When working out your glutes, it’s easy to fall into a routine. Although there’s nothing wrong with relying on a few go-to moves, you can always take them to the next level to increase both the burn and the fun. If you’re sick of basic moves, introduce these variations into your workout. Listen to your body and adjust accordingly, based on your fitness level.
For any butt workout, you’ll want to start with bridges. They are a great way to warm up and get your gluteus muscles activated, which will allow you to get the most out of your booty workouts. For a basic bridge, (A) start on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat in front of you. (B) Walk your heels as close to your butt as you can get them and flatten out your spine so there is no space between your back and the floor. (C) Squeeze your butt cheeks and lift your hips into the air and then lower back down, ensuring your entire back touches back down.
Follow steps A through C from above and complete eight reps before holding your hips on top and completing eight little pulses, in which you move up and down only about an inch, squeezing your butt every time you hit the top. These little pulses are perfect to activate your glutes and get them used to squeezing. Perform these before doing bigger exercises like squats and lunges to really burn them out.
Rise onto your toes and walk your feet even closer to your butt. Follow steps A and B from the basic bridge, but instead of touching your back to the floor, go down until you’re about two inches above the ground before going back up to the top. Make sure you don’t arch your back — keep your core engaged to maintain a flat spine. If you’d like, you can also add the pulses into this variation.
Next to the squat, donkey kicks are the quintessential butt-kicking workout. (A) Start on all fours with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips and with a flat back. (B) Keeping your weight centered, move one leg up with your foot flexed while squeezing your glutes and keeping your hips square to the ground. You don’t have to get super high, just high enough that you feel it in your butt. (C) Bring your leg back down without letting your knee touch the ground. Complete three sets of eight on each side.
Instead of beginning with your knees on the ground like in the previous variation, hover them an inch above the ground. Complete steps A through C without letting your knees touch the ground. If you find this to be too difficult to perform for three sets, do your first and last set normally and add this variation in for the second set.
Perform steps A through C with a straight leg and a pointed toe, allowing your toe to tap down between reps. When you do lifts with a pointed toe, you’ll engage the hamstring rather than lifting with a flexed foot, which engages the glutes more. (A) Perform eight reps and then hold your leg on top. (B) With your hips steady and your toe pointed begin to bend and extend the leg at the knee, squeezing your heel into your butt before extending back out.
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