entire lower body, mainly your glutes.
You won’t need any type of specialized equipment except a 30-35 pound dumbbell.
Yes, you can do the glute workouts without a dumbbell but if you really want to stimulate growth in your gluteal muscles, you need external resistance.
For rest times try to keep it no more than 30 to 50 seconds.
As always, you will be getting a workout chart below showing the amount of reps and sets for each workout.
Okay, let’s get started! ?
1. Plank Dips
If you spend a lot of time on Instagram, you must have seen this workout in your feed.
It’s actually a great workout to help tone the entire abdominal region.
However, when performing this exercise, don’t go too fast or too slow, keep it at a moderate pace.
How to do it
- Get into the plank position as shown in the image above, core tightened and body parallel to the ground.
- Twist to the right, hold position for one second and twist to the left do the same.
- Return to the starting point and repeat.
2. Side Plank Claps
After you complete this exercise your obliques and core is going to be on fire!
That’s because it works, especially for toning your waistline.
Just keep proper form when performing this exercise to maximize its benefits.
How to do it
- Get into the side plank position as shown in the image above, starting on your right side left leg parallel to the ground left hand extended up to the ceiling.
- Now slowly move your left leg forward with your left hands touching your toes, hold that position for one second.
- Return to the starting point and repeat the required amount of reps and sets for each side.
3. Cross Toe Touches
As simple as this exercise look, don’t take it lightly.
It’s a low-impact oblique workout that will to help with shrink your waistline.
How to do it
- Get into position A as shown in the image above, feet wide apart with hands sideways and parallel to the ground.
- You’re going to twist your upper body downward using your right hand to touch your left toe.
- Return to the starting position and do the same for the other side.
- Do the required amount of reps and sets as shown on the chart below.
4. Single Leg Hip Thrust
If you have been doing our workouts for a while then you know that hips thrust is one of the best glute building exercises.
It works really well, especially if you add a dumbbell.
You can start with a 25 pound dumbbell and work your way up to using a 35 or 40 pound dumbbell.
Remember, the glutes are very strong and they need a lot of resistance that forces them to grow.
How to do it
- Get into position A as shown in the image above holding a dumbbell on your pelvic area.
- Make sure the dumbbell weight is more concentrated on the side that will be doing the lifting.
- In this case you will start with your left leg and right folded on top.
- Now you will perform a thrust, hold for 2 to 3 seconds while squeezing your glutes.
- Lower your body to the starting point and repeat the required amount of sets and reps then do the other leg.
5. Low Hip Raises
This is a squat variation that will also work the gluteus medius.
To learn more about the gluteus medius make sure to check out this guide.
It’s the smallest gluteal muscle and hardest to reach.
However, if you’re able to grow this muslce you’ll be able to amplify the roundness and curviness of your glutes.
Note: A workout video will be provided below demonstrating each exercise.
How to do it
- Getting to the starting squat position with both thighs parrallel to the ground, feet shoulder-width apart.
- You’re going to lower into a squat position below the parrallel line then raise your body while lifting your right leg sideways as high as possible.
- Return to the starting point and repeat for the left side.
The “Build Glutes Fast + Shrink Waistline” Workout Chart
See The Workouts In Action
Modifying Your Meal Plan For Results
If you are a hardgainer, you shouldn’t be eating less, you should be eating more.
This doesn’t mean you should be eating more burgers and pastries. No, those are empty calories that provide no nutritional value for your body.
In fact, they slowly destroy your body as you age.
You should be eating more wholesome foods that you prepare at home.
At least you have more control over the ingredients when you are preparing your own food.
For hardgainers, use this meal plan and modify it based on your taste preferences.
Remember to eat more nutrient densed foods and less empty calories.
Losing The Excess Body Fat
Now, on the opposite side of the spectrum if you’re struggling to drop excess body fat then you need to enter a calorie deficit.
You will never see your small waistline, if you don’t pay attention to how you eat daily.
The thing is, people are scared of calorie deficit, thinking it means starvation.
It doesn’t have to be like that because you can be in a calorie deficit and still be full throughout the day.
By eating “real food” that you prepare at home.
It doesn’t have to be laborious, you just have to plan out your meals for the week.
However, we have done the hard part for you. You can use this meal plan as a guide or modified based on your food preferences.
