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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Keep your hands either behind your neck, in your lap, or resting on the ground, according to Frison.
- 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.
- 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.
Perform this glute isolation exercise that Rees and Frison recommend for stronger butt cheeks.
How to do a glute kickback:
- This can be done with a cable machine using an ankle strap attachment, a band, or a dumbbell behind the knee.
- Place your knees and arms shoulder-width apart, hands on the floor.
- Place the resistance band above your knees or a dumbbell behind one of your knees.
- Press your foot towards the ceiling maintaining close to a 90-degree angle the entire time.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.