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10 Best Butt Exercises for a Great Butt Workout

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource


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Are boring old squats and lunges the extent of your butt workout... if indeed you even have an organized plan to attack your drooping bottom line?

While there's nothing wrong with squats and lunges, you could be getting a lot more bang for your butt by using a more effective set of the best butt exercises. It's time to turn the other cheek and put your trust in the able hands of in-demand personal trainer Brad Schoenfeld. After all, the best-selling author of Look Great Naked (Prentice Hall Press) makes a living toning butts of all shapes and sizes.

Although they're super popular, squats and lunges do not earn top spots on Schoenfeld's list of the 10 best glute exercises.

“The quadriceps take over a much greater amount of stress in the movement,” he tells eDiets from his New York office. When one muscle takes away a lot of stress, its not going to maximally fatigue the other muscles like the glutes (a nicer name for your bottom). The glutes won't fatigue to the degree they should. This will reduce development of the muscle. In most cases, the quads fatigue before the glutes.

“It’s not that they are bad exercises. But you’re not going to get the development you want. When you’re looking to maximize the glutes, you need more isolated movements. With squats and lunges, you’re not really developing the gluteus medius and minimus. You’re going to shortchange the other gluteal muscles, which is going to result in sub par development.”

Beautiful Butt Schoenfeld says you should have a variety of exercises that work the butt from various angles and also tie in all three gluteal muscles, as well as the hamstrings. And forget doing massive supersets. If you can do more than 15 reps without muscle fatigue, its time to add more weight or resistance to the exercise.

“It’s not about doing 100 different floor kicks," Schoenfeld says. "Floor kicks are certainly a good butt exercise but you need to do them properly. You have to add sufficient weight. Doing 50 reps of an exercise is superfluous. It becomes an endurance activity at that point. You should be struggling by the last few reps.”

Perfect Schoenfeld’s picks for the best butt exercises and come spring you'll be ready to unveil a smaller, shapelier backside. And you may lose a few pounds in the process! Be sure to always rest 48 hours between workouts.

Butt Exercises

1. Stiff-Legged Deadlift: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grasp two dumbbells and let them hang in front of your body. Keeping your knees straight, slowly bend forward at the hips and lower the dumbbells until you feel an intense stretch in your hamstrings. Then, reverse direction, contracting your glutes as you rise upward to the starting position.

Barbell Good Morning 2. Good Morning: Begin by resting a barbell across your shoulders. Assume a shoulder-width stance and keep your lower back taut throughout the movement. Slowly bend forward at the hips until your body is roughly parallel with the floor. In a controlled fashion, slowly reverse direction, contracting your glutes as you raise your body up along the same path back to the start position.

3. Reverse Hyperextension: Begin by lying face down on a flat bench with your lower torso hanging off the end of the bench and your feet just short of touching the floor. Grasp the sides of the bench with both hands to support your body. Slowly raise your feet upward until they are just short of parallel with the ground, contracting your glutes at the top of the move. Then, reverse direction and return your legs to the start position.

Unilateral Hip Extension 4. Unilateral Hip Extension: Begin by placing your left knee on the bottom of an incline bench. Bend your elbows and place your forearms across the top of the bench so they support your body weight. Slowly raise your right leg as high as comfortably possible, keeping it straight throughout the move. Contract your glutes and then reverse direction, returning back to the start position. After performing the desired number of repetitions, repeat the process on your left.

5. Lying Abduction: Begin by lying down on your left side. Bend your left leg at a 90-degree angle and bring your left foot to rest underneath your right knee. Keeping your right leg straight, slowly raise it as high as possible. Contract your glutes and return to the start position. After finishing the desired number of repetitions, turn over and repeat the process on your left.

Standing Abduction 6. Standing Abduction: Begin by attaching an ankle weight to your right ankle. Stand with your feet together and grasp a sturdy, stationary object for support. Bring your right leg directly out to the side as far as comfortably possible. Contract your glutes and then slowly return the weight along the same path back to the start position. After finishing the desired number of repetitions, invert the process and repeat on the left.

7. Lying Leg Curl: Begin by lying face down on a leg curl machine, with your heels hooked underneath the roller pads. Keeping your thighs pressed to the machines surface, slowly curl your feet upward, stopping just short of touching your butt or as far as comfortably possible. Contract your hamstrings and then reverse direction, returning back to the start position.

8. Standing Leg Curl: Begin by attaching an ankle weight to your right ankle. Grasp onto a stationary object and slowly curl your right foot forward, stopping just short of touching your butt or as far as comfortably possible. Contract your right hamstring and then reverse direction, returning back to the start position. After performing the desired number of repetitions, repeat the process on your left.

9. Kneeling Abduction: Begin by kneeling on the ground, assuming an all fours position. Keeping your right leg bent, raise it to the side as high as comfortably possible. Contract your glutes and then slowly return the weight along the same path back to the start position. After finishing the desired number of repetitions, repeat the process on your left.

10. Floor Kick: Get into an all fours position, placing your palms on the floor to support your body weight. Keeping your left knee on the floor, straighten your right leg and extend it behind your body just short of touching the floor. Slowly raise your right leg as high as comfortably possible, keeping it straight throughout the move. Contract your glutes and then reverse direction, returning back the start position. After performing the desired number of repetitions, repeat the process on your left.

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