The butt (or glutes if we’re being scientific) is a muscle that both men and women alike want to work on. In many polls, this muscle group ranks at the top (or close to the top) as the most attractive muscle groups in men and women alike. Not only does having a muscular butt look good, but it’s also one of the most important muscle groups that contribute to improved athletic performance. So how does one begin to build a bigger, more muscular posterior? We’re glad you asked! In today’s post, we’re going to look at 2 exercises (and some variations) that will build and tone your glutes.
Lunges are one of the best workouts you can do for overall glute growth due to the great range of motion the movement provides. The glutes are also the primary muscle used to perform lunges so this workout will target them directly compared to other workouts. Additionally, there are several variations on the lunge that you can use to target growth in the glutes.
Examples of alternate lunge variations are:
- Walking Lunges
- Bulgarian Split Squats
- Weighted Lunges
Walking lunges are a great starting to point to get used to the movement. Simply start standing with your feet together, take a long step with your right foot, kneel down till your left foot is barely above the ground, and use your glutes to push your body back up to standing position. Repeat the same movement with your left foot and continue the cycle for 10 steps. You’ll typically want to perform these in 3-4 sets of 10. To increase the difficulty, hold dumbbells in each hand and perform the exercise again.
While they’re called Bulgarian split squats, the movement is much closer to a lunge. Split squats take a lot of balance and can be quite difficult if you’re not used to them. To perform a Bulgarian split squat, stand with a box or bench behind you at knee height, bend your left leg back and place your foot on the box. Once you’re in starting position, perform an in-place lunge movement. As your left knee comes close to contacting the floor, engage your glute and quad muscles to explode back up. Again you can optionally hold dumbbells to increase the difficulty of this exercise.
Squats have been called the king of workouts for quite some time due to how much of the body they engage. While the squat primarily works the quads, it also takes a lot of input from the glutes to perform. In order to get the best possible glute activation, you’ll need to squat to parallel or lower. While the depth of your squat is a highly debated topic, you definitely get your butt more involved the lower you go. One of the reasons squats are so great for building your glutes is the ability to move a lot of weight. Lifting heavy is the number one way to build bigger muscles regardless of the muscle you’re targeting. Two great variations on the traditional squat that will contribute to building a bigger butt are the pause squat, and the box squat.
When performing a pause squat you’re going to use a lighter weight than you would with a traditional squat. To perform this exercise, squat until you are below parallel and hold that position for 3 seconds. After the 3 seconds are up, explode back up to standing position and then repeat for 5-8 reps.
Box squats are a great variation of a traditional squat that helps activate the glutes even more. In this variation, you’ll find a box or platform at about knee height that will allow you to barely sit on it at a parallel squat depth. Don’t be afraid to plant your butt on the box as the purpose of this variation is to remove any momentum from bouncing at the bottom of your squat.
While there are many more exercises that are great for building a bigger butt, the workouts mentioned above are a great way to get started. If you’d like to get help building bigger stronger muscles we offer personal training and coaching to get you where you want to go.
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