When it comes to coveted curvatures, great glutes are where it’s at. Ask any fit chick you will meet what she is working hard for in the gym, and nine times out of ten her answer will be a perky posterior. That being said, allow me to shine some light on my top four exercises for a greater gluteus maximus.
Barbell Hip Thrusts
Perhaps one of the most underrated glute exercises (if you ask me), the barbell hip thrust targets your glutes with the heavy thrusting motion of the bar. To do this exercise, lean back against a bench (with just your shoulders resting on the bench), and place a loaded barbell over the top of your hips. Drive through your heels, lifting the bar vertically until your knees are at a 90 degree angle to the bench. End the movement by lowering your hips back down.
Cable Butt Kickbacks
Another movement that really fires up those glutes is the cable glute kickback. To do this exercise, affix a cuff attachment from a low cable pulley to your ankle. Facing the weight stack and grasping a bar for support, contract your glutes to lift your leg back. Kick your leg back slowly, as far as it can go while still feeling your glutes contract (if you feel it in your lower back, you’re doing it wrong). Lower your leg back down to finish the motion, and after a set, repeat on the other leg. Really squeeze the glute at the top of the contraction, to ensure maximum impact.
Plyometric Lunge Jumps
Plyometrics rely on explosive movements that combine both cardiovascular, and muscle-sculpting benefits. These are the types of advanced moves you want to incorporate if you really want to kick your booty into high gear – but you must focus on form to prevent injuries! In the plyo lunge jump, you begin in a wide lunge stance – back leg straight and front leg at a 90 degree angle. Drop down into a lunge as you normally would, and then explode from the movement, driving through your heels and jumping up in the lunge, only to land back where you started. To switch things up, try plyo switch lunges, in which the explosive movement leads to lunging on the opposite leg. Feel that burn!
Smith Machine Squats
While freeform squats are great for conditioning, core strength, and overall leg muscle building, it’s the Smith Machine squat (which provides both comfort and stability) that really allows you to dig your heels in, and concentrate on the contractions in your glutes. Add a squeeze at the top of the movement to really feel the burn.
These are just some of my favorite booty blasters. Now, let’s hear some of yours!
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