Try The Small Waist & Bigger Glutes Workout
Do this workout at least 3 to 4 times a week and stay consistent with the nutrition.
If you can do that, you will be seeing results!
Don’t forget to share this with your friends to challenge them too.?
Isometronics will turn your peach into a pumpkin, fast! Here’s what to do.
If standard hip thrusts have lost their oomph, here’s something you should try: isometronics.
Isometronics combine the principles of isometric and isotonic muscle contractions to reap the rewards of both. Performing hip thrusts using this technique would look like this:
- Pick a weight you can barbell hip thrust for 12 reps (your 12RM).
- Do 10 full reps.
- On the tenth rep, pause at the top for 10 seconds.
- Finish with as many partial reps as you can in the bottom position. If you’ve selected the right weight, this will be no more than 4-8 partial reps.
- Tip: To get the most from it, initiate each rep with a tightening of your glutes and abs before each movement.
Now, there are no rules saying you need to use the rep ranges above. At their heart, isometronics are simply a form of drop set. Just work within a rep range that’s in line with your training approach. If you want to go heavy, then drop down to 5-6 reps. If you’re a volume junkie, go for 15-20. It’ll all help build an impressive backside.
Not Just for Glutes
Isometronics are nothing new. You’ll find evidence of them being used since the 1960s.
Classically, isometronics are performed using more of an “overcoming” isometric rather than “yielding” isometric. You’d set up in a squat rack and fire the bar against some pins, pressing as hard as you can. For hip thrusts, I’m sharing a more accessible version, and one that won’t have the gym police bust your ass for being in the squat rack.
Isometronics can be done for any muscle you’re looking to get bigger or stronger. Just do your full reps, follow that with an isometric hold in the muscle’s shortened position (where you get the biggest squeeze), and finish with a few partials. These are particularly sadistic for any biceps or hamstring curl variation.
Why Isometronics Work
You shouldn’t need to be convinced that drop sets are a useful tool for increasing training volume. They also allow you to do more of those “important” reps where you’re able to fatigue the last remaining muscle fibers at the back end of each set.
Your glutes need some volume to grow. They also require you to tap into both fast and slow-twitch fibers. It varies depending on what you read, but your gluteus maximus has a 50/50 split in terms of fast versus slow-twitch muscle fibers.
As a form of mechanical drop set, isometronics begin with your weakest portion (full range of motion), drop to an isometric hold, then drop again to partial reps in your strongest position.
The reason why an isometric hold is stronger than when you’re moving is because your muscles can find an extra 10-15% more force here. This isometric hold alone adds a big dose of intensity to any exercise. You’ll get extra fast-twitch fiber engagement, lots of mechanical tension, and you’ll stimulate hypertrophy.
You’d do well finishing each set with the isometric alone, but adding some partial reps will increase time under tension, fatigue even more motor units, and further stimulate muscle growth.
Use this technique sparingly. To shock your glutes into growth, do it at the very start of your workout as your key lift, then follow up with some basic sets of deep squats, deadlifts, and the like.
Build a bigger butt with these great glute moves.
Build your booty.
There’s no shame in wanting a nice butt. It’s a common fitness goal, unsurprisingly. But there’s something you should know: The best butt-building exercises do more than just make your backside look perky. They actually strengthen your entire posterior chain, which includes all of the muscles on the back of your body, from your shoulders to your calves.
If you want a bigger butt, you can’t be afraid of getting stronger . I promise you won’t bulk up .
Get more out of your tech
What will happen when your glutes get stronger is this: Your butt will look rounder, perkier and lifted. But most importantly, your lower body will become much more powerful and will help you kick butt (pun intended) in all your other physical pursuits.
Spot reduction is a myth, but spot growth is not
Where on your body you lose fat is entirely determined by your genetic makeup — spot reduction is a total myth .
Spot growth, however, is not. You can 100% build muscle in specific areas by isolating those muscle groups during your workouts.
This doesn’t necessarily mean doing only isolation exercises, but instead doing compound exercises that target the muscle group you want to grow. (In contrast to compound exercises , wherein multiple joints move, isolation exercises involve movement at just one joint. An example of an isolation exercise is the bicep curl).
Building muscle takes time and dedication, but by doing the right exercises with proper form, you’ll be well on your way to a stronger backside.
