In this article I’m going to try to please the male readers, female readers, and trainers. If you’re simply looking for a good butt workout then skip down to the bottom of this article. But if you want some substance and you really want to understand the glutes, then you should probably read the entire article.
Okay ladies, you say you want a nice butt. You like to talk about how you’re going to get your butt into top shape. You get envious when you see a woman with a perfect butt prancing around. Well here’s your opportunity! I’m going to give you the ultimate program to improve the appearance of your butt. Best of all, it’s free!
The World’s Best or Worst Relationship Advice Ever…
I’ve trained enough women in my time as a personal trainer to know that most of them would do just about anything to get their man to pay more attention to them. I’m far from a relationship expert but here’s one thing that women could stand to learn about men. We are all very shallow. Have you ever witnessed the crap that an attractive woman with a perfect booty can get away with? She can tell stupid jokes and every guy will laugh. She can nag at her boyfriend and he’ll cave in and comply with her every demand. She’ll get job opportunities that she doesn’t deserve. In essence, she can get away with practically murder. Why do guys act like this? Because the mere thought of getting to see her naked turns us into robots!
Want to know the single best thing you can do to get your man’s attention? Work overtime on your booty! I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying it’s a fact of life. Even women have a hard time keeping their eyes off of a woman with a perfect booty even if they have no lesbian tendencies! It’s almost hypnotic. As a matter of fact, I bet this article alone would cause most men’s’ testosterone levels to rise 30% just from looking at the pictures. Sexual attraction is biochemical; don’t ever underestimate the role of hormones when dealing with relationships.
Admit It! It’s Hard to Look Away!
If you can transform your booty into something like this your man will become your puppet. How do I know this? At my Scottsdale studio called Lifts several guys came to my gym to personally thank me for making their girl’s butt look so good. My female clients would tell me that their men were turning into perverts, groping them constantly throughout the night. One of my clients said she had to start pretending she was asleep to avoid her husband’s persistent sexual advances.
The good thing for women is that men are pretty lenient with booty size as long as there’s good shape. Seriously, as long as your booty is round, firm, and perky it can be small like that of Jessica Alba or Anna Kournikova or big like that of Kim Kardashian or Vida Guerra. Throughout this article analyze the booties on the various women. There exists one common theme; they’re all round and delicious.
Men, I realize that many of you want a nice butt but you’re not allowed to admit it. It’s just not manly to work the glutes. So I’ll do you a favor and word everything in this article toward women. Just know that the same advice that applies to them applies to you.
Okay men, let’s fantasize for a minute. Envision a world full of Reef bikini models scouring the Earth. Everywhere you go you see scantily clad women running around showing off their perfect booties.
Of course this vision is impossible but right now I’d estimate that less than one out of a hundred women have butts like the girls in the picture above. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say that 1% of woman have a rockin’ behind. What if we could triple that and take it to 3%? That’s three times the number of great booties out there roaming the Earth. How can we turn this dream into reality?
Let’s make a pact. Anytime you hear a woman complain about her butt, send them to this article. Email the link to as many ladies as you know. If you’re a trainer, start implementing the methods herein and teach your clients how to perform the newer exercises you’ll see later in the article. We have to at least try!
Perhaps you are in a relationships. I don’t care how much you love your girlfriend or wife, you know you’d be a little more “into” her if she looked like this:
Women Don’t Listen to Their Boyfriends!
Unfortunately, from my experience women don’t listen to their boyfriends and husbands. You can tell them exactly what to do and they won’t follow your advice. Whether it’s the whole, “Never a prophet in your own land” phenomenon, or they simply feel more confident when they pay for the advice or hear it on television, you probably have a hard time getting through to them. So make me out to be the bad guy. Direct them to this article. Whenever they complain about their butts or vow to “get their butt in shape,” you tell them that the Glute Guy has laid out a perfect plan for them.
Personal trainers, would you like to become the best trainer in your area at sculpting booties? Would you like more clients?
At the risk of sounding cocky I believe that I’m the most effective trainer in the world at delivering quick and dramatic results for individuals who wish to make their butts look better. In this article, I’m going to reveal my secrets. I’m going to hand them over to you so you can be a “master butt sculptor” and a “glute guru.” But first allow me to go off on a tangent.
When I had my Scottsdale studio, I was turning out nice booties like they were on an assembly line. Here’s an example of one of my client’s results over the course of year:
I took a risk and chose to not renew my lease in hopes that I could become a popular fitness writer so I could spread my methods. The way I saw it, as a personal trainer I could only affect dozens of clients. However, as a writer I could “train the trainers” and affect literally thousands of clients. If I can get you aboard, the number of people I affect can raise exponentially.
Abandon Your Ideals and Get the Job Done!
I know a lot of strength coaches and personal trainers. Some of the coaches work for teams while some have their own facilities. Out of all of the coaches I know who own their own facilities, all of them take on personal training clients. Sure, they train a lot of athletes, but they also train regular folks. Most regular personal training clients come to trainers for body sculpting purposes! It is our job to deliver to them the results they want. If a male client wants big biceps but you’re so anti-bodybuilding that you won’t prescribe him a single biceps-isolation exercise, or if a female client wants a nice butt but you won’t prescribe her a single glute isolation exercise then you are doing them a disservice. The reason why celebrity trainers get popular is often due to the fact that they’re the best at listening to what their clients want and designing a program specific to those needs. Most coaches and trainers are too hung up on their own ideals to maximize their effectiveness as trainers.
Should We Train Women Like Athletes or Bodybuilders?
This question comes up a lot. The answer is neither. Bodybuilding exercises such as leg press, hack squats, leg extensions, and leg curls serve no purpose in a woman’s routine. These exercises act on the quads and hamstrings, not the glutes. The quickest way to get a great booty is to focus on glute exercises. Every lower body exercise a woman performs should hit the glutes hard. When you do this, the quads and hamstrings get plenty of stimulation but the glutes grown in proportion to the legs. You don’t want the quads and hams to grow while the glutes remain dormant. This will make the glutes look even worse as they will be overshadowed. However, certain bodybuilding methods are advisable when training women. More on this later in the article.
Furthermore, when you train athletes you get them as strong and powerful as possible regardless of the physique adaptations that are imposed. Sport-specific exercises like power cleans can build up a woman’s traps too much. Even squats and deadlifts if progressed upon over and over and over can get a woman’s quads and backs too big. However, many sport-specific methods are advisable when training women.
What Caused Me to Write this Article?
