“Does my bum look big in this? Is my bum too flabby? I have too much cellulite!” is echoed throughout the world regularly. And thus, many women are focused on getting their derrière in tip top shape when training…
Unfortunately there is some serious confusion on which exercises do exactly that (Just a side note leg back kicks simply just don’t kick it). Here is our top 3 for an amazing butt:
The deadlift is quite possibly the most important movement you can do after the squat in terms of functional strength and it’s certainly no wimp in Gluteus Maximus development either!
Top tips for the deadlift:
1 Make sure your glutes are activating correctly before performing your active sets. The common problem is that the Glutes have been laying dormant so to speak and so other muscles of the Quadriceps and Hamstrings will try to compensate.
2 At no point throughout the lift should you completely relax your Glutes. Keep them engaged and use them as the prime muscle to drive the lift through the full range of motion.
The squat is not only an amazing way to drive results straight to conditioning your bum but it is a necessary skill for survival and reduction of possible back pain in the future.
Top tips for the squat:
1 As with the deadlift, make sure the glutes remain active throughout the lift.
2 There is a lot of talk about the depth of your squat. The truth is, it is an individual decision. Living with todays lifestyle can seriously hamper your ROM (range of motion) and you will need to address any problems in this area before challenging conditioning.
The lunge and it’s variations are an excellent conditioner for the Glutes. Not only do they provide flexibility and full ROM but there are many variations like static lunges, multi direction lunges and so on. I recommend walking lunges to start.
Top tips for lunging:
1 Watch the knees! Make sure the knees travel in line with the middle two toes. Deviation from this can cause discomfort, pain and damage.
2 Drive through the heel. If your heel comes off the floor, it means you’re trying to compensate with your calf. The body will always try to find an easier way and if your Glutes, Hamstrings and Quads are getting tired, this normally happens.
You need a decent resistance to condition your bum (because of the higher number of type 2 fibres) and choosing exercises that challenge the nervous system and muscle development is essential. Endless long duration cardio and very high reps are not the best answer.
Rupert Hambly Health and Performance team