Best exercises to get a bigger butt
The best exercises for your glutes all involve hip extension, the act of fully extending your leg so your hip flexors lengthen and open up. If you’re having trouble picturing this, stand up and pull your heel to your butt. The leg you’re stretching has achieved hip extension.
To reach full hip extension, it’s impossible not to squeeze your glutes. You’ll also notice that reaching hip extension requires recruiting your hamstrings, which, when muscular, contribute to the overall appearance of the toned backside people are after.
The five exercises below are some of the best for building and strengthening your glute muscles.
Barbell hip thrust
I firmly believe there’s no better way to train the glutes than barbell hip thrusts. One fitness professional even built his whole career around this very exercise. When done correctly the hip thrust is the only compound exercise that targets your glutes in such a way that muscle recruitment from the hamstrings and quads is minimized.
Try this: Do bodyweight hip thrusts first. Practice keeping your back straight (avoid arching) and planting your heels firmly. Drive through your heels to press your hips upward, using as little power from your quads and hamstrings as possible. You want this to come from your glutes.
This exercise emphasizes the hip hinge pattern and requires you to squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to return to the standing position. For this one, focus on lowering the barbell until you feel tension in your hamstrings, then squeeze your butt as hard as you can to stand up.
Try this: Do three sets of five reps at a light weight to get used to the movement. Once you get comfortable, add some weight (so long as your back isn’t arching or rounding) and try for a set of 10 reps.
Single-leg Romanian deadlift
Just like the standard Romanian deadlift, the single-leg Romanian deadlift capitalizes on the hip hinge. This version is more challenging because it requires more balance, but that challenge pays off: Unilateral (single-side) leg exercises force your muscles to work harder than they do when both sides are contributing. You’ll likely feel this exercise in the side muscles of your butt (your gluteus medius).
Try this: If you’re not ready to balance on one foot yet, hold on to something sturdy. Another option is to plant the toes of your back foot on the ground and adopt a staggered stance. You’ll still get the same stimulus, but you won’t feel as off-kilter.
For surefire butt DOMS (post-workout soreness), add weighted reverse lunges into your workout. Reverse lunges work your glutes more than forward lunges do, thanks to the way in which you return to standing — driving through the heels versus the forefoot.
Try this: Using a light or moderate weight, do three sets of 10 reps on each leg. Once you feel comfortable with the movement, bump up the weight and reduce the reps to five on each leg. This should be challenging, but not so hard that your form crumbles.
Russian kettlebell swing
Another hip hinge movement, the kettlebell swing is a powerful and explosive exercise that targets the glutes. It might look like a shoulder exercise, but in reality, your lower body should propel the kettlebell upward. If your arms start burning before your butt, you’re doing it wrong.
Try this: Practice the swing without a kettlebell in your hands. You’ll feel silly at first, but it helps to know exactly what full hip extension feels like. If you can feel your glutes working with no kettlebell, you’re ready to add the weight.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
(Even though your butt is already great, tbh.)
If you’re in search of a butt that rivals Jennifer Lopez’s, you might have to manage your expectations a bit—a killer behind like that is thanks, in large part, to genetics. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t work toward the best (and biggest) your own special butt can be.
And while how your backside looks in jeans might be your number one reason for doing more squats at the gym, it shouldn’t be your only motivation—a stronger butt has some serious health perks, as well, says Quianna Camper, CPT, a trainer with RSP Nutrition. “Stronger glute muscles can help reduce the risk of injury, boost your metabolism, improve your athletic performance, and give the appearance of a lifted, rounder bum,” says Camper.
Also important: Butt building moves don’t just result in glutes gains. “You can do exercises that primarily target the glute muscles,” says Camper. “But the movements you should do for stronger glutes are multi-joint, multi-muscle movements that are also going to strengthen your whole body.” That’s because all the muscles in the body work together—which means a more toned butt can mean gains for your entire body, too.
So, now that you’re convinced that you need to start working your glutes more, how do you do it? Here, Camper shares six key exercises to get a bigger butt and stronger glutes. You’ll want to add these to your workout routine ASAP.
