Who wants a round, perky butt? *raises hand* We all do, but glute exercises to help build that booty can be difficult, daunting and if you’re not well-versed in lifting heavy weights… scary! Why is a killer booty workout so important? Well, aside from making your butt perkier, rounder and perhaps even a little larger, weighted glute exercises are a basically a results factory for your entire body. Each time you squat or deadlift with the bar you’re targeting your glutes, but giving yourself a stronger core, more defined legs, and toned arms. Plus, you’re helping to ensure your knees and hips stay in proper alignment. What’s not to love about that?
Okay, so how does one get started? First, take a deep breath. We all start glute workouts the same way. The very beginning. A year-and-a-half ago I was there looking at the seriously toned girl at my gym deadlifting 200lbs hoping that could be me, but feeling more than inadequate. I spent months laying the groundwork with good glute work to raise that booty up and now I’m very proud to say I can deadlift almost as much as her. I’ve managed to deadlift 190lbs so far which I honestly never thought that would be possible two years ago. How did I do it? Working my way up s-l-o-w-l-y from beginner-friendly exercises which are comprised of resistance work with a resistance band (grab one on Amazon if you don’t have one) and Pilates-inspired moves to get those muscles and brain ready for the more advanced stuff. Today, I’m excited to share the tried and true exercises that made my workout regimen (and my glutes) more well-rounded.
Resistance-band Deep Squats and Side Steps
The resistance squat helps to activate the IT band and external rotators. Focusing on the muscles and fibers increases the neuro-muscular connection which will help maintain a proper form when doing weighted squats. Always remember: you do not want to let the knees pass the toes and maintain a 90-degree angle. For the side steps, stay in the squat position with the band below the knees or at the ankles. Staying low, take one step to the right and back, then one step to the left and back for one rep.
Butt Kick Back and Bridge Hip Thrusts
A butt kickback has the added benefit of targeting your hamstrings too. Start on all fours with a band around your feet. Extend your right foot behind you, keeping the band straight, and lower for 1 rep. Do this without the band for a modification (don’t worry, it will still torch your glutes). As for bridge hip thrusts, these are great to do to a Pussy Cat Doll’s song–just trust me. It’s a thing. From bridge position with the band places around your legs below your knees, simply lift and lower your hips. To make it more difficult you can hold a weight at your chest and/or place shoulders on an incline to increase the range of motion.
Bridge with Leg Lift
Get in to bridge position on your shoulders and feet and extend one leg straight into the air reaching for the sky. Lower and lift your leg for one rep. Being in bride pose has so many benefits outside of toning your glutes, so don’t be afraid to use it to help you get your blood flowing or to alleviate stress.
Stabilize yourself on something – a wall or tree will do. With the band around both legs (at about ankle-height) kick back your left leg keeping band taut and return to a standing position for one rep. Note: you can bring each out to the side to target either side of your glutes as well!