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Hip thrusts

Hip thrusts
COURTESY LAUREN LOBERT FRISON, DPT, OMPT, CSCS

Personal trainer Morgan Rees and physiotherapist Lauren Lobert Frison both suggest hip thrusts for good butt workouts. You can use a barbell, resistance band or your body weight to perform the movement. You’ll need a bench or a chair about 30-50cm off the ground, depending on your height.

How to do a hip thrust:

  1. Start with your butt on the ground, knees bent up, so your feet are flat on the floor, and leaning against a bench or chair. Line the bench up near the bottom of the shoulder blades.
  2. If you’re using a bar, place it along the hip’s crease. If you are using a glute resistance band, set it right above the knees.
  3. Keep your hands either behind your neck, in your lap, or resting on the ground, according to Frison.
  4. Keep your spine neutral, neck aligned with the spine (do not look down towards your feet), and press your glutes towards the ceiling lifting your butt off the floor, Rees says.
  5. You don’t want your back arched at all at the top. You want your lower leg to be vertical at the top, so you may need to adjust your feet to be closer or farther away from your butt.

Kickbacks

Kickbacks
COURTESY MORGAN REES

Perform this glute isolation exercise that Rees and Frison recommend for stronger butt cheeks.

How to do a glute kickback:

  1. This can be done with a cable machine using an ankle strap attachment, a band, or a dumbbell behind the knee.
  2. Place your knees and arms shoulder-width apart, hands on the floor.
  3. Place the resistance band above your knees or a dumbbell behind one of your knees.
  4. Press your foot towards the ceiling maintaining close to a 90-degree angle the entire time.

Clamshells

Clamshells
COURTESY JEREMY ETHIER

Ethier and Malek love clamshells to work your butt. “This exercise is important to target a glute muscle that tends to get overlooked in bigger movements like the squat,” Ethier explains. “It’s called the gluteus medius and plays an important role in hip stability and helping with the overall shape of your glutes.” Malek adds this move also works hip abductors and hip external rotators, which are key balance muscles and help with knee stability so you can avoid injuries and knee pain.

How to do a clamshell:

  1. Lie on your side with your knees and hips bent. Use one arm to make a pillow for your head. With your other hand, place your thumb on the bone in the front of your hip. Wrap your other fingers around the upper part of your butt. This muscle is the gluteus medius, and you want to feel this muscle working as you do the following movement, Ethier says.
  2. Next, while keeping your feet together and core braced, open up your top knee like a clamshell so that the knee of your upper leg rises towards the ceiling. Maintain a bent knee level with the ankle. As you do so, avoid rotating your hips.
  3. Hold at the top briefly before coming down and repeating for more reps. If this move is too easy, add a resistance band around the top of the knees, Malek suggests.

Side-lying hip abduction

Side-lying hip abduction
COURTESY DR LEADA MALEK

Target the same critical butt muscle, the gluteus medius, with this movement. “This muscle is the balancing muscle in the glute group that helps keep us straight,” Malek explains. “It also plays a large role in controlling our trunk with hip hinges and bending over, which helps protect your back.” If this movement is too challenging, practise holding this at the top instead of doing repetitions.

How to do a side-lying hip abduction:

  1. Lie on your side, legs stacked.
  2. Straighten the top leg, and lift it slightly behind the torso. Be sure to avoid rolling backwards. Lower your leg, and repeat.

Step-ups

Step-ups
COURTESY KELLEY VARGO, MS, MPH, CSCS

This glute exercise makes sure you’re working both sides of your butt. It requires stepping up and isolating the glute muscle of each leg, Vargo explains. If this move is hard to do with good form,  lower the step or chair’s elevation. But if this is too easy, Vargo recommends adding in weights or increasing your pace.

How to do a step up:

  1. Start in a neutral position standing with feet together, core engaged and shoulders relaxed. Step up with the right foot on the chair (or whatever tool for elevation you are using).
  2. Press down on the surface of the chair with the right foot, raising the centre of gravity and bringing the left foot onto the surface of the chair.
  3. Step back off the surface of the chair with the left foot followed by the right foot, finishing the repetition in the beginning neutral stance. Repeat this with the left foot, Vargo says.

Split squat

Split squat
COURTESY JEREMY ETHIER

The need to keep your balance during this movement makes it such a dynamic exercise for your lower body, especially your glutes. This is basically a single leg squat or stationary lunge, a good addition to your butt workouts.

How to do a split squat:

  1. Start in a standing position. Your back knee should be relatively perpendicular to the ground and can be elevated on a bench for support.
  2. Slightly hinge forward, keeping the front foot firmly placed on the ground. Keep your shoulders back as you hinge forward and lower yourself towards the ground and back up.
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Hook-lying hip abduction

Hook-lying hip abduction
COURTESY LAUREN LOBERT FRISON, DPT, OMPT, CSCS

Hip abduction occurs when you move the leg sideways and away from your body, Frison explains. The muscles used in this movement, hip abductors, not only involve your glutes, but they also help people perform basic everyday activities like walking.

How to do a hook-lying hip abduction:

  1. Lying on your back with your knees bent, so your feet are flat on the floor, bring your knees apart and then back together.
  2. You will want a strong band around your legs, either just above or just below your knees. You can also do this sitting if you prefer, Lauren says. Don’t let the band snap your knees back together; control it on the way back.

Sidestep

Sidestep
COURTESY LAUREN LOBERT FRISON, DPT, OMPT, CSCS

Sidestep (or crab) targets your glutes with a resistance band.

How to do a sidestep:

  1. Stand in an athletic position (slight knee bend, flat back) with and a resistance band around your legs (the higher up it is, the easier it will be so it can be anywhere from your upper thighs to around your feet). Take a large step sideways, keeping your toes pointed forwards.
  2. Follow with the other foot, keeping tension on the band the whole time. Repeat, walking sideways, and then go back the other way.

Bonus: Jump squat

Bonus: Jump squat
COURTESY HENRY HALSE

OK, so this is technically a squat. But according to Halse, it’s worth adding to your butt workouts. “While regular squats aren’t as helpful for glute development, explosive exercises like the squat jump are,” Halse explains. “Your glutes are large and powerful, and designed to help you do explosive activities like sprint and jump.” That’s why you should try to include some jumping exercises in your workouts, like squat jumps. If you have knee, hip or back issues, however, you might want to avoid this exercise.

How to do a squat jump:

  1. For this exercise, all you have to do is squat down low then jump up high. Try to get your feet to leave the ground.
  2. Land softly on your feet with your knees slightly bent and repeat, Halse says.

Now you’ve got your body sorted, give your brain a boost with these weird brain exercises that make you smarter.

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Source: RD.com

 

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