To be honest, I try really hard to write about all kinds of fitness-related topics. I don’t want to “type-cast” myself into a trainer who only specializes in the glutes. Truthfully, I’m very interested in all the body’s muscles, joints, and systems. I love sport-specific training, max-sprint speed development, bodybuilding, powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, strongman, MMA, and physical therapy. About the only thing I’m not that interested in is endurance events and any sport or event where the hips don’t move through much of a range of motion. However, I can’t help but write about the glutes when I keep seeing room for improvement in the fitness industry.
In the past week alone I’ve stumbled upon several online forms of media which enticed me to write this article.
The Brazilian Butt Lift Infomercial
First, while I was working on a TNation article late Monday night (sometimes I keep the television on in the background just so I feel like a normal human being who stays connected with the outside world), an infomercial caught my eye. It was called The Brazilian Butt-Lift. A Brazilian trainer named Leandro Carvalho who is referred to as “the supermodel’s secret to a perfect butt” has supposedly created the ultimate plan to sculpt a woman’s butt to perfection.
Although Leandro has also been referred to as the “Butt Master,” and “Tush Technician,” I could create a much better program. I’m not saying the program would sell better (to make an infomercial work there are lots of things to consider. Infomercial companies usually end up making fun-looking dvd’s with a lot of dancing, including bands for resistance because they’re easy to ship, a simple diet plan, and a whole lotta shady science), but I am saying that the program would work better.
Here are some things I noticed throughout the infomercial:
1. There was a ton of lumbar compensation during the various exercises by the models. You want the glutes performing the movements; not the spinal erectors!
2. There were misleading graphics and information inferring that the glute medius and glute minimus add to the lower-outer shape of the glutes. This isn’t true; they’re smaller muscles that located on the upper-outer glutes.
3. I didn’t see a single bridging movement being performed. Bridging movements reign supreme for glute activation and constant tension.
4. The program included tons of lunging and squatting movements despite the creator’s claim that they aren’t optimal because they bulk up the quads. I’m not saying lunging and squatting movements are bad; I’m just saying that it was a blatant contradiction.
5. There were misleading before/after photos involving women who in the after-pics would excessively arch their low backs and anteriorly tilt their pelvises to create the illusion that the shape of their butts improved when in actuality they simply altered their postures.
6. Lots of fun dancing that may burn a lot of fat but won’t do much for butt sculpting
7. There appears to be a lack of progression schemes. People start at totally different levels. One person may be able to start off squatting against resistance while another may take months to build up the strength, mobility, and stability to be able to perform a bodyweight full squat.
8. No weights for more advanced customers. Sure, you can get a great a great butt with just bodyweight exercises, but weights will allow you to get there much quicker.
This is Bullshit! I Guess Nowadays You can Completely Fabricate Anatomy
This is More Realistic
1) Leandro spoke about how the butt needs variety and can’t be sculpted optimally by just hitting it from the same angles over and over. Amen! Hallelujah! This is what I’ve been preaching for the past several years! Unfortunately I wasn’t popular until several months ago so no one heard me shouting.
Many of these things are to be expected from an infomercial (especially a Beach Body infomercial; they have it down to an exact science).
Earlier this week I was listening to a podcast featuring Valerie Waters. She mentioned that she is known in Hollywood for her ability to get women’s butts looking very good in a very short period of time. While I have no doubt that she does a great job at sculpting booties, I am positive that she could do better. I hope that she reads this blog so she can become even better at what she does.
In this article, Valerie lists her top 3 butt sculpting moves as the Valslide reverse lunge, high step up, and standing donkey kick. Obviously Valerie is going to be a bit biased since she is the inventor of Valslides.
While these are excellent glute exercises, there are even better ones for sculpting the butt. For the record, I like the Valslide reverse lunge. Some individuals see more glute activation by using Valslides than they do with a regular reverse lunge due to the ability to better control the eccentric component of the exercise. However, in advanced exercisers it flip-flops. For example, I’m advanced and I see less activation when I use Valslides in comparison to reverse lunges with the same amount of resistance because I am able to more effectively use the hip flexor muscles of my rear leg to contribute to the lift which decreases the contribution required from the glutes of the forward leg. And while high step ups are amazing and often underrated for glute development, donkey kicks have much room for improvement as they are way too easy for most individuals. We need to set the bar high if we want to better the world’s glutes!
The other day I saw that Adam Campbell from Men’s Health Magazine made an appearance on The Dr. Oz Show. He did an excellent job as he gave the thumbs down to the thighmaster and butt-toning shoes. He also did a great job recommending Valslide lunges and glute bridges. However, many individuals find regular glute bridges too easy. Beginners start out at very different levels. Some can’t do a single bodyweight bilateral glute bridge while activating their glutes significantly, while others can bust out a hundred repetitions. In fact, I once trained a stripper who busted out a hundred bodyweight glute bridges during her warm-up in her very first session with me. I told her to do 20 and she cranked out 100 in probably 50 seconds. It was crazy! Obviously her job and “extra-curricular activities” gave her a head-start on typical clients but you have to inform people how to progress in an exercise or you’ll turn the advanced clients off. I sure wish Adam would have told the audience that they can place a dumbbell in their lap for extra resistance once they are able to perform 20 repetitions.
I’m obviously very advanced in glute strength but I can do ten barbell glute bridges with 495 lbs. A bodyweight glute bridge gets my mean and peak glute activation to around 20% and 35% mean and peak activity depending on the exact location of the electrodes. A barbell glute bridge gets my mean and peak glute activation to around 65% and 140% respectively. Without the use of resistance, many individuals get short-changed.
What a perfect opportunity to spread the word about the barbell glute bridge – on National television! Oh well, it will have to wait for another day.
Valerie Waters “Exercises for a Great Butt” Video
Just recently I came across this video by Valerie Waters. Again, lots of Valslide lunging. That’s one good movement, what about recommending some bridging or quadruped movements? We need multiple angles!
Mike Boyle Interview With Valerie Waters: “How to Get Your Best Butt”
How To Get Your Best Butt! Episode #19 from valerie waters on Vimeo.
A couple of weeks ago I saw this interview with Mike Boyle. While I certainly agree with much of what Mike is saying, I wish he would have said to people, “learn how to do single leg hip lifts.” Single leg hip lifts are an amazing exercise that Mike programs for his athletes (I call them single leg hip thrusts). He even figured out a crafty way to use band resistance for them. Mike’s been recommending bridging movements for many, many years now.
