Whether you like the gym or prefer the comfort of your own home, these are four exercise moves you can do to get your back side on track. I have recently added a couple of these moves to my routine and I am so excited to share them with you!
First, a quick anatomy lesson. In case you are unaware, your rear is made up of three main muscles: The Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, & Gluteus Minimus. To get the best shape it is important to work all three muscles. Here are some pictures I found showing you where they are & what they look like.
Now that you know what you are working with…
Here are four moves to get them in top shape.
1. Butt Lift (Glute Bridge)
A-MA-ZING! If you are not already doing these, you should be. Word of advice, if you are new to doing glute bridges take it easy… the first time I tried them I was a little over zealous and needles to say could not walk for two days. So start slow, but definitely do them!
- Lie flat on your back with your hands at your side and your knees bent.
- Your feet should be shoulder width apart. (this is your starting position)
- Pushing mainly through your heels, Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight. (breath out as you lift)
- Slowly lower back to your starting position (breathe in)
- Repeat! (8-12 reps, 3-4 sets and work up from there)
Variations: One leg out at a time or Swaying Bridge
2. Plie Dumbell Squat
Love these! Can’t get enough! You can do this one with or without weight.
- Hold a weight (dumbbell/kettlebell/gallon of water/small child) in front of you and stand straight up.
- Place your legs wider than shoulder width apart and bend your knees just a bit.
- Also, make sure your toes are pointing outward… you are now in the starting position!
- Slowly bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. (breathe in & watch your knees)
- Push through your heel and squeeze your glutes to bring you back to the starting position (breath out & maintain a tall posture)
- Repeat! (Depending on how heavy your weight is I would do 8-12 reps for 3-4 sets)
Important: To protect your knees and back, make sure your knees do not extend past your toes and keep your back straight through out the motion.
3. Glute Kickback
These are great not only for your glutes but for strengthening your lower back!
- Using a mat if you have one, get down on all fours, keeping your back straight (this will be your starting position)
- Breath out and lift your right leg by contract your glutes. Make sure to keep your back straight.
- Hold at the top for a second before slowly releasing back to your starting position (breath in)
- Repeat! (8-12 reps with each leg for 3-4 sets and work up from there)
Variation: Can be done with leg weights or a dumbbell behind the knee for added resistance.
4. Barbell Hip Thrust
This is a newer move for me. As will tall these exercises they can be modified and done either at the gym or at home. I do these on the edge of my bed if I am working out at home.
- Begin sitting on / hovering over the floor with a bench (or bed) directly behind you.
- If you are at the gym, use a loaded barbell over your legs (may want to use a pad or a fatter bar for comfort).
- If you are at home, you can use any kind of weight… a medicine ball / dumbbells / or again a small child.
- Make sure to place the weight directly above your hips, and lean back against the bench / bed so your shoulder blades are near the top of it.
- Pushing through your feet and again squeezing your glutes, extending your hips vertically through the weight.
- Your body should be supported by your shoulder blades and feet.
- Extend as far as possible, then reverse the motion to return to your starting position.
- Repeat! (Again, depending on how heavy your weight is I would do 8-12 reps for 3-4 sets)
Hope you will add a couple of these moves to your next glute workout.
If you have a favorite that is not listed here, please share it in the comments below!