Guest Article by Fitness Expert and Triathlete Ben Greenfield
Maybe you have super skinny legs and don’t like your flat backside. Maybe you want your butt to look better in jeans or a swimsuit. Or perhaps you simply can’t seem to generate the muscular force you want while lifting weights, running or riding a bike.
Whether you’re pursuing performance or power, you’re about to learn how to get a better butt, what your butt muscles actually do, good butt muscle exercises, and a simple 4-step solution to get your glutes firing.
Why You Need A Better Butt
A common imbalance (even among athletes) is a weak butt. This is a result of a combination of a “sitting” profession that keeps the butt muscles turned off all day long, followed by hitting the gym, running, cycling or doing any other form of exercise with those inactivated butt muscles.
When this happens, it creates three problems: 1) you lose the aesthetic appeal of having nice glutes; 2) you get low back pain as your pelvic joint overcompensates for a weak butt and 3) you can’t generate as much power as you should be able to generate with your hips and legs.
What Are The Butt Muscles?
Your butt is comprised of several muscles. The first is your “gluteus maximus”, which is one of the largest and strongest muscles in your body – starting at your hip and ending on your upper leg bone. The gluteus maximus extends and externally rotates your leg, also extends your trunk, and is mostly responsible for the “round” look you can get in your butt when you do exercises that trigger these motions.
The other two smaller butt muscles are the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. These muscles, which can become just as notoriously weak as the gluteus maximus, primarily work when you’re supporting your body on one leg, as you might do when you’re walking, running, climbing stairs or changing directions.
What Are Good Butt Muscle Exercises?
If you’ve ever been out on a tough, hilly hike, you’ve realized from your sore butt the next day just how much you utilize your glutes when you step, climb and change direction. By simulating these type of hiking movements when you train your butt in the gym, you can significantly improve your leg power, and also get a better butt. Here are three good butt exercises to get those mountain-goat glutes:
1) Step-Ups. Choose a bench or platform that is preferably at knee height or above. Place on leg up on the elevated surface and step-up, driving your opposite to your chest as you step. For added difficulty, place a barbell on your back or clutch a dumbbell to your chest. Do 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps for each leg.
2) Stair-Climber Strides. Get on a stair climber at the gym and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Put the machine on a relatively slow climb rate and climb 2-3 stairs at a time, focusing on pushing through the entire stepping motion. Perform 3-5 sets of 2-4 minutes, and recover between reps by working a different non-leg exercise (such as core, arms, etc.).
3) Kick-outs. There are several variations of the kick-out motion, but each involves you bending at the waist and kicking out behind you, preferably with your heel going higher than your low back. You can get in a crawl position and kick-out (easy version), use a kick-out machine at the gym, or attach a cable or elastic band to your leg and kick-out. Perform 3-5 sets of 10-20 kick-outs per leg.
4 Steps To Getting A Better Butt
So today, I show you a 4 step process to getting a stronger butt in 8 weeks:
Step 1: 4 sets of 25 bridges (shown below) every 2 days for 2 weeks
Step 2: 4 sets of 25 ball bridges (shown below) every 2 days for 2 weeks
Step 3: 2 sets of 25 ball bridges and 2 sets of 25 single leg bridges (shown below) for 2 weeks
Step 4: 2 sets of 25 ball single leg bridges and 2 sets of 25 single leg ball bridges (shown below) for 2 weeks
Once you’ve finished, move into maintenance mode: 2x/week do 2 sets of 25 single leg bridges and 2 sets of 25 single leg ball bridges.
And that’s it.
This will take about 10-15 minutes of your time, two times a week. You will be able to literally watch your butt transform, and feel significantly greater stability when you’re standing on one leg, stepping, changing direction, jumping, running or bicycling.
If you want to learn more about how to swim, bike and run lightning fast, but also have a nice body, then head over to Tri-Ripped for a brand new approach to training for the ultimate triathlon body.