Perhaps one of the most common complaints on a physique that I get from a new client is their booty.
The butt, or the gluteal region if you like more scientific jargon, is the human body’s strongest extensor group. This means that your backside does the most work to get you up from a seated position, or from being folded over at the pelvis.
However strong this region may be, it is prone to getting weaker as we age and as we remain seated at our desks at work. This weakening is what’s causing it to look a little less perky, but don’t worry… if you follow this simple exercise routine twice a week for at least 6 weeks, you’ll notice a remarkable improvement in strength and appearance of that booty!RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
The Perky Booty Routine!
Prior to the start of this programme be sure to get a 5-10 minute warm-up in; 5 minute jog and dynamic stretching (think walking lunges and monster walks).
1) Squat/ Barbell Back Squat: 5 sets of 8 – 12 repetitions, heavy resistance
First and foremost is the squat, the absolute best booty lift! The squat is a leg exercise where you drop your hips as low as possible while simultaneously pushing your hips back as far back as you can while keeping your balance. For best technique your feet should be shoulder width apart with your toes out slightly. In this position, drop your hips into a low-posterior direction while keeping your torso and shoulders up and erect.
As you drop down, emphasis should be made on abducting, pulling your knees out to the side, as you stick your butt back into “the bucket”. Further emphasis should be made on keeping as much of your weight transferred through your heels, NOT YOUR TOES! You may lose balance if you haven’t done a proper squat, so definitely try without extra weight at first.
The fact is that your glutes do not activate to full potential unless you break that point. Another common fault is that a lot of people come up on their toes or use a wedge under their heels to keep full foot contact. Sufficed that you don’t have any anatomical abnormalities, the hip abduction that you’re supposed to perform as you squat down should help to force your hips back with your feet flat.
You shouldn’t feel any discomfort or pain if you squat properly, if you do – see your local fitness professional for assistance with your technique.
2) Romanian Deadlift (RDL): 5 sets of 10 – 15 repetitions. Moderate resistance
The RDL is the second best booty lift. This technique can be performed with any form of free-weight, heavier weights will require more grip strength so pick your weight mindful of your own limits. This lift starts with your feet roughly shoulder width apart and parallel, weights will be in your hands just out from your waist.
Hinge at your hips while keeping your knees slightly bent, forcing your butt back as you fold over. During this hinge keep your shoulders back and your chest up, maintaining a nice rigid posture with your spine. Activate your lats and just keep your arms hanging with the pull of gravity.
The tricky part is your way back up to vertical. The motion for this is actually centered on rolling the pelvis into a neutral position roughly halfway back to your start position, also known as a posterior roll. You’ll know if you’re doing this correctly if you feel two things…
1) you’ll feel your glutes tighten fully as you get all the way to standing
2) you’ll feel your core activate just above the front of your hips
A lot of people do this lift by pulling up with their back, and if you do it incorrectly you’ll feel tightness in your lower erector muscles which go along the spine. This isn’t necessarily bad, however it negates the load that you want to place on the glutes and also raises the chances that you’ll develop hyper-lordosis of your lower spin,which may make your back tight. Again – see a trainer if you need some help.
This lift is extremely similar to the RDLs that we performed earlier, however this technique isolates the glutes more due to an increased angle of resistance. First find an adjustable height universal cable machine in your gym, find a rope attachment while you’re at it. You’re going to set the height of the cable pulley to the lowest on the machine, and you’re going to set the resistance to something light (10kg) in order to practice technique first.
Grab the rope attachment, step over it so that you’re straddling the cable… facing away from the machine and walk out. At this initial position, your hands should be just in front of your groin. Fold over, with your knees relatively straight, from this position so that your arms go between your thighs.
Keep your chest up and your back straight just like the RDLs, hinging over until you back is roughly parallel with the ground. Again, the way back is the trickiest. Similar to the RDL, this requires a pelvic roll halfway up in order to maximize the glutes.
You’ll notice that the cable will try to pull you back when you get to a heavier weight, fight that pull by digging in and squeezing those leg muscles for stability. If you feel it more in your back, reduce the weight a bit and focus on that roll, your butt should be burning during this lift, not your low back.
4) High Box Lateral Step-up: 8 sets of 10 repetitions per leg. Body weight or light resistance.
This is a true barn-burner, especially if you did all of the prior lifts correctly! Using a Plyo or Step box, stand sideways to the box with one foot on and one foot off the box. The height of the box should be just high enough so that your hip is at least parallel to the ground, you want your hip to be as flexed as possible. Focus on a point right in front of you and drive with as much force into the box as you can, put all of your energy through your heel, not your toe.
Complete one set of 10 reps, then switch sides to punish both glutes.
When doing this lift, be sure to drive through your heel, not your toes. By keeping the pressure through the heel, you’ll utilize your posterior chain throughout the motion. Any “toe-loading” will activate your quads more and will put undue pressure through your knee, which may be painful. Use a mirror for help in maintaining a nice stacked posture of all of your joints over each other.
If it seems too hard, or if you’re using your downward leg to drive as well, try pulling the downward side’s foot up into dorsiflexion, this will force your upward leg to do more work. On the contrary, if it’s too easy, grab a hold of a free weight or drive off of the box in order to get airborne, turning this into a plyometric exercise.
5) Glute Bridge w/ Weight: 5 sets of 15 repetitions. Body weight to moderate resistance.
You’re almost done, keep it up! Lay down on the floor on your back with your knees bent to 90 degrees and your feet roughly shoulder width apart. Drive up with your hips and bridge so that your thighs and torso are in phase, meaning that they are in a nice straight line.
Pause at the top of each rep and make sure you activate your core for the entirety of this lift. If you want to turn it up a notch, situate some form of free-weight over your hips as you perform these. Be sure to keep your core tight and squeeze those buns.
Connect here with Watchfit Expert Robert Bunnell