Remember, we need lots of angles for optimum glute development. Squats, lunges, deadlifts, single leg hip lifts, etc. In my opinion Mike missed out on a great opportunity by intentionally “dumbing it down” for the audience. Too many experts and gurus do this these days which is unfortunate. Don’t avoid speaking about a great exercise just because the audience may not know what it is. Instead, take the time to teach them the exercise or at least mention it. People are pretty resourceful these days. If they don’t know of an exercise many will look it up on Youtube or Google or it will plant a seed so that next time they hear about it they will be sure to look it up!
Physiologically, How do we Transform a Booty from Pathetic to Perfect?
Most women don’t understand what needs to take place in order to go from flab to fab in the glute region. Their butts are often flabby and wide so all they can think about is making their butts smaller. This makes them want to starve themselves and perform a ton of cardio. While they certainly need to whittle off the fat, they usually don’t have any muscle or shape underneath their fat so they would be left with nothing but a flat, saggy butt after the fat had melted off. In order to have a nice looking butt, a woman must have muscular shape to give it the sought-after round, perky, and lifted appearance. You want glute depth, not width. It’s not easy to build glute muscle so they must train hard and intelligently. The good news is that exercises that work the glutes are difficult so they significantly raise the metabolism. A simple booty workout is actually a form of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) so the workout will burn fat off of the butt while simultaneously adding muscular shape. This is how you get a nice butt! Look at all the pictures in this article. Nearly all of the girls have more glute muscle than a typical woman.
Benefits of Using Different Exercises to Hit Different Angles
Let’s say that all a woman ever does for her glutes is squats and lunges. Unfortunately squats and lunges always hit the quads really well but for some individuals they don’t hit the glutes very hard. Some individuals don’t use good form and therefore fail to hit the glutes during squats and lunges, and some individuals simply have unique anthropometries (body-types) which prevents their glutes from getting maximally targeted from squats and lunges even if they’re using great form. To obtain the best butt possible, we need to hit the glutes from a variety of angles with a plethora of exercises. Look closely at Ronnie Coleman’s glute fibers. When analyzing the fibers, it makes sense that they’d need a variety of exercises to maximize their potential.
Special Glute Experiment – More on Exercise Variety for the Glutes
A few months ago I decided to conduct a unique experiment where I placed electrodes on the glute medius, upper glute max, mid glute max, and lower glute max and performed a variety of hip extension, hip abduction, and hip external rotation movements while measuring the electromyography (EMG) activity in the various muscle parts. Here is a chart that shows the results of the experiment (the top number is the mean or average activation according to maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) while the bottom number is the peak or highest activation according to MVC):
Based on this experiment, here are the top three exercises in terms of mean and peak activity for each muscle part:
Mean: Quadruped Hip Circle, Band Standing External Rotation, Barbell Hip Thrust
Peak: Quadruped Hip Circle, Quadruped Band Donkey Kick, Quadruped Hip Extension
Upper Glute Maximus
Mean: Barbell Hip Thrust, Band Skorcher Hip Thrust, Quadruped Hip Circle
Peak: Quadruped Hip Extension, Barbell Hip Thrust, Bird Dog
Mid Glute Maximus
Mean: Band Standing Hip External Rotation, Band Skorcher Hip Thrust, Barbell Hip Thrust
Peak: Band Standing Hip External Rotation, Band Skorcher Hip Thrust, Cable Standing Hip External Rotation
Lower Glute Maximus
Mean: Deadlift, Band Hip Thrust, Band Standing Hip External Rotation
Peak: Single Leg Hip Thrust, Shoulder Elevated Single Leg Hip Thrust, Deadlift
As you can see, the results were pretty shocking. My findings indicate that the glutes show varying levels of activation in the different regions of the muscles depending on the exercise performed. Of course, we already knew that the various heads of the delts, pecs, and traps have varying roles and levels of activation depending on the exercise, but this study indicates that the same is true regarding the glutes and possibly more muscle groups.
This experiment has huge implications for sport-specific training and figure training as maximum glute activation appears to be region-specific and requires a variety of movement patterns to optimize activation across the entire spectrum of muscle fibers.
This experiment also lends validity to “low-load activation training” as the glutes seemed to be highly activated by certain simple bodyweight movements such as quadruped hip extensions, single leg hip thrusts, bird dogs, and quadruped hip circles.
It also has huge implications for research as it shows that data will be considerably different depending on where the electrodes are placed on the glutes for EMG experiments.
What in the Hell is the Skorcher?
The Skorcher is a machine I invented to be able to perform hip thrusts with extra range of motion and band resistance. I am not having it manufactured so you will not be able to perform Skorcher hip thrusts. Just perform barbell hip thrusts instead. Here’s a video of yours truly performing band Skorcher hip thrusts while rockin’ out to Miley Cyrus!
What Rep-Range is Best for the Glutes?
Most texts state that the gluteus maximus are a 60-68% slow-twitch muscle. This lends support to going light for high reps. However, an overwhelming amount of journal studies show that the glutes don’t activate much in simple tasks such as walking or standing from a seated position. This lends support to going heavy and/or explosive for lower reps. Anecdotally, bodybuilders have realized that the lower body tends to respond best to higher rep ranges. However, I believe that we should utilize low reps, medium reps, and high reps when trying to build the glutes and shape the butt.
Just consider the exercises themselves. Some exercises lend themselves better to heavy weight for lower reps such as squats and deadlifts. Some exercises lend themselves well to medium reps such as hip thrusts, pull throughs, and walking lunges. And some exercises lend themselves well to high reps such as side lying abductions and side lying clams.
Going Too Heavy and Going Too Light
Let’s say I prescribe a client really heavy pull-throughs or walking lunges. In the case of the pull-through, they’ll stumble and lose their balance and fail to work their glutes. If you go too light you won’t work the glutes either so there’s a happy medium that must be reached with pull-throughs. The same goes with walking lunges. Go too heavy and you won’t maintain forward momentum. It’ll look like a static lunge followed by a farmer’s walk. Again, a happy medium must be reached to work the glutes the best, form can’t be compromised but there needs to be ample tension on the glutes. Here are examples that illustrate this concept:
Benefits of Doing Squatting/Lunging Movements
These movements work the quads really well and they work the glutes best in a position of deep stretch. Because of the eccentric activity in the stretch position, they lead to the highest levels of glute soreness and inflammation. This muscular damage is a critical part of hypertrophy adaptations. Several journal studies support this last statement. Many folks believe that the squat or lunge is the best glute exercise. Maybe they’re right; maybe they’re wrong.
