The bum is a strange one for me. Some women want a smaller one, whilst others will do everything in their power to get that Kim K look. Newsflash, unless I become a surgeon I can’t help you with the latter. However, you can definitely build those booty muscles with a bit of hard work and consistency.
Obviously lots will depend on your nutrition, hydration, recovery and training intensity. However if you’re sleeping well, eating enough calories and protein and training 3-4 times a week then there are certain exercises than can be done which will grow those glutes!
Here are my top 6 for the booty muscles;
The Hip Thrust
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. The hip thrust has been seen as the numero uno choice for building the glutes and with good reason. If you manage to follow Dr. Bret Contreras on Instagram you will see the crazy results he gets with a major focus of his efforts on the hip thrust.
He is the creator of the exercise and has done extensive research on the topic. The hip thrust has consistently proven to stimulate the glute muscles more than any other exercise. There is no exercise like it to get that burning pump on your glutes.
The hip thrust is pretty versatile in terms of the loading you can place on it. You could try lifting pretty heavy for say 4 sets of 6 reps or you can do higher rep work. At the beginning I suggest sticking to 3 sets of 12-15 reps.
The Romanian Deadlift
I absolutely LOVE these. Not only can you get great glute stimulation at the top of the movement but it also works your hamstrings to a high degree at the same time.
You should always include some form of hinge pattern in your training and this is one of my favourite variations of that.
If new to the movement I definitely suggest trying with dumbbells first. This will ensure that you don’t load too heavy whilst not having the technique 100%. Perhaps start with 3 sets of 12 reps.
The split squat is a brilliant exercise for a number of reasons. When done correctly the stimulation you get on the glutes can be crazy.
For those that have issues loading heavy back squats these are ideal as they are generally loaded by holding a dumbbell in the goblet position or holding dumbbells at the side. This means we put little or no pressure upon the lower back.
The split squat is another one that has versatility. It can be loaded heavy, with 5-6 reps, or loaded lighter with higher reps. I generally get clients to do 3 sets of 8 on each leg.
Single Leg Hip Thrust
Once you’ve mastered the traditional hip thrust you can begin to play around with different variations of thrusts. Thrusts with bands, thrusts from the floor and thrusts with pauses are some of my favourites.
However, the single leg hip thrust is one that I am a fan of. This is for the more advanced trainee. It’s as described; simply doing the hip thrust on one leg. Yes your balance will be tested with this, especially knowing where the bar should sit on your hip so that it doesn’t wobble.
I suggest trying this one from the floor before progressing to a bench. It can be hard to get fully to the top of the movement to begin with. Trust me at the beginning bodyweight is more than enough with this one! Might be a good idea to throw this in at the end of your normal hip thrust routine for a high rep ‘finisher’.
Wide Stance Leg Press
When we think of glute builders we don’t usually consider the leg press. Probably because we feel such a burn on our quads during the movement.
However, I’ve used the wide stance leg press for clients that the hip thrusts simply didn’t suit for one reason or another. Again this is props to Bret and this video below.
It simply involves doing your normal leg press with your feet wider and higher on the platform. Your knees must stay out wide with this! If your hip mobility is an issue this mightn’t be a suitable exercise as the knees may struggle to stay wide.
The squat generally isn’t thought to be an amazing movement for the glutes. It is true that the stimulation on your glutes during squats is pale in comparison to that of hip thrusts etc.
However, I love high rep goblet squats as a glute exercise as I feel we can get a good mind muscle connection with the glutes. In other words you can really focus on engaging those muscles.
It’s true that with back squats and the like we’re mostly just focusing on moving the weight and moving it well. With lighter loading I feel the goblet squat lends itself well to awareness of the glutes working.
I’m sure you’ll agree that if you include these in your program you’ll be well on the way to that Kim K look!
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