One of the questions I get asked the most is how to develop a better looking butt or a stronger butt. On the surface, it seems like a vain question and the two groups that ask me the most couldn't seem more different: athletes and soccer moms. But, this question is quite important and the same methods can be used by both groups to develop a more powerful gluteal complex and one that looks better, ie-sits higher and packs more muscle.
Without further ranting, here are four steps to a better, more functional butt:
- Squat-Yes, squat with a barbell on your back. This is one of the most difficult exercises in existence, but it works. It will help you to develop your entire posterior chain, meaning the hamstrings, glutes and low back muscles. The drive out of bottom is all hip extension, despite most people thinking it is just a quad exercise. And females, you must continually aim to squat more poundage as there are correlations that I have found amongst the females that the stronger you are, the leaner you can become. Athletes, I shouldn't even need to say more about squatting heavy.
- Banded butt blaster-With this exercise, you need a 12 inch or so piece of tense elastic tubing. Put the band around both legs, just below the knees and lay on your side, legs bent at 90 degrees with the underside of your foot in line with your back. Keeping the feet together, raise your top knee up. This is working the glutes through a movement known as adduction. 20 reps per side for a few sets will activate your glutes and you will know it!
- Quadruped leg raise-Again, this is an activation exercise, but very simple to do. Go on all fours and bring one leg straight out to the side, so the hip is flexed at 90 degrees. Without rotating at the lower back, raise and lower than leg under control. The results will speak for themselves. Do 12 reps per side for 3 sets.
- And last but not least, one sided dumb bell lunges. If you are lunging with your right leg, hold the dumb bell in your left hand. The lunging motion alone will stimulate the glutes through hip extension and deceleration, but by adding the weight in the opposite hand, your hips are going to want to internally rotate, meaning the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus will have to 'turn on' to fight this internal rotation. Do this for 8-10 reps per side for 3 sets.
It is rare that you can use the same methodologies for elite athletes and soccer moms, but these 4 tips for creating the ultimate glute complex will improve performance, protect the low back, strengthen the core and improve the cosmetic appearance. Give it a shot!