It’s been said that squats are the secret to building strong, sexy glutes.
But if you’re like most women, spending the majority of your workout in the squat rack + still not getting the results you desire- it’s time to take a different approach to your glute training.
You see, squats are a great lower body exercise that target multiple muscle groups at once- making them highly efficient.
However, the key to strengthening, lifting + firming your backside is to include movements that specifically target each of the glute muscles.
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Sculpting an enviable rear-end, is entirely possible for you, my friend. You just need to incorporate the right moves into your weight training program. In this post, I’m sharing with you the 5 best exercises to strengthen your backside- giving you the glutes you’ve always dreamed of!
Best Glute Exercises for Women
1). The Move: Hip Thrust with Barbell
Lie with your upper back resting on a bench, or on the floor, with a loaded barbell over your hips. Press through your feet to lift your pelvis straight up against the resistance, contracting your glutes through the motion.
Why it works: Because of the horizontal load of the barbell, this exercise is great for targeting both subdivisions of the gluteus maximus (the upper & lower compartment) at the same time. Talk about a full booty burn! For more comfort, add a cushion to the barbell or place a small, lightweight mat between yourself and the bar.
2). The Move: Side-Lying Hip Abduction :
- Lie on your side with your hips stacked on top of each other. Position your top leg behind your front leg by about 5 degrees, so your top heel is behind you.
- Keeping your core engaged and your knee straight, lift your top ankle up toward the ceiling without moving your pelvis at all. Brace yourself with your hands or elbows as needed.
- Return your top foot to the starting position and continue, maintaining a slow and steady pace, and perfect, controlled form.
Why it works: Doing this exercise on a bench (rather than using a seated abduction machine) means you can extend the range of motion, making it more difficult to perform and thus, stimulating more muscle growth! These are difficult on their own, however, if you’re looking to kick things up a notch, add ankle weights!
3). The Move: Sumo Squat with Dumbbell:
Stand with your feet 6-12 inches wider than your shoulders and point your toes outward at around a 45° angle. Hold the dumbbell at waist level and maintain a slight forward lean with your torso throughout the duration of the exercise. Keeping your weight in your heels, slowly lower your bodyweight down. Make sure that your knees do not go over your toes. Lower your hips until your thighs are at least parallel to the ground (or as close as you can get), then slowly return to a standing position.
Why it works: The greatest booty workouts include a mix of movements that come at this giant muscle group from multiple angles. With it’s vertical load and knee-dominant hip extension, this exercise does wonders for working proportionally more lower than upper glutes.
4). The Move: Single-Leg Deadlift
- Hold a kettlebell in one hand (I used a weight plate with handle), hanging to the side. Stand on one leg, on the same side that you hold the kettlebell.
- Keeping that knee slightly bent, perform a stiff-legged deadlift by bending at the hip, extending your free leg behind you for balance. Continue lowering the kettlebell until you are parallel to the ground, and then return to the upright position
Why it works: This move is unique in that it allows you to fully appreciate the beauty of learning how to stabilize on one leg, while training each side of your body without favoring or over-compensating.
Working the body unilaterally takes much strength, flexibility and balance. For that reason, it won’t take a lot of weight for you to really feel the effects of this exercise!
5). The Move: Reverse-Step Lunge
Step backward with your desired leg, landing on the ball of the foot, then bend both knees to lower yourself to the floor. (Make sure to step back far enough so your front knee is behind the toes at the bottom of the movement.) When your front thigh is parallel with the floor, extend your knees and hips to stand back up to the start position.
Why it works: Compared to a basic lunge, this exercise places less stress on the knees while still toning your entire leg. The efficiency of this exercise means that you’ll spend more time focusing on the right spots of your glutes and less time worrying about the state of your knees! Bonus!
Squats and deadlifts are great, but when it comes to shaping your rear, they are simply not enough.
Always add these isolation movements into your glute day workouts to really challenge and force the muscles of the butt to do more than be just a backseat driver!
Here to Support YOU! XO- Britney (ms.fit.farmer)