So you want to have a bigger, stronger, leaner, or in general “better” butt? (It's cool... we all do!)
Butt… (see what I did there?) do you have to do heavy squats get it?
The problem is, maybe they hurt your back or you feel pain in your knees or you just don’t know how to properly do them. We get it! Using the barbell can be intimidating.
For whatever reason, if you are unable or just don’t enjoy doing squats and deadlifts, don’t fret.
Since the beginning of time it seems like we have been taught that the best way to build your booty is to load your spine with obscene amounts of weight brace yourself and drop your body into a deep squat only to then struggle to maintain proper form as you stand back upright.
This is the only way for those #bootygainz, right?
It doesn’t have to be.
Contrary to popular belief the common back squat actually has very little glute activation at all. That’s rights, all this time that you’ve spent trying to build up your butt with high volume squats has actually been more beneficial to your thighs, strengthening your quads, hamstrings and stabilizing muscles around them.
This is not saying that the back squat is a bad exercise at all, it has many benefits to it. However, if your main goal is to build your butt then there are certainly more efficient ways to go about it…
With that being said, let me enlighten you on a few of my favorite exercises to incorporate into your next lower body routine that will activate those glute muscles more effectively… (insert peach emoji here!)
The Glute Bridge is a classic exercise that will not only activate the glutes but also stimulate the hamstrings significantly. To perform it properly, you should drive the movement through your heels to activate more of the glutes and hamstrings and only raise your hips/the bar to being parallel with the ground.
Common mistakes you will see with this exercise is individuals will lift their heels off the ground and push through their toes or overextend their back. This one is great because you can usually go pretty heavy with and really feel the burn!
Another great exercise to stimulate your glutes is the Banded Kick Back. This exercise can be done almost anywhere; all you need is a band and a stable place to mount it to. I personally like to tie it up around a bench so I can keep my upper body in a good position.
Keep one foot on the ground with the knee bent so that your in a quarter squat position and simultaneously extending the other leg straight back with the band resisting it. You are actually able to work both legs at the same time, you’ll feel the booty burn in the standing leg for sure! This exercise looks easy but don’t be fooled…
My last but definitely not least effective glute activation exercise for you is the Dumbbell Lateral Lunge. This exercise is a great variation of the common lunge because you’re moving in a different direction.
It’s not as common with lifting exercise, but you’ll be moving side-to-side instead of front and back… This side to side motion will stimulate the glute medius (just another muscle in your butt to think about) more than a regular lunge which in turn will not only create a stronger (and firmer!) butt, but also help with proper form, posture, and staying pain-free throughout your life.
To wrap it all up squats are not a bad exercise at all, lots of people love them and they have numerous benefits to your health and wellness. If you can’t do them, don’t like doing them or your goal is to focus more on growing your butt, not doing squats isn’t going to hold you back.
There are many other exercises that can isolate the glutes. These are just a few of my favorite substitutes.
Give these exercises a shot in your next lower body session and watch the peach grow!
P.S. Trying to build that booty or have other fitness goals your working on?
Schedule a free strategy session with at G+O Coach to create your plan of attack! Just click here!