How to boost, lift and tone your butt (with not a squat in sight)
Who isn't looking to perkify their behind right now?
These are our top tips to help you pave your way to a lifted, toned and shapely bod booty.
You want to tone your butt, but those donkey kicks are taking you nowhere.
Read on to find out why it takes more than body weight glute exercises to tone your butt!
Barbell hip thrusts
Hip thrusts are fast becoming the go-to exercise to add significant muscle mass to the glutes!
Like squats and deadlifts, the hip thrust is a lower body compound exercise that recruits several leg muscles.
The unique thing about hip thrusts is that engagement of the glutes comes first (when executed well!), then engagement of the hamstrings and quadricep muscles.
There are several variations of a hip thrust - from banded body weight to single leg hip thrusts, to paused thrusts and more.
However, this is what happens when you add weight to the movement rather than performing a simple body weighted hip thrust: You cause far more damage to your muscle fibres than a body weighted hip thrust can achieve. And when repairing or replacing these damaged fibres, your body forms new muscle protein strands (myofibrils).
The myofibrils then increase in thickness aka muscle hypertrophy (growth)!
Hello, big booty!
Compound + accessory work combo
We recommend a big dose of compound lower body exercises (squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts) with another big dose of accessory work to match.
While the chunk of your lower body growth (and strength progression) will come from compound exercises, implementing a variety of accessory work will actually contribute to the progression of your compound lifts too.
Accessory work also allows you to target certain areas by shaping muscle. For example; calf raises.
Or in honour of this article, cable kickbacks and step-ups to tone your butt!
Another benefit to regular accessory work is the ability to prevent muscle imbalances.
Particularly with unilateral movements such as lunges which force one leg to work at a time. The majority of us will always have one leg more dominant than the other.
This is why unilateral work is so crucial is working to close the gap between these imbalances.
You may have heard the mind-muscle connection is the practice of focusing on the muscles being worked in an exercise, rather than going through the motions mindlessly.
While this theory relies on mental stamina for validity, there have been several studies proving that mind-muscle connection do improve your chances for muscle growth.
A study taken by the US National Library of Medicine concluded that:
with a study 18 men experienced in weight training, by focusing on the pectoralis (chest) muscle, the actvity of the muscle increased by 9%.
So with better focus on the glute muscle, this increases chances of myofibril tears to occur in the glutes, rather than a different unintended muscle.
The next time you train the booty, focus your energy into feeling your burn right in the glutes.
Activation is recommended by professionals not only in the weightlifting industry but above and beyond.
You wouldn't run a 200m sprint without warming up beforehand, so why dive straight into a heavy exercise without doing the same?
Activation can prevent some seriously damaging, yet seriously avoidable injuries.
Besides its usefulness in injury prevention, activation is one of the most effective ways you can ensure your booty is working before the workout has even started.
Glute activation is a form of warming-up the glutes which you can pinpoint further to the gluteus maximum, medius and minimus.
To shape your way to a well-rounded booty, we recommend activating each muscle and also implementing accessory work.
The Gluteus Maximus:
can be activated with body weight squats using our booty bands
The Gluteus Medius:
can be activated performing banded clamshells or using the abductor machine at the gym.
The Gluteus Minimus:
can be activated performing banded kickbacks. Learn how to do these with our booty bands >
Many modern-day gym goers today suffer from inactive glutes. This is due to underusing these muscles through desk jobs and minimal physical activity throughout the day!
You may not think you need it... But by setting aside a few minutes prior to your booty session, you can train with peace of mind knowing you're recruiting your glute muscles. Not just your quads and hamstrings!
Are you ready to tone your butt?
Our #bodsquad community hates and loves how much we prescribe hip thrusts!
Join us today.