You’re probably leaving a lot of strength and muscle gains on the table if you're not focusing on your backside.
You’ve probably heard of chest day, shoulder day, back day, and leg day but... glute day? You’re probably leaving a lot of strength and muscle gains on the table if you're not focusing on your backside.
And it’s likely that you’re suffering from saggy-ass syndrome and letting your parents and your pants down.
Guys, it’s time to learn from your female counterparts and start taking your butt training seriously.
The glutes are the biggest and strongest muscle in your body with the biggest potential to positively impact your metabolism.
Yep, that means less body fat and a better chance of seeing your abs. Plus, people who suffer from chronic lower back pain tend to have very poor glute development.
Building your butt and opening up your hips is critical to preventing or alleviating back pain.
The hips drive every key athletic movement. More developed glutes will help you squat and deadlift more, run faster, and jump higher.
(In the enduring words of Happy Gilmore’s legendary Chubbs Peterson: “It’s all in the hips, it’s all in the hips, it’s all in the hips.”)
We’ve teamed up with Bret “The Glute Guy” Contreras, Ph.D, to provide the top 10 exercises to build a better butt, bulletproof your back, and improve athletic (and sexual) performance.
Bret is the world’s leading expert in gluteal development and has helped men and women all over the planet turn a pancake ass into a ripe Georgia peach that’s fresh for the picking.
Today, we’ll start with his signature exercise, the barbell hip thrust.
Though bodyweight variations of this move — often referred to as a glute bridge — have been around forever, Bret is responsible for creating and popularizing this loaded version with your shoulders elevated.
What’s so unique about this movement? Elevating your shoulders creates a unique body angle that maximizes glute activation at peak hip extension.
That’s at the top of the movement where you want to create the most tension to build that booty.
Bret describes it as a “bench press for your butt” and he’s even done EMG muscle activation studies that have shown superior glute activation with the barbell hip thrust when compared to squats or deadlifts.
That’s not to say that you don’t still want to hit your squats and deads. In fact, Bret advocates all three lifts if your unique anatomy allows you to successfully perform them through a pain-free, full range of motion.
But it is to say, if you want to specifically focus on growing your glutes, there’s no better move to do so than the hip thrust.
Here’s how to do it:
Place a thick bar pad or squat sponge onto the barbell
Roll the bar over your thighs
Position the barbell right above your pubic bone
Set your feet underneath your knees so your legs form a 90-degree angle
Take a deep breath inhaling through your belly
Push your feet through the floor and drive your hips up into full extension
Hold for a count and squeeze your glutes and then lower in control
Tuck your chin
Crunch your abs
Keep your ribs and shoulders down
Bret recommends that beginners start with 3 sets of 20 reps with just their bodyweight.
From there, progress to doing the barbell version for 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps with 90 seconds of rest between sets.
If you don’t have a dedicated glute day each week, add this move to each lower body workout.
It’s a great movement to start a leg day with because it’s a low-skill, low-impact move that opens up your hip flexors and activates your glute and core muscles.
This is important because these muscles shut down if you’re the typical desk jockey who sits all day.
After discounting this exercise because of how strange it looks, I tried it one day and become an instant believer.
The next day my glutes were the most sore they had ever been from 5 sets of 10 reps using just 135-pounds. Over the course of the six months that followed, I built up to doing 5 reps at 625 pounds.
My glutes grew like never before.
My story is just one of countless others as Bret has spread his glute-building gospel all over the globe.
Bret himself can thrust over 800 pounds and has helped many female bikini competitors sculpt prize-winning cheeks that would make any thong proud.
Give this move a serious shot and you won’t be disappointed. As Bret always says: “The thrust is a must!”