Benefits of Doing Deadlift/Good Morning Movements/Back Extension/Reverse Hyper Movements
These movements work the hamstrings really well and they move the hips through a full range of motion while hitting the glutes pretty hard. Many folks believe that the deadlift is the best glute exercise. I’ve heard some say that the back extension is the best. Maybe they’re right; maybe they’re wrong.
Benefits of Doing Bridging/Kickback Movements
These movements keep the knees bent while they move the hips through a full range of motion. Because of the bent knees which decreases hamstring contribution and increases glute contribution and the emphasis on end-range contraction, they lead to the highest levels of cramping or “pump.” This pump is a critical part of hypertrophy adaptations as well. Several journal studies support this concept despite what many naysayers believe. Most of my clients believe that barbell glute bridges, hip thrusts and pendulum quadruped hip extensions are the best glute exercises due to the fact that they “feel” their glutes working most in these movements. Maybe they’re right; maybe they’re wrong. We don’t know enough about hypertrophy to know for sure.
Benefits of Doing Abduction/External Rotation Movements
Abduction exercises often hit the upper glutes really hard while external rotation movements hit the entire glutes really well. In fact, as you can see in the chart above the band external rotation is an amazing glute exercise…most likely the best glute isolation movement in existence. It’s difficult to master, but if you can do it, you’re glutes will respond very favorably! Doing these movements first in a routine often allows the client to feel their glutes working more on subsequent exercises which is a huge plus.
Why Most Personal Trainers Fail
Many personal trainers fail at delivering great glutes to their clients because of several reasons. First, they don’t adequately understand the concept of progressions. Most start their clients off with too much weight or too difficult a variation to handle. Second, they don’t understand corrective exercise. Many clients can’t automatically perform squats or hip thrusts. They need to improve their ankle, hip, and thoracic mobility, they need to learn how to activate their glutes, they need to improve their flexibility in various muscles, etc. You can’t just throw a bar on someone’s back and tell them to squat. Start out with bodyweight, progress or regress as needed and use corrective strategies to get the clients moving properly.
Why Most Strength Coaches Fail
Some strength coaches fail at delivering great glutes to their clients because they are too rigid in their beliefs to the point where they are anti-bodybuilding. Female personal training clients often come to coaches/trainers to improve their physique. This requires the coaches to step out of the box and borrow some techniques from the bodybuilding world. Get over it! Some of these methods flat out work, and you’re not going to injure anyone as long as they use good form.
- Advanced Protocol
Ideally for each workout you would warm-up by completing a circuit consisting of drills from each of the following five categories. The screen would determine which drills and how much of each category should be performed prior to the workout. The warm-up should last around 10 minutes, so you’ll spend a couple of minutes on each category below:
1) Foam Rolling – This can inhibit pain and increase joint ROM
2) Static Stretching – In general, all of the muscles that act on the hip – from extensors to flexors, abductors to adductors, and external to internal rotators, need to be loosened up. Many find that stretching the psoas and rectus femoris seems to increase glute function.
3) Dynamic Mobility Drills – This ensures that joints like the ankles, hips, and thoracic spine can move sufficiently to allow for proper movement during exercise performance
4) Core Stability Drills – This ensures that you are able to brace the spine and move at the hips and and produce sound motor patterns
5) Glute Activation Drills – This ensures that your glutes are turning on and firing properly so you will use them during your strength workout
Warm-ups are for everyone; beginners and advanced. Nobody is too good for them. We all need to make it a habit of going through the motions of a proper warm-up so our muscles don’t tighten up and/or quit activating.
Ideally you would start at the most basic exercises and demonstrate proficiency before moving on to a more difficult variation. For example, you must demonstrate that you can squat and lunge with bodyweight before you hold onto dumbbells or place a barbell on your back. Before performing barbell hip thrusts, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency with bodyweight hip thrusts.
Start with simple bodyweight exercises like squats, static lunges, single leg reaching RDL’s, glute bridges, quadruped hip extensions, and side lying clams. Once your form is perfect and you feel the exercises working the right muscles and you are controlling the movement, move onto more difficult variations like bodyweight walking lunges, Bulgarian squats, single leg glute bridges, and bird dogs. Once you master those, finally you can move onto weighted movements and more advanced variations.
What if I Just Jump Right into the Advanced Protocol Even Though I’m not Ready for it?
You will not be able to use good form, you will most likely injure your low back or knees, and your glutes will not look any better than before. In fact, they’ll probably look worse since you won’t activate them much (so they won’t grow) but you’ll definitely activate all the synergists which pick up the slack for the weak glutes (erector spinae, hamstrings, quads, etc.). This means that the other muscles will grow but your glutes won’t so they’ll look even smaller and more pathetic. Go about things wisely and start at the bottom and move up gradually.
At last! This is what you’ve been waiting for. The advanced program! It is important that you’ve spent adequate time preparing your body to perform the following program and that you have the necessary levels of mobility & stability to perform each of the movement patterns correctly. Without futher ado, here’s what you’re going to do when the time is right:
1. Pick an Abduction/External Rotation Exercise and do 2 sets of 10-20 repetitions
Options: x-band walk, band standing abduction, band seated abduction, band/cable hip external rotation
* On these movements you must focus on “feeling” the glutes doing the work.
2. Pick a Quad-Dominant Hip Extension Exercise and do 3 sets of 6-10 repetitions
Options: full squat, box squat, front squat, Zercher squat, walking lunge, high step up, Bulgarian squat, pistol
3. Pick a Hip-Dominant Hip Extension Exercise and do 3 sets of 6-10 repetitions
Options: deadlift, sumo deadlift, trap bar deadlift, Romanian deadlift, rack pull, single leg RDL, good morning, back extension, reverse hyper
4. Pick a Bent-Leg Hip Extension Exercise and do 3 sets of 10-20 repetitions
Options: hip thrust, glute bridge, single leg hip thrust, pull through, pendulum quadruped hip extension
*On these movements you want shorter rest times and you want to try to force as much blood into the glutes as possible. Think constant tension and think “pump.” You should be waddling like a duck after these movements.
How do I Perform Some of these Movements?
Here are some videos that can help you out. I took some videos of my niece who trains with me once per week for the past six months or so. If a 13 year old girl can do it, so can you!
Here is my niece doing 3 pause-squats with 95 lbs.
