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The Perfect Butt

This subject contains within it one of my pet peeves: people searching endlessly for the right exercise to build their butts.

The glutes are the biggest muscle group in the body and absolutely critical to your well being. If it is hard to find an exercise that really works yours, then something is wrong, unfortunately. That'd be like someone having a hard time finding an exercise that works their heart or something. It just shouldn't be that difficult. It happens to be the case for a lot of people out there though, and it just so happens that it is an easily resolvable issue for most of them. 

This brings me to my first point: make all of your leg exercises more glute dominant by plugging of some of your energy leaks.

I feel compelled to inform you that the primary reason the glutes are not developed in most people is because of inactivation which is the result of core instability and recipricol inhibition, which is when a muscle group is recieving less signal from the brain and nervous system because of a tight opposing muscle group(recipricol inhibition). This, not lack of good exercises, is the primary reason people walk around with no glutes. Both of those phenomena are caused by daily, unending sitting. Once you solve those two problems, your glutes should develop nicely.

I'm going to give you some good exercises further down, but first thing's first: get your butt firing so that all of your exercises become more glute dominant.

Doing a core stabilization exercise (plank) and stretching your quads and hip flexors just prior to doing any glute involved exercise will improve almost anyone’s glute activation. Try it, it works better than doing most other supposedly glute dominant exercises on their own…and that includes glute bridges, which are too hamstring dominant in most people anyway for all the aforementioned reasons. 

(you don't need to pull far forward, just tighten the glute hard on the rear leg)

Just for fun, do the stabilization exercise and the stretch prior to all of your sets and then feel your glutes get slowly destroyed one repetition at a time.

Now let's talk about exercises. Exercises are on a scale from most isolated to most compound (involving more than one muscle group). We call it the progression spectrum. The majority of people's problems boil down to the fact that they start too far towards the compound end of the spectrum and have to recruit help from other muscle groups to do the movements. The reason for that is that those movements are ususally the heavy ones. 

For ex: a deadlift becomes hamstring dominant because the glutes are not doing, or can't do, their jobs, or any number of leg exercises become quad dominant because of lack of glute activation.

Try this glute progression if you are a beginner. I usually do a significantly longer one with my clients, but this probably won't kill anyone. Train hard, but just do one exercise for glutes per workout, along with the protocol of a core exercise and stretching for the hip flexors and quads prior to every set. Start with the first exercise and do it 3 workouts in a row, increasing the number of repititions or weight every week, and do the same for all of the rest of the exercises.

Single legged glute bridge on floor

Single legged deadlift

Single legged squat

Lat Lunge

 On the way in

Trap Bar deadlift

Low bar BB squat

(correct grip)

You can do a million other exercises to build The Perfect Butt, but make sure you follow these simple rules:

  • Do Single leg work(the glute mede works up to 50% more on 1 leg than it does on two)
  • Do some abduction work(move the leg out to the side-Lat lunge, for example)
  • Get your exercises on a progression spectrum: do the most isolated exercises first, then gradually more compound(involving more than one muscle group).
  • Always do core training in combination with heavy glute work. The reason is that if you are going to hurt yourself working out, you are going to do it while doing leg work (or bench pressing). Make sure you have the stability to cover for your strength.

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