Nice bum, where ya from? Great pick up line, right? I’ve written about training butts several times in the past on this blog. Namely here and here. This time I share what I personally think works best. Now, there is arguably better ways to do it from an athletic perspective “butt” in this case I am more so talking about appearance. In other words, if you want to look good, do this and it won’t hurt to do as an athlete either.
1. Single Leg Deadlifts
I personally have a love hate relationship with Single Leg Deadlifts. They’re aren’t easy but they make my glutes sore so I know they work great. I often say that soreness is not a good indicator of great training but in this case I know the target area is being trained effectively. If you love bilateral barbell deadlifts like I do I assure you that single leg deadlifts can be sufficiently loaded too. I prefer doing them with kettlebells because they allow you to pull from the floor as a actual deadlift should be done. I find that people learning this movement like to make it a top down exercise but it should really be from the ground up. Pick ‘em up and set ‘em down.
2. Hip Thrusts
If I had to pick one simple exercise that really makes you “feel the burn” it would be the hip thrust. If you don’t know what that is, it’s just a simple bridge with your shoulders elevated on something about the height of a typical bench. It can be loaded with chains or even a barbell across your hips “butt” when done for high reps or on a single leg without load, it can still be extremely effective.
3. Kettlebell Swings
The swing is great for so many things including building a great posterior. It can be done for power, strength and conditioning, higher reps or low, either way, it’s great hip extension. Just do them. Enough said.
4. Stretch your Hip Flexors and Rectus Femoris
Generally speaking most people sit too much and could use some mobilization and stretching on the front side. I have found that fewer women than men have tight hip flexors but it can’t hurt to open up the front side of the hips if only as part of your warm up, in an effort to get better back side activation. Being tight on the front side is like trying to drive with your parking break on. So in other words, if you’re looking to show off the power of that engine you’ve got, release that brake.
5. Eat Foods With Actual Nutritional Value
I feel like this shouldn’t need to be said but if you are looking to improve the look of your backside then the food you decide to put into your body will play a factor. I won’t go on some sort of rant of what to eat or what trendy diet is the best. Just try and eat things with minimal ingredients. You know, ingredients like chicken or broccoli and apple.
If you like completely unscientific and borderline useless tests for seeing how big your butt is, just slap two bumper plates onto a barbell and lay down on the floor. Laughing should ensue immediately as you roll the bar over your body to see if you fit under it. Here’s mine.
– Mike Baltren