Here is my niece doing 5 deadlifts with 115 lbs.
Bottom-Up Single Leg Hip Thrust
Here’s my niece doing a new variation I just made up; I call it a bottom-up single leg hip thrust:
Barbell Glute Bridge
Here’s my niece performing a barbell glute bridge with 95 lbs for 30 reps! (Ideally her knees would stay a little more stable):
Here’s an entire video I filmed showing how to do a proper hip thrust:
Band Hip External Rotation
Here I show how to do a proper band hip external rotation. Cables can be used for this exercise as well.
What if I Want to Do a Full-Body Workout, Not Just a Glute Workout?
No problem, just alternate between lower body and upper body movements and throw in a horizontal press (bench press, push up), vertical pull (chin up, pull up, pulldown), vertical press (military press, seated db military press), horizontal pull (one arm row, inverted row, seated row), and ab/core exercise (plank, side plank, Pallof press, ab wheel rollout, bodysaw, suitcase carry, landmine, cable chop, cable lift).
So one workout could look like this:
band hip external rotation
db military press
barbell glute bridge
one arm row
ab wheel rollout
If doing full body workouts just do two sets of each exercise.
What if I Want to Work My Butt Out at Home and Don’t Have any Equipment?
You can still get a great workout. Here are a bunch of great glute exercises you can do at home:
How Often Should I Work Out?
My niece is seeing great results training with me one day per week (but she also plays volleyball throughout the week). Most people see the best results when they hit their glutes three times per week. Really strong people like myself see better results when we hit the glutes twice per week. I’ve trained some clients five days per week and hit their glutes hard every day with great results.
Bottom line – The number of days isn’t too important and depends on the training split, the training load and intensiveness, how advanced the lifter is, etc. I recommend 3 full body workouts per week or 4 upper/lower split workouts (meaning 2 upper body and 2 lower body workouts per week) for most women.
There you have it! That’s the secret to amazing glutes! Now spread the word so we can live in a world like this:
GREAT work Bret – enjoyed the read and the pictures – but seriously I am sure you are familiar with my hip problems and this info will be of great use to me. I need to be more creative with my efforts to get my left glute med back!
I am certainly aware Howard. You deserve a glute med. Take back what’s rightfully yours! And thanks for the mention on your recent blog by the way.
No worries buddy!
Now off to get my Glute Med back…
Another home run, Bret.
I was wondering, on the hip thrusts with the foot on the bench, why the bottom of the foot is on the edge of the bench instead of the heel being on top of the bench? Does it make a difference?
I’ve programmed both ways. It really doesn’t make that much of a difference. For sport-specific purposes I could argue either way; push through the entire foot for transfer of forces and biofeedback, or push through the heel to ensure optimal glute activation (which I’ve tested and is the same for me) and less quad activation (again, might not be too important for more advanced folks). Good question!
That was a great post. I think you are right about the Valslides – they really helped me do reverse lunges when originally I could not control the movement. I still use and enjoy them but by no means are they 100% of my workout. In Valerie’s defense, she does prescribe plenty of single leg rdl’s, x band walks, and other exercises listed in your advanced workout (minus #4 – bent leg hip extensions – unless donkey kicks count) in her workout programs vs say YouTube videos.
On a somewhat related note – I am so glad I finally figured out that your niece (the second fitness model you use in your videos) is only 13. You would laugh but I have been sitting here wondering “gee, I love how she looks – could I get that lean?” all the while thinking – something doesn’t seem quite right…and now I know – oh, of course she looks great – she’s 13!!!
I realize that the only difference between me and most trainers/coaches is that I prescribe heavy hip thrusts and glute bridges (and single leg hip thrusts and pendulum quadruped hip extensions). However, I believe that this is very significant for maximum hypertrophy. I get my clients very strong at them.
Regarding my niece, that’s really funny! I thought it was obvious how young she looks.
Thanks for the comment!
Great article, as always. Two questions I have are:
1) “Sport-specific exercises like power cleans can build up a woman’s traps too much. Even squats and deadlifts if progressed upon over and over and over can get a woman’s quads and backs too big.”
Have you ever actually had a female client whose quads or back got “too big”? I have always seen the “I don’t want to get too big” line as an excuse females use not to train hard. It’s hard enough for a guy to get “too big”, I would think for a natural female it would be impossible. But you are suggesting that its actually a realistic concern for normal females?
2) Why were you listening to Miley Cyrus?
Thanks for the help.
1) Yes sir. At one point at my studio Lifts I was training 55 clients. Around 40 were women. I would say that 8 or so (so around 20%) had the propensity to get too big. I had two female clients whose traps could get huge like a man so I had to eliminate any deadlifts, upright rows, lateral raises, etc. I had a few whose quads started getting to big after they’d been training with me for around a six months to a year and their full squat strength reached the 135-185 lb mark. And I had a couple of female clients who did not like how muscular their backs were getting. I believe that Jessica Biel has this issue; she can get too muscular if she trains for strength. I’ve argued with trainers about this point but I think that these trainer’s saving grace is that they aren’t very good at getting people strong, so it’s not an issue for them.
2) It was on the radio while my workout partner filmed the video. I do not have a Miley Cyrus CD, promise!
Thanks for the comment!
The main lesson here –and honestly, I barely skimmed the article– is that really if you’re a man you should just have vigorous sex as much as possible. Why do hip thrusts on your own when you can do hip thrusts into a girl? Plus if you’re having fun you can do them from a lot of different angles, thus hitting not only gluteus maximus but also glute medius and the other one the name of which I forget. Lots of sex = hyooge glutes! Ript and tond! Plus you get to cum a lot! It’s a win-win.
TLDR, as mentioned in the article, the glutes don’t do much work with “simple” tasks as they are a large, metabolically costly muscle group so the body likes to use the hamstrings instead to spare energy. So with normal thrusting in sex (missionary position, doggy style, etc.) you won’t see much glute activation. Even if you were on bottom you wouldn’t see much glute activation as it’s only a bodyweight exercise. Now, if you were with a 300 lb woman and she was resting her bodyweight on top of you, that’s a different story….but I think that would be more like a “lose-win” situation instead of a “win-win.” 🙂
Great article! I had been holding off on picking up your eBook and finally made the purchase last night. I look forward to reading it in the coming months.
