The butt or glutes is comprised of three muscles, the gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus and the gluteus medius, however the maximus is the one of most concern, mainly because it is the largest of the three muscles, and the one that is most visible when it comes to the butt! The muscles in the butt are nearly impossible to isolate from their adjacent muscle groups – hamstrings and quadriceps, however you can adjust your exercises to focus more on the butt, to give an isolation-like effect. That being said, you will also find that some of the best butt lifting exercises are actually some of the best exercise choices for another common area of concern – the legs and thighs! My butt is legendary – yes it is true, I have been told on a few occassions, that I got a butt like JLO, and have even been mistaken for her while training in world famous Venice Beach Gold’s Gym! Here are a few of my favorite exercises and tips to tone and tighten your behind!
When it comes to the best butt lifting exercises for the butt the first thing you must do is look at your entire workout plan. To get great legs let alone a great butt, you will need to start training it more than once per week. Split up the muscles in the legs, by training butt and hams on one day and quads on a separate day. This will not only allow for better isolation and focus, but will also reduce the length of your workout!
As for volume, most women don’t need to exercise their legs with heavy weights. This is because most women develop the muscles in the leg easily and secondly they also tend to have more fat stores on them too! The key here is to train with intensity and volume, keeping muscles lean and fat burning at its prime. Perform 4 – 6 sets each with 20 – 25 reps. For added intensity, superset your exercises. The muscles in the legs have a high threshold of endurance, and should be trained to exhaustion.
Secondly, if you want that brazilian butt lift look, you must also change up your cardio training. You will not get buns of steel, by walking on the treadmill, move at least half of your cardio sessions to cardio machines that focus on the glutes, including the elipitical and the machine most people fear – the stepmill! Perform every step on the stepmill, or every movement backward on the elipitical by squeezing the glute.
The final part of the equation to lifting the butt are the exercises you choose to incorporate into your leg workouts. Try a few of the following:
1. Reverse Hack Squat
Perform this exercise by facing into the hack squat machine. Place your feet mid-lower on the platform, shoulder-width apart, and legs slightly angled outward. Go deep in the movement, to below parallel if possible, and at the top part of the movement push the hips slightly forward, squeezing the glutes. Use a light weight and rep out!
2. Glute Push-Back
Also known as the Glute Kick-Back, most gyms will have a machine for this, either standing or performed in a horizontal position. If your gym does not have this machine, it can be performed using a cable pulley, with an ankle strap. However if that is still not an option, it can also be done using the leg curl machine. Simply get on all fours behind the machine, with legs positioned directly toward the lifting pad. Lift one leg, placing the bottom of the foot directly under the pad, with the knee on a right angle, using a light weight, push directly straight up, squeezing the glute and ham at the top of the movement.
3. Plie Squat
Stand with a wide stance, knees pointing outward, feet should align with the knees pointing in the same direction. Grasp a dumbbell or free weight plate, squat down, lowering yourself as far as your flexibility and balance will allow, then drive back up, pushing through the heels.
4. High Leg Press
It’s no doubt that the leg press is probably already an integral part of your leg routine, but did you know that by shifting the positioning of your feet on the footplate you can change the emphasis to target the hams and of course the glutes. From the normal position – feet shoulder width apart, and centered on the platform, move your feet higher on the platform toward the top. This will shift your center of gravity toward the rear, which puts more stress on the hamstrings and the glutes.
5. Barbell Hip Thrust
Become popular as of late, this exercise is simple to do and provides a good isolation movement to target train the glutes! Simply load a barbell with an appropriate amount of weight, place on the upper thigh and lay with your back on a bench. Hold on to the barbell, lift with the hips and squeeze the glutes at the top of the exercise when your body is parallel with the floor.
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Be Fierce and Rule the World,