“It must be jelly, cause jam don’t shake like that.”
“I like big butts and I cannot lie.”
“She had dumps like a truck. Truck, truck, truck.”
Whether it be Sir Mix-A-Lot, Sisqo or Aristotle, society has always composed fine poetry over our ample derrières. Who doesn’t want a nice round toosh to grab on to?
Now, the last thing we are about at P360, and me personally as a woman, is for the message to be that your body must look one way or the other. I have seen a lot of hot babes in all shapes and sizes perform at a very high level. However, one common denominator to high performance is powerful glutes, be a man or a woman! And with strong, powerful glutes typically comes a butt that people can’t keep their hands off.
Why is it that you always see developed glutes on sprinters and football players? Because they typically train for power and type-II muscle fibers, in much of the same style we see at the gym on a daily basis when we do squats, deadlifts and other compound movements.
Aside from getting low on the dance floor, there are a few key movements that are going to target our butt muscles. When we talk about the butt, we are mainly talking about the glutes. There are three muscles that make up what we commonly refer to as “glutes”. The gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. In order to properly develop your glutes and get that booty poppin’, we need to focus on all three, as well as the hamstrings so our butt doesn’t sag.
If you have ever performed barbell lunges at the gym than this movement does not require much explanation. Chances are, a day or two later you were unable to sit down. Or walk. Or move. Lunges are the godfather of glute exercises as no other movement places more emphasis directly on the butt. When you press off the floor, glutes in both legs are firing like crazy to re-create momentum. That constant alternation provides no rest for the muscle and forces it to move the body from a position of constant poor leverage.
DB Lunges are great, as well.
Also, walking lunges in the mall or on a P360 bar crawl are fun to do, too.
The traditional deadlift is a bit better at developing the glutes than the sumo counterpart due to the sumo’s ever so slight shift to the adductors. While the emphasis is on the hamstrings a bit more than the glutes when pulling off the floor, our glutes are still very actively engaged every time we complete a rep (and for that matter, the sumo deadlift does also work the glutes since both deadlifts get to the same lock out position at the hips).
To get the most out of it, really “squeeze” your butt cheeks together at the top of every rep. This will serve an added bonus by also protecting your lower back.
Make sure to “feel” the tension in your hamstrings on every rep.
While back squats involve the quads more than any movement listed in this article, they are still an incredibly effective butt builder, as full range of motion will target the full length of the glutes when completing a rep and at the beginning of returning it to starting position.
Because of the vertical positioning of the upper body, front squats place a bit more emphasis on the quads, therefore are not quite as effective on the butt as back squats are.
Bodyweight squats are also effective. For advanced, sets of high rep will do and for beginners, this is the preferred way to start out.
Swings work the glutes in a bit different manner than the other bigger, slower lifts previously mentioned. While deadlifts and squats work the glutes through load and full range of motion, swings work them through shorter, more explosive contraction. No movement has a faster contraction of the glutes than the Russian kettlebell swing (a side from bedroom activity, which should never be performed in a gym). And remember to cue the movement by thinking about aggressively squeezing the butt cheeks together on the upswing!
The benefit of the glute bridge is similar to the swing in that it relies on explosive contraction. Starting to see the connection, are ya? Training for performance and training for a nice toosh often end up the same when we are talking about big moving muscles like glutes.
You can perform these with just your bodyweight, a light plate on top of your hips or go as heavy as a weighted barbell with a few hundred pounds. This exercise requires maximal glute contraction to lift and hold the weight. You want to pause for a split second at the top of the rep to ensure you are contracting and holding.
Start with your feet firmly planted into the floor in sit-up position. Drive your hips upward using your glutes and at the top of each rep, squeeze your butt cheeks. Only elevate to full hip extension, don’t go beyond it or you will get spinal hyperextension and it won’t feel very nice.
Body weight glute bridges are a bonus in that you can do a few sets of ten from the comfort of your living room.
So there ya’ have it. A butt that is primed to perform but also looks lovely. Now you can go shake your money maker and thank us later.
Raechel Campbell is a USA Weightlifting coach at Performance360.