When I first started training my glutes regularly, I actually wasn't trying to grow my butt. I have some lower-back issues because I have scoliosis, and doing functional training on your glutes is a sure-fire way to reduce lower-back pain. Watching my booty get bigger and juicier each month was the very sweet cherry on top.
There are countless lower-body exercises out there that promise to give you a bodacious butt. But there's one in particular that's rightfully hailed the king of all glute exercises — and that's the hip thrust. It isolates the glutes much more than squats and lunges, and it forces you to really squeeze your butt at the top of the movement. Doing hip thrusts twice a week totally transformed my booty, and I saw a big difference when I switched my focus from squats to hip thrusts.
If you've never done hip thrusts before, just know it might take a little while to get used to the movement. When I work on hip thrusts with my clients, I always tell them that the first challenge is learning to really engage your glutes, rather than relying on your quads to drive the weight up. But when you finally train your body to feel that tension in your booty, you'll see a big difference. Here's how to do a hip thrust.
- Sitting on the floor with your legs extended, rest your back against a stable bench.
- Place a towel or shoulder cushion on the bar for comfort (optional). Roll the barbell over your thighs until the bar is directly above your hip joints.
- Brace your core. As you drive your heels into the ground, squeeze your glutes, lifting your hips up to full extension, meaning your hips are even with your knees.
- With control, lower back down to the ground.
- This is one rep.
- Do four sets of 12 reps.
You may have to experiment with what weight to use when you start doing this exercise. Make sure the last two reps are difficult to do, and if they're not, increase your weight. Here's an important mechanic to keep in mind: make sure you're keeping your hips slightly tucked throughout this movement, rather than sticking out your butt and hyperextending. This will encourage you to really squeeze your glutes and get the full range of motion.
Start doing hip thrusts once a week, and if that feels good, you can increase it to twice a week. If you feel like you need a pair of expert eyes, don't be afraid to ask a trainer at your gym for some help.