1. Glute Bridge
How to do it: Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the ground and hip-width apart. Extend your arms down by your sides, and palms on the floor. Pressing your feet into the floor and keeping shoulder blades rooted to ground, lift your hips into the air, until your body creates a straight line from your knees to shoulders. Squeeze your glutes at the top and hold for one to three seconds, then return to ground. That’s one rep. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps total.
To add weight, rest a barbell straight against your pelvis. Place your hands on the bar right on either side of your hips to keep the weight from rolling down your body. Then, complete the movement as described above.
2. Jump squats
How to do it: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Breath in, engage your core and keep your chest up as you drop into a squat. Continue lowering your butt until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Exhale and drive back up through heels to jump up, using your arms as necessary. Land with bent knees to absorb impact. That’s one rep. Do three sets of 12 to 20 reps.
3. Barbell Front Squat
How to do it: Prop an empty barbell into the squat rack so that when you’re facing it, the bar hits you at chest height. Step towards the bar, place fingertips under bar, so that they’re just outside of your shoulders. Drive elbows up so that they’re parallel to the ground and lift barbell out of rack, stepping back. Get into squat position by adjusting feet so that they’re hip-width apart and your toes are pointed out slightly.
Breathe in, engage core by drawing your bellybutton to spine, then shift hips back and bend knees like you’re sitting back. Actively press knees out, and elbows up (to keep chest up raised) as you lower. Continue lowering until your hips are lower than your knees. Breathe out and push through your midfoot and heels to return to standing, squeezing glutes at the top. That’s one rep. Aim for four sets of 8 to 10 reps, resting two minutes between sets.
Regular ol’ walking does work your glutes (along with your hamstrings, quads, calves, and core), but certain tweaks to your form or technique can give your glutes muscles some extra love. “As one of the biggest muscles in your body, you want to keep your glutes strong in order to keep your overall body in alignment,” says Rebecca Louise, mindset and fitness coach and author of It Takes Grit. “They support your lower back, especially when you’re lifting or keeping your pelvis and core stabilized.”
If you don’t work on your glutes in your exercise routine, the surrounding muscles have to step in to compensate. “This puts a lot of stress on the knees, hips, and lower back,” says Peloton instructor Jess Sims, who notes that your glutes are part of your core. “Your glutes allow the upper and lower extremities [of your body] to function properly.” She points to the example of running: To have proper form, it’s important to tuck your pelvis forward (or, as she likes to say, “take your butt with you”). “If you don’t do this, you might feel pain in your lower back, hips, or knees,” says Sims.
You don’t have to do anything particularly excessive in order to turn your walk into a glutes workout, either. Keep scrolling for trainer-approved tweaks that make your steps especially beneficial for your all-important bum muscles.
1. Hit up an incline
One tried-and-true glute-burning upgrade to a walk is to get your steps on an incline. “Walking on an incline, either on the treadmill or on a hill, is a great way to switch up regular walking and target your glute muscles,” says Louise. Start with a smaller incline and work your way up to increase the intensity.
2. Hold a high knee
For this exercise, you’re taking four to six steps before balancing on one foot as you bring the opposite leg into a high knee pause. Squeeze the glute of the leg that’s still on the ground, push your hips forward, and draw your navel in towards your spine. “It’s so important to work our bodies unilaterally,” says Sims. “This helps to eliminate overcompensation and also helps your body neurologically practice balancing so that when you miss a curb or you trip, your body can minimize injury risk because you’ve introduced these balancing movement patterns.”
Practice the high-knee squeeze in this sanding glute series:
3. Do some ‘butt zaps’
For this walking tweak—which Sims calls a “butt zap”—simply bring awareness to your glutes by squeezing the glute of the foot that’s still on the ground. “What you’re doing is pushing your pelvis forward as you squeeze the glute,” she says. So, basically, you’re giving an extra squeeze to the side of your glutes that’s powering your base foot, and alternating as you step forward. For an added challenge, Sims recommends exaggerating your walk by putting your heel down first, rolling through the center of your foot, and as you go onto the ball of the foot, do a calf raise, and add the butt zap.
4. Take it sideways
Sims also recommends lateral step-outs, which fire up your glute medius, aka the part of your glutes that help with hip movement. “Turn to the side, bend your knees a bit extra, and do sets of 10 to 20,” she suggests. Break into these after you reach certain minute or mile marks to switch up your steps.