Kim Kardashian, Kylie Minogue, Jen Selter, J.Lo... just some of the world's most talked about asses! Everyone seems to want a "squat butt" these days, but personally I think there are so many other glute exercises that work just as well and it's about time they got some of the limelight. Don't get me wrong, squats are great but doing the same thing over and over will get a bit boring after a while. I'm sharing some of my favourite glute exercises to hopefully inspire others to try out some new moves in the gym. Obviously I'm no expert, so these are just a few things that seem to be working for me...
Please excuse my gym's dirty mirror...
Squats - The infamous squat. I couldn't not mention it could I? There's so many variations of squats you could probably do a different version every day to be fair. Use a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebell, nothing at all... Narrow stance, wide stance, feet turned out... Goblet squat, squat and raise, squat jumps... Squat down as low as you can, keeping your back straight, bum back, head up and knees behind your toes. Concentrate on putting all your weight onto your heels - this will help you keep proper form and comfortable knees!
Romanian Deadlifts - My favourite! Holding dumbbells or a barbell, bend forward from the waist, looking straight ahead to help keep your back straight. Bend your knees slightly but focus on pushing your bum back, then drive yourself back up and squeeze your glutes at the top.
Glute Extensions (Donkey Kicks) - Get down on all fours into a high plank position. Raise one knee up towards your chest, squeezing your abs, and then kick back and raise your leg high. You should feel your glutes as you push your leg upwards! Do 10 with the left leg, then 10 with the right! If you're struggling, drop your knees to the ground. If not, use ankle weights or resistance bands to increase the intensity of the exercise.
Leg Curls (With a Swiss Ball) - You can use the leg curl machine if you want, but I prefer to use a swiss ball. Lie on your back, legs straight, both feet on the swiss ball. Slowly curl your legs towards your bum to bring the ball in closer, and then push it away with you feet, raising your waist up away from the floor and squeezing your glutes at the same time. Repeat, keeping your core tight and not letting your ass touch the floor!
Walking Lunges - Ouch. Again you can use any type of weight; a pair of dumbells held at your sides or a barbell behind your neck. We just use the weight plates at circuits! Carrying your weights, lunge forward with one leg, and lower your back knee towards the ground - as low as you can. Rise back up and then repeat with the other leg so you are "walking" forwards, from one end of the room to the other. (Or as far as you can without pissing anyone off!) If your weights are heavy enough you should feel your glutes tighten as you raise up into the next lunge.
Bridges - Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms by your side to steady yourself. Raise your hips so you thrust forward and (as always) squeeze those glutes! Lower yourself back to the ground, without actually touching the floor and repeat. The closer your feet are to your bum, the harder the exercise. For extra resistance you could hold a barbell across your hips or even hold a kettlebell in front of your chest and push it upwards when you raise your hips!