A short story you’ll appreciate:
Earlier this month, I had put together my own workout and threw in the barbell glute bridges to hit the glutes. During a training session, my PT put me on a standing leg curl cable machine with the intention of hitting my glutes by using a straight-leg kick back motion. Needless to say, all I felt were my hamstrings getting hit hard and nothing in the glutes. He jumped on the machine and had no problem with feeling it in his glutes. We experimented a bit more, but it just wasn’t working. I brought up the barbell glute bridge exercise and asked if he wanted to try it. We grabbed a barbell and he noticed how it really targeted the glutes; I wouldn’t be surprised to see him use it with other clients.
Awesome! My point exactly. By becoming a writer I can tell you about it, then you teach your trainer, then hopefully he uses it to train his clients. So I positively affect many more folks! Thanks!
I think you took my comment a little too far with the whole “I know the only thing that sets me apart is my angle on the hip thrust.” Not at all.
Seriously, I read a lot of fitness blogs and you have a fresh perspective. I like how analytical you are, and I like your questioning approach.
This is the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK7zIUBH6Z0
This is your niece right? If not, my mistake. If so, in this video she looks at least 18, in all the others 13 for sure. Maybe I was wrong and this is different person, its kind of hard to tell….
Thanks again! I know that that’s not what you were implying…I just know that some trainers/coaches/lifters might read my stuff and say to themselves, “I already do squat/lunge movements, I already do deadlift/good morning/back extension movements, what’s so different about this guy’s approach?” They may not realize that the bent leg hip dominant movements are huge for glute shaping! In every workout I choose usually a glute bridge or a hip thrust and hammer them hard.
The video you linked is of my girlfriend and she’s 29 years old! That’s the only video of her I’ve posted. All the others are of my niece who is 13 years old. Glad we cleared that up!
I am relieved too. Good! Well she looks great!
If anyone asks how you are different just say “I have electrodes, do you have electrodes?”
Haha! Good point.
wow great pictures, oh good article too.
Great article! Exactly what I’ve been looking for! I guess I was still in the breast line when God was handing out nice butts. I think my self confidence has been suboptimal every since I realized I was flat back there (7th grade)! As an adult, I even contemplated plastic surgery (was seriously considering brazilian butt augmentation). However, didn’t want to pay thousands of dollars for something that may not deliver the results I was hoping for! I recently started working out with a personal trainer twice during the week, and I work out on my own on the weekend. Basically a total body workout including core stuff each session. How do I incorporate the basic glute training into my current workout scheme? How many sets/reps should I perform of the basic exercises that you recommend? Why is the Skorcher not manufactured? I would love to have one at home (don’t like putting my feet on the furniture!) Does your e-book have different glute workout plans? Thanks.
I’ve trained several women with your same disposition and although you may never get a “bubble butt,” you can and will greatly improve the shape of your butt with intelligent, hard, and consistent training.
Remember, it’s not just about going through the motions and doing a butt-workout. You must journal your workouts and do one more rep each week or add 5 lbs to the bar. It may take you a year, but you want to get to a point where you are squatting, deadlifting, and hip thrusting with at least 95 lbs for ten reps or more. You need to get to a point where walking lunges are so easy for you that you can do 100 of them.
It’s good that you have a personal trainer because he or she can make sure that you use good form each workout. I recommend that you email the link to this blog to your trainer. He or she can look at the template I created and go from there. There are a million different ways to set up a routine, but in general I like to do 6-10 reps with squats and deadlifts and 10-20 reps with lunges, step ups, bulgarian squats, back extensions, hip thrusts, reverse hypers, etc. Sometimes I’ll do 3 sets of each exercise but prescribe less total exercises, while other times I’ll do 2 sets of each exercise but prescribe more total exercises. Also, I adjust the workouts according to how my clients feel. So it’s hard to give you an exact program.
I’m not manufacturing the Skorcher because I don’t think people would buy it and I don’t want to waste my time and money if I’d just end up banging my head against the wall. My eBook does have different types of workouts included in the templates portion. Hope this helps!!!
I would buy it. You can custome build or please give us instructions on how to build our own.
Website is an inspiration! So many great ways to achieve fabulous glutes. Thanks for sharing 🙂
I am one such lass who ends up with bulky thighs and traps from traditional powerlifting movements.
My current fave bodyweight butt exercise is an ISO single leg, shoulders elevated glute bridge – holding for 5 seconds in 3 positions.
If not for picking up your glute training manual last year, I’d still be powerlifting in the gym. The glute ham raises & reverse hypers weren’t enough – I needed to take a whole new approach & your ebook helped me tremendously with this.
Thanks Jess! Glad to have helped, and glad you’re tinkering around with what I gave you to come up with even more good stuff!
OMG this is an amazing post! I havent even read it in detail, but I can tell it’s going to be a huge!! resource for me! Currently training for a show (bikini) and I am feeling really good and confident with everything…except my flat butt! This is going to help me hone in on the right areas! I have pics of me and my training plan on my site, under my Gym Workouts Tab. Anyway, thank you for this super comprehensive post! A reader of mine sent me over here after I posted about needing a bubble butt 🙂
Interesting article!! I I got great results in my lower body several months ago through spinning but due to an injury I had to take some time off and am just starting to get back into things. I will continue to spin but want to add more weekly weight training and building up my booty is my main goal.. The video you posted of the hip thrust and at home workout didn’t work could you re-post or send them to me? Or are there exercises that would better balance/complement the effects of spinning?
Thanks for your fresh and intelligent perspective!!
Sarah – spin won’t work your glutes much as the range of motion at the hips is limited. Spinning hammers the quads so I’d focus most of my strength training efforts on posterior chain exercises such as deadlifts, hip thrusts, etc. I don’t understand why the videos that I posted didn’t work; they’re on Youtube. Maybe try again. If they still don’t work go to my Youtube channel, you’ll find all my videos there (I have it linked on the links page on my blog). Thanks!
I came across your website when I was searching the web for exercises for the glutes. I have been recommending the glute bridge to the ladies who want to do some butt exercises at home. I also suggest they add some weight resistance as their conditioning improves. I going to add some abduction exercises given they do not have large upper glutes. Just following your comments. Your hip thrust is a great exercise. I will add using a couch with a firm seat to support the shoulders.
Your website contains a lot of useful information. I compete in ultra grand masters bodybuilding. I placed first in the 2009 NPC Excalibur. http://www.flexonline.com/09contests/09excalibur/men/ultra_grand_masters_60/jerry_bruton/index.html
I have a website I use to keep track of my body composition using the three sites skinfold method. It available for anyone to use once they sign up. The site stores a history of your measurements and provides a table of your body composition computed from your measurements. I would appreciate your comments on the website. The website address is http://www.lookbetterfit.com . I did all the website development. I am an accountant by profession.
