It’s no secret; behind every great woman is something of substance. Just ask booty queens Kim Kardashian and Jen Selter; they’ve built phenomenal careers (and even popularized the #belfie) on backs of their prestigious posteriors. In a world where appearances matter, buttock augmentation is one of the fastest-growing cosmetic procedures. Yes, the world has gone glute mad. What a time to be alive!
It’s true, everyone looks better with a bit of junk in the trunk, but possessing a booty that makes men want to touch you and women want to be you doesn’t happen by accident. The glutes are the biggest muscles in our bodies, and dedicated training will make them stronger, improve our posture, and even torch body fat.
Poor performance in the gym, back, knee and ankle pain, much of it can be linked to weak glutes. That’s right, baby needs more back, and here are the exercises you should be doing if you want to build or strengthen your assets.
The Glute Bridge
Rivals the abductor/adductor machine for unwanted attention with its suggestive range of motion, but these are great for strengthening the glutes and core. To execute the bridge, lie flat with knees bent 90 degrees. Push through the heels to lift your hips, keeping back straight and shoulders on the floor. Remember to squeeze those glutes and slowly return back to the start position.
Do these to fire up glutes at the start of a workout, or add them at the end of a set as part of your active recovery on leg day. Progress to the weighted glute bridge (by placing a barbell directly over hips with padding for protection). Do three sets of 15.
The Fire Hydrant
Hugely popular in the 80s for helping women feel the burn, this is one exercise most professionals agree we should all be doing. Get down on all fours, knees under hips, wrists, elbows, and shoulders in line.
Keeping knee bent at 90 degrees, raise one leg up and out to the side, squeeze and hold, then return. Keep your core braced to ensure stability and hip flexibility, posture, abs and glutes will all improve. To really feel the burn, do 15 reps on each leg before changing sides for three sets.
A staple in Pilates classes, this fantastic little kicker is as effective at targeting the glutes as a squat (don’t tell the gym bros), according to research done by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. For this exercise, it’s back onto hands and knees, keeping the core tight.
With knee bent, lift one leg until your thigh is level with the body, squeeze at the top and return to start position. Easy to go Jen Selter and snap a few belfies while doing these, so do reps of at least 15 or throw on ankle weights to take it to the next level. Do three sets of 20.
The Pulse Squat
To get more bang for your buck, there is nothing better than the grand ol’ duke of squats. They trigger the release of human growth hormone and testosterone, which will stimulate the muscle growth needed to get those buns of steel.
Take yours to the next level with the pulse squat. Pause at the bottom of the squat and move that butt up and down no more than a few inches. During light days or for an extra burn, we recommend a set of 15-20 pulses at the end of each set of weighted squats.
Annie Lennox (for anyone under 30, she’s from the band Eurhythmics) sang there’s a thin line between love and hate. That sums up our relationship with lunges. We love what they accomplish (fantastic booty and legs) but hate how they reduce us to a trembling, sweaty pile of must-crawl-into corner-and-die.
Make sure both feet face forward, take a step forward, making sure both knees form 90-degree angles and the front knee is directly above the ankle. Lower hips until the back knee is near the ground, and then push back to the start position. Grab some dumbbells and make this into walking lunges if you want an extra challenge. Three sets of 10 reps per leg is ideal.
So there you have it, add those booty building exercises into your workouts if you really want to have a crack at breaking the internet with yours.