Glutes 102 – Building the base

You don’t need to push a huge amount of weight to gain some girth around those glutes.. You do however, need determination and time. (The right exercises and protein also help.)

Let’s get right into it! Yeah, I know! Squats = important! Yet contrary to what many people say, they are not the “end all, be all” of lower body movements. What do you do when you don’t have access to a barbell or weight? Let’s rewind even further! What do you do ~before~ you touch the bar, what exercises are you doing to cement in proper movement and prevent typical gym injuries?

Do you do a million bodyweight squats and hope for the best? You could. ohhhh I don’t recommend it.. I still think squats are important, but at this point it’s all been said about squats, don’t you think? I’d like to talk about some other options you have when it comes to building the big ol’ mountains on your rear.

I’ve made a list of my Top 5 favourite glute building movements, check it out below!

Barbell squat
In my opinion, this movement is definitely helpful in the journey to a giant tushy. However, it is not the most important and powerful movement you can do. If you don’t have access to the equipment, if you have knee, hip or low back pain, this movement may seem next to impossible.

These are my favourite! There are a ton of variations for this gem of an exercise. You can add bands, weight by dumbbell, barbell, you can even change the movement to fit your needs by adding a leg lift or hip abductions. This movement is a staple for most of the programs I make. Whether you’re working on recovering from injury or just trying to get stronger it’s got your back(side).

This one is also a fan fav because it doubles as a core strengthening movement that won’t irritate your back if done correctly. *Can anyone say herniated disc rehab?* (Contact your doctor before you try to do any of these if you have health issues though, don’t be insane. Lol!)

Bulgarian Split squats
The worst (read:best) exercise you’re probably not doing. These guys are amazing at strengthening your legs one at a time and in different ranges than a normal squat would. They also train balance, core strength and mobility! These are so KILLER they honestly don’t even need to be weighted when you first start doing them. The movement alone is such a challenge you will absolutely feel the fire under your bum.

Deadlifts are wonderful, and again, there are plenty of different versions to choose from to fit your needs! If you’re strictly looking for a pump around the cheeks, I suggest the sumo stance deadlift. The foot position engages the glutes a tad more than the standard deadlift and you have less chance of rounding your back to pull the bar if done correctly!

Stay tuned as I will likely write up a post all about deadlifts and the variations I like to include in training soon.

KB swings
I generally prefer to do standard / Russian kettle bell swings when I do include this exercise, I’m not a huge fan of American swings as I don’t see a ton of people with the range of motion and strength to do this movement safely. This is not to say I don’t like the movement, I think its fine – just not for everyone.

Disclaimers aside, I love this movement as it’s a gorgeous mash up of strength and cardio. You can switch up the way you’re standing slightly to do a split stance swing, or keep your feet in line to perform it in the standard way. When done properly its a great way to challenge yourself and burn the glutes AND lungs!

You may have noticed by now that I’ve added a lot of “when done properly…” in this article. This is because I am terrible at finding creative ways to say the same thing and it’s way too important to simply leave out! All of these movements are beautiful in their own way, but if you do them lazily you will hurt yourself. Thats just a fact.

Be sure your always engaging your core, your breathing properly and your driving through your heels and really trying to mentally engage the glutes! When doing glute exercises, a lot of the movement it about hip extention – but you need to use that core and prevent yourself from hyper-extending. This means, when you’re pressing your hips through and engaging your bum, you’re not pushing them past your shoulder/knee height and adding stress to your lower back!

Do you do these movements? Do you have questions about these movements or thoughts on my list? Maybe you disagree with something I put on here and you want to discuss it? Let me know!!! Email and let’s talk about it! You can also throw a comment below, or message me on IG @jennmoves.

All for now my bootylicious friends,

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