Lookin’ great buddy! Thanks for the kind words, and glad you’ve found the site useful. Great work on your site, it’s definitely a great resource for folks. Keep up the good work!
This is great stuff! When you train your clients, how much does nutrition matter? (clean eating of course). I’ve read that it is impossible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. Did you recommend to your clients to eat a calorie surplus, or did results come about with consistent training?
It’s very important! The two go hand in hand. Any good trainer is multitalented – at program design, motivation, diet planning, holding clients accountable, etc. The better you are at stressing the importance of nutrition to your clients, the more results they’ll see and the better you’ll look as a trainer. A lot of trainers slack on the nutritional accountability end of things. It is possible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time but it’s easier for beginners, steriod users, or folks returning from a long layoff to be able to do this. However, if you’re accustomed to eating like crap and not training very hard, and you tighten up the ship with your diet and embark on a sound training program that includes some form of progressive overload, then you can indeed lose fat and build muscle simultaneously for a period of time. Hope that answers your question!
This is a really article and inspires me very much. The special training for the bottom is absolutely exactly what many search, especially of course women.
Hey Bret !!
Today I tried your work out and I had to come to say Thanks! my glutes were burning especially with paused squats, like on the sides, the other moves no so much but my form wasnt that good… I send the link to my trainer who is in vacation I hope she reads everything!! On my way to a bigger behind!!
I’ve recently started doing hip thrusts, so this video is enormously helpful.
I have two questions for you. First, you mention in the video that hip hyperextension ROM is greater with straight legs. Does this mean that for flexible individuals, some hip flexor stretching should be performed with the rear knee extended?
Second, do you have any advice on foot position during hip thrusts and bridges? For some reason, I find it easier to get my glutes working when my feet are a little wider than hip width and slightly flared (in something close to my front squat stance) than when they are in a neutral, hip-width position. Does it matter?
Keep up the good work- you’ve been a breath of fresh air over on T-Nation.
All the best
Rob – flexible people can usually remain flexible from strength training and limited stretching, so I don’t think you need to get creative for flexible folks. As for inflexible folks, I think that two different hip flexor stretches are needed – the standard hip flexor stretch in the lunge position where you focus on stretching the rear hip flexor while squeezing the rear glute, as well as the stretch in the Bulgarian squat position where you pull the heel of the rear leg toward your butt to stretch the rectus femoris. I wouldn’t worry about doing a stretch with straight legs. As far as foot position, for athletes I like to go a little narrower with feet pretty straight, but for general folks I tell them to do it however they feel the glutes working best. For most this means wider than hip width and a slight flare. Great questions!!! And thanks for the kind words.
Thank you very much for the reply. I’m guessing that the role of the glutes in hip external rotation/abduction/transverse abduction is the reason for the greater ease of activation with the wider stance.
Awesome and very thorough examination of glute protocals. It is like you have glutes in your blood!
What about race and genetics? My boyfriend is black and from Nigeria, West Africa. He, and the women from his country — in fact continent have amazing, defined, round bubble butts…. In fact some have booties thats so big, Kim Kardashian looks anorexia in comparison. The things is, they do not work out, ever, they were born that way. How come? How will I get my flat white girl butt to be like a black person from Africa?
Jenny, that is true. I wrote about this in my eBook. Obviously you can’t change your genetics and the Nigerian girls would never want to do hip thrusts for aesthetic purposes as their glutes are already too big. However, girls on the other side of the fence who have no booties (like you) need hip thrusts and glute bridges as without them they have no chance! To answer your question, the most important thing for you is to 1) make sure you have good hip flexor flexibility as without that your glutes just won’t fire properly, and 2) do barbell glute bridges and hip thrusts and get much stronger at them. It’s the increased strength that causes the hypertrophy.
Also some of it is not genetics but diet and general lifestyle.
Latinas are known for big buts BUT having lived in south america, it’s only the ones who constantly get out and about (and I don’t mean gym I mean sex, beach, walking to shop, young mothers running after their children and carrying them for blocks and blocks) and they eat A LOT. So their muscles from childhood never really atrophied due to a sedentary lifestyle, they have used them all their lives. Taking a sample from same demogra phic now there are huge amounts of flat bottomed latinas, especially in some younger generations, due to a sedentary lifestyle and lower calorie intake. Where I am from, women in my generation did not have huge butts, but nice curvaceous bodies which included nice perky butts, but then they grow and get sent into the kitchen becoming a lot more sedentary that figure disappeared. I apart from genetics I think its mostly dieting and sitting around (forgetting to how to use glutes for example when picking up objects of
That’s funny. I am not Nigerian but I have their genes and I do hip thrusts three times a week. And I am not alone lol pancake booty girls aren’t the only ones thrusting.
I am not sure if my butt has gotten bigger but it def. is higher, rounder and more muscular.
My ultimate goal is to have a video girl booty lol like Lais Deleon *bows*, but I need to lose the fat under my butt(without losing my butt) and add maybe half an inch more glute muscle.
Brilliant, I just cameback to take a second look. Not sure if I’m here for the info or the pics. Both winners. Many Thanks
There’s nothing wrong with coming back to look at pics!
Took me 10 mins to realise there was text in this blog post.
Haha! I worked very hard to find those pics!
First off, you’re a genius. Glute bridges are the only time in my life when I actually felt a burn in my butt and not just my lower back, hamstrings or quads.
My question is, I had a really tight/over compensating IT band and a weak left glute med and I was wondering what exercises can fix that, since I always seem to use my IT band when doing the exercises that should work the glute med. Thanks!
DJ – thanks for the kind words. Most good coaches/therapists would tell you to try to figure out why your IT band is tight and then try to fix it. You’re probably on the right path with the weak glute medius, but it’s not just about strengthening the glute medius, it’s also about incorporating that new strength into movement patterns and ingraining good form. Some research shows that certain stretches and mobility drills such as crossover “curtzy” lunges can be helpful as well. Whether foam rolling/tiger tail SMR is useful is debatable; many who find relief might just be hitting trigger points in the vastus lateralis. When you do specific glute medius exercises, make sure your TFL isn’t taking over. The TFL is a “tensor” of the fascia latae which is often the culprit behind a tight IT band. So get strong glutes in general, make sure you’re movement quality is up to snuff, and do SMR/stretches. Best of luck!
