The best butt workout for your glutes
Step aside squats; there are plenty of other butt workouts that are better for isolating the glutes. Don’t get us wrong, squats aren’t an inherently bad exercise. They are excellent for your quads, the front thigh muscles of your legs, and your back muscles, too. Squats improve the overall strength of the lower body, and the movement also allows you to maintain tension in your glute muscles. (Your glutes are three muscles that make up your butt: the gluteus minimus, gluteus medius, and gluteus maximus.)
But the classic squat move might present a few challenges and shortcomings, especially if your goal is to work on your butt. For some people, squats put too much stress on the knees and back. And to get the most glute activation out of a squat, you need to know how to squat correctly. Your butt must be lower than parallel with the floor – a range of motion not everyone can achieve. Squats focus on going up and down. In everyday life, however, we also move side to side. So, it’s important to target other muscles that are part of the glutes to move well.
Squats should just be one tool in your arsenal for glute growth. Here are other glute exercises that experts recommend implementing into your butt workouts.
Five different strength training experts say deadlifts are one of the best butt exercises. Plus, there are tons of different variations of this movement. Kelly Vargo, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and an instructor for the department of exercise and nutrition sciences at George Washington University, recommends a traditional deadlift. “This exercise is a home run for the posterior chain as it recruits the core, hamstring and glute muscles,” Vargo says.
How to do a deadlift:
- Start this exercise in a neutral position standing with feet together, core engaged, shoulders relaxed, and a slight bend in the knees.
- The next step is to hinge at the hips and begin to bend forward. It is important to keep the shoulders back, almost retracted to counteract the tendency to round the shoulders forward, which is harmful to the back. Slowly continue to bend forward, keeping the hands close to the front of the legs and pushing the hips backward. There should be tension building in the hamstrings.
- Continue to bend forward until your shoulders start to round or until you get to the floor. Slowly extend the body and hips back into a neutral position.
Kettlebell, dumbbell or barbell deadlifts
For more challenging butt workouts, add some weight to your favourite moves. Although squats and deadlifts may look similar, they target different muscles, according to personal trainer Henry Halse. “The deadlift involves your hips more because you’re lifting the weight off the ground and standing up with it,” Halse says. “The biggest hip muscles are your glutes.”
How to do a kettlebell, barbell, or dumbbell deadlift:
- Start with the weight on the ground between your feet. Stick your butt back and arch your lower back as you go down to grab it.
- Grab the weight with both hands and lift by driving through your heels.
- Then, stand up tall before lowering the weight back to the ground.