When it comes to building a fantastic set of glutes, you’ll hear a lot of different opinions about what works. Some people say deadlifts and heavy squats are all you need. Others say we can hip-thrust our way to a desirable derriere. So, who’s right?
As it turns out, no one is wrong. Squats, deadlifts, hip thrusters, abduction – all have their place. Plus, you want compound movements, not just exercises that target a specific area. It’s definitely not as simple as eating clean and doing donkey kicks.
Don’t expect these following five exercises to work weight loss miracles for you, unless you’ve created a caloric deficit and reduced body fat percentage.
You also want to make sure you’re eating the right diet for muscle building. Finally, remember that your goal will be to strengthen the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles, as well as your hamstrings. Work on the foundation, and you’ll soon have a beautiful head-turning booty. You don’t have to be a powerlifter to do the following exercises. Work them into any program, and you should see benefits.
Start your lower body workout with back squats. Back squats are heavily loaded compound movements that work a lot of muscles, including your quads, hamstrings and gluteals. It strengthens your core, allows for heavy weights and increases growth hormone, making it one of the best muscle-building exercises. Try to set personal records. Heavier weights are not particularly useful, since they could injure you. Experts recommend decreasing weights and doing more reps. Also, aim for quality of each rep. Concentrate on a peak contraction in the glutes during each rep, so that they are the dominant muscle being worked on.
Sumo deadlifts are also great to kickoff your lower body workout. This exercise works on your glutes and hamstrings, while activating your core and quads. Your glutes do most of the work and a lot of hip flexibility is required to perfect the form. You can use the wide-stance sumo deadlifts as your main heavy lifting exercise, and the traditional deadlift can be done to further strengthen the hip extension motion.
Like sumo deadlifts, which stress on hip extensions, hip thrusters are great if you don’t go too heavy. You want your glutes to be able to achieve their maximum contracted position. It’s wise to go light and do sets of fifteen to twenty reps. Hold for 3 seconds at the top of every rep. This will help you train your brain for gains, to strengthen the mind-muscle connection.
Bulgarian split squats help to build hip mobility and single-length strength. They work the glutes, quads and hamstrings. It’s a variation of the regular one leg squat. The rear foot is elevated on a bench. Unlike the traditional squat, you won’t feel the extra stress on your back. This is a great exercise for new lifters, as you don’t need a spotter.
‘Abduction’ involves moving a limb away from your body’s centerline. Band hip abductions – they can be seated or standing – are controlled mostly by the glutes. Don’t listen to those who say hip abductions aren’t functional. The exercise involves moving your thighs away from your body, against the resistance band, using the glutes.
Mix these exercises into your lower body routine in ways that are comfortable yet challenging. You could do four glute-centric exercises one after the other, with the reps increasing for each exercise by 5. In time, you’ll develop the round butt of your dreams.
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