Growing Gorgeous Glutes

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Growing Gorgeous Glutes

When it comes to women’s fitness goals, I have found the common denominator. 99% of the time in consultations I get some variation of “I want a beautiful backside.”


It’s whats “trending,” what’s “hot” right now. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, MTV, reality TV you name it, the girls are all trying to have the tiny waist, big badunk look. Even the fitness models focus on growing their glutes while shrinking their waists. Once upon a time having a tiny butt was all the rage. Being tall and super slim was in. But now, big and toned booties are bangin’.

Another thing I see regularly as a fitness professional is ladies doing thousands of squats to try to get that big muscular booty. Squats definitely work the glutes, there’s no doubt about that! But in order to truly target the glutes for maximal growth, the following three exercises are far more beneficial!

The Weighted Hip Thrust

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The primary motion in this exercise is the pelvic thrust. So things can definitely feel a bit awkward when first trying this exercise. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you aren’t doing it right! You want to set yourself up to where the barbell, smith machine bar, or the dumbbell is resting on your hips. Feet should be shoulder width, making a 90-degree angle with your lower and upper leg at the top of the motion. You will position your back on to a bench from right below the shoulder blades and up. hold the weight right outside the hips. Next, you will bridge the hips up, squeezing the glutes, relax and repeat. This motion directly targets the glute max. You can try changing the tempo to increase or decrease time under tension. A lighter, faster and high paced modality will deliver more fat burning results whereas a heavier, lower rep and slower paced movement will increase strength and size.

Ball Laying Banded Glute Raise

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This exercise challenges your core, stabilizers and the glutes all at the same time, emphasis on the glutes! In this motion, start by putting an infinity band around the ankles and position yourself on top of the ball. Make sure your legs are outstretched behind you and stable and all of the joints in the wrists, arms and shoulders are stacked. Keeping the core engaged, you are going to raise a straight leg heel up to the sky with the foot flexed, squeezing the booty and pointing your toes toward the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat. You will complete the desired amount of reps on each leg. I suggest 15-20 slow paced reps on each side for 3-5 sets!

Roman Chair Glute Raise

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On a roman chair, position yourself so that your calves are pressed up against the pad, legs are straight and hips are off of the front pads. You will start by dropping down to the floor. Then, squeezing the glutes and hamstrings, you will raise up, fully contracting and then return to the starting position. There are a few key factors in this lift. First, make sure that you maintain engagement of the entire posterior chain (aka the back side of your body). Always maintain a flat back and never allow yourself to round or hunch. And finally, engage the core! This one is important because a relaxed core will put too much pressure on the lower back muscles. Repeat for 10-20 reps and 3-5 sets.

Essentially, getting those booty gains comes from isolating the lengthening and shortening movements of the glutes themselves as much as possible. Most every leg exercise is going to use the quads or hamstrings or both as well, but focusing on pushing through the heels and mentally connecting with the muscle you are targeting will allow for maximal gains. Doing a good warm up to activate the buns and loosen the hips before lifting will make all of the difference! Focus on your form and keep your core engaged to avoid injury and always practice safe sets.