I appreciate the useful information. It was very informative for the public and especially for trainers. I would also appreciate it if you would remove the superfluous pictures of nearly naked women. I didn’t visit your site to look at porn. Call me prude. I believe that you would be more successful if you would focus on the task at hand instead of distracting the male readers with the beautiful shapes of women.
The most naked person on this page is Ronnie Coleman.
Releigh, sorry I’ve offended you. I wouldn’t consider you “prude.” I realize that this article especially contained tons of half-naked pics. My agenda was to get it out there and have people recommend it to others, which worked. This post was very successful in that regard. I will definitely consider what you’ve said as I know that for every few readers I gain from these tactics, I probably lose one. Thanks for your input.
Where do you get those nice thick barbell pads? I tried these without one and it didn’t feel too good. Love the blog and all your work on T nation.
Brenn – Hampton makes them. You can get them off the Hampton website or off of Amazon.
I didn’t see the RFESS mentioned here in regards to glute activation, although my glutes are exponentially sorer after a day of RFESS’s vs. Deadlifts. I’ve also seen the most gluteus growth after 8 weeks of RFESS’s focus than any other exercise.
I have my own thoughts about why this is, what do you think?
Thank you, thank you, thank you for making my world a more beautiful place. Too bad there’s no Nobel Prize for improving the world in this special way, for this type of beauty, strength and performance. I’m selling you at my gym, Thanks for all your hard work.
Amazing article. I just have one small critique. Girls who have butt implants, such as Kim Kardashian, don’t deserve to be included in this great piece of work. These girls are lazy and chose to go under the knife instead of working out. I know it’s hard to believe, but butt implant surgery is one of the most popular surgeries in the world today. In fact, it is the number one cosmetic surgery in Brazil. Sorry to disappoint, but alot of those butts you see are fake… What guy would want to squeeze on some plastic butt when he can have the real deal..? Wouldn’t most guys prefer a naturally curvy butt rather than one who has implants..? Girls with fake butts needs to be excluded when it comes to articles on how to train the glutes. I know it’s hard to tell sometimes who has a real butt and who hasn’t. Butt sometimes, it’s just too obvious (Hey Kim K). Sounds fair, no? Just my honest opinion. Other than that, I think you come across an an extremely knowledgeable guy. I am currently considering online training or consultation with you. Thank you for providing your extremely valuable insight on glute training. I am impressed!
H – I’ve heard the rumor about Kim and butt implants but I don’t think it’s true. http://www.examiner.com/pop-culture-in-hartford/kim-kardashian-famous-buttocks-product-of-butt-implants
Personally I like real boobs about five times more than fake boobs (well fake boobs are fun to look at but they don’t feel right to me). I can only imagine that fake butts would feel even worse. So I completely agree with you!
Oh, and by the way, I was hoping you would be married with 5 kids, which would eliminate any possibility of developing a crush… Oh well… *sigh* 🙂 Keep up the good work!
Don’t worry, any semblance of a crush would vanish when you saw how much I work. Nobody likes dating a workaholic. Thanks though!
Oh, I think I can handle a workaholic, especially if it’s just a mousepotato. 🙂
I can always remind myself that you live too far away! 🙂
Hi Bret. Thanks for responding. I am obviously very interested in the butt topic and felt I wanted to write back. Kim K’s butt is 100% not natural and I would like to elaborate a little bit on that.
The very first thing that gives any butt or boob job away is: proportion. When the boobs or the butt is just too big in comparison to the rest of the body. Just the way you know it’s fake when you see big boobs on a slim frame, it’s the same thing with butt implants.
Now there are two different ways to have butt surgery, one is to get implants which are placed under the muscle, and the other way is to get a fat transfer. Meaning transferring fat from any part of the body (usually stomach area) to the butt. The later is called “brazilian butt lift” and is very common! This is not referring to the workout video, but to a surgery which makes the butt bigger and rounder.
Regarding Kim K, this is a girl who has already had all kinds of enhancement: boob job, lip job, nose job, liposuction, hair extensions, fake eyelashes etc etc so I don’t think a butt surgery is far fetched at all in her case. Her butt is way too big in comparison to the rest of her body. If her butt was a result of “mother nature”, she would be more meaty/fatty all over. If her butt was the result of working out, she would be way more toned/muscular, which she is not, in fact she is fairly slim. Those legs are neither meaty or muscular which is just one of many “give aways”. I know she has alot of fans who love her and think she is all natural, but she has already admitted to alot of these surgeries (saying her ex husband forced her to do them).
I can tell for sure she has removed her “love handles”, carved out her waist and obtained that eternal photoshop look that real women don’t have. And maybe she even had the liposuction and the butt augmentation at the same time… and her sisters sure doesn’t have anywhere near as round of a butt as she does: another give away.
And regarding the rumors, you know the saying, where there is smoke there is fire. I encourage you to look at before and after pictures of her on the following link. The picture on the left is from 2007 and the picture on the right a couple of years later: huge difference. http://www.latestbeauty.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/kim-kardashian-plastic-surgery-before-after.jpg
Being a woman myself I can easily recognize a surgery or implant when I see it. Overall, I think men have a much harder time distinguishing between real and fake. And while alot of people can recognize fake boobs it will take many years before people can start recognizing fake butts: it’s much harder, I think mostly because it’s a fairly new phenomenon and they are covered up. And in regards to that article, it could very well be her PR team who stands behind it.
Now I would like you to look at the following link where you can see many before and after photos of women who have had butt augmentation. Also, poke around in the photo gallery, it’s amazing to see what doctors can do these days. http://www.realself.com/photo/145560?offset=56&topic_id=282
Now look at Kim K’s before and after pictures again, can you see the resemblance? I sure can. Will I ever believe she has a real butt? Never.
So the fact that butt augmentation surgeries are “taking over” is very discouraging to someone who wants to work out and gain that butt naturally, because it takes alot of hard work. And the fact that most guys can’t even tell what’s real and what’s fake makes it suck even harder… But I shall stay positive and do what I can do improve my already amazing butt. 🙂
On a different note, I think alot of your observations are spot on and when I read your comments about the brazilian butt lift video I couldn’t agree more. I was also wondering how all that dancing around would build me a bigger butt. I have been in search of a butt workout video and the only recent one is the brazilian one. I think it’s time for a real butt workout video to come along, and I think you should consider doing one. I think it would do very well.
Anyways, I completely agree with you that there is “butt madness” going on all over the world. Women want a bigger, rounder butt and men wants women