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The best butt exercises for strong and toned glutes

woman squatting with a kettlebell

Build your loot.

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The best butt building exercises do more than just make your butt look perky. They actually strengthen your entire back chain, including all the muscles at the back of your body, from your shoulders to your calves.

If you want a bigger butt, you can̵

7;t be afraid of that getting stronger. I promise you won’t bulk up.

What happens when your glutes get stronger is this: your butt looks rounder, perkier, and lifted. Most importantly, your lower body will become much more powerful and will assist you in all of your other physical pursuits.

Read more: How to Get Rid of Love Handles

Spot reduction is a myth, but spot growth is not

A young woman and man do lunges in a rooftop parking lot

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Where you lose fat on your body is entirely determined by your genetic predisposition – spot reduction is a total myth.

Spot growth is not, however. You can 100% build muscle in specific areas by isolating those muscle groups during your workouts.

This doesn’t necessarily mean just doing isolation exercises, but instead doing compound exercises that target the muscle group you want to grow. (In contrast to compound exercises, in which multiple joints move, isolation exercises involve movement at only one joint. An example of an isolation exercise is the bicep curl).

Build muscle takes time and dedication, but by doing the right thing exercises with the right form you are well on your way to a stronger rear.

The best exercises to get a bigger butt

The best exercises for your glutes all involve hip extension, extending your leg completely so that your hip flexors become longer and more open. If you can’t imagine this, get up and pull your heel toward your butt. The leg you are stretching has reached hip extension.

To achieve full hip extension, it is impossible not to compress your glutes. You will also find that achieving hip extension requires you to recruit your hamstrings, which, when muscular, add to the overall look of the toned back that people are looking for.

The five exercises below are some of the best for building and strengthening your glutes.

Barbell hip thrust

I firmly believe that there is no better way to train the glutes than barbell thrusts. In fact, a fitness professional has built his entire career around this exercise. When done correctly, hip thrust is the only compound exercise that targets your glutes to minimize muscle recruitment of the hamstrings and quads.

Try this: Perform body weight hip thrusts first. Practice keeping your back straight (avoid curving) and planting your heels firmly. Drive through your heels to push your hips up, using as little force from your quads and hamstrings as possible. You want this to come out of your glutes.

Romanian deadlift

This exercise emphasizes the hip hinge pattern and requires you to squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to return to the standing position. For this one, focus on lowering the barbell until you feel tension in your hamstrings, then squeeze your butt as hard as you can to get up.

Try this: Do three sets of five reps with a light weight to get used to the movement. Once you are comfortable, add some weight (as long as your back is not arched or rounded) and try a set of 10 reps.

Romanian single leg deadlift

Like the standard Romanian deadlift, the Romanian single leg deadlift benefits from the hip hinge. This version is more challenging because it requires more balance, but that challenge pays off: One-sided (single-sided) leg exercises force your muscles to work harder than when both sides contribute. You will likely feel this exercise in the lateral muscles of your buttocks (your gluteus medius).

Try this: If you’re not ready to balance on one foot just yet, hold on to something sturdy. Another option is to plant the toes of your back foot on the floor and take a staggered stance. You will still get the same stimulus, but you will not feel that crazy.

Reverse lunges

For foolproof butt DOMS (post-workout pain), add weighted reverse lunges to your workout. Reverse lunges work more on your glutes than forward lunges, thanks to the way you get back up – driving through the heels versus the forefoot.

Try this: Use a light or medium weight and do three sets of 10 reps on each leg. Once you are comfortable with the movement, increase the weight and reduce the reps to five on each leg. This should be challenging, but not so difficult that your shape crumbles.

Russian kettlebell swing

Another hip hinge movement, the kettlebell swing is a powerful and explosive exercise that targets the glutes. It may look like a shoulder exercise, but in reality your lower body should be pushing the kettlebell up. If your arms start to burn in front of your butt, you’re doing it wrong.

Try this: Practice the swing without a kettlebell in your hands. You feel strange at first, but it helps to know exactly what full hip extension feels like. When you feel your glutes working without a kettlebell, you are ready to add the weight.

Read more: Getting a great workout with a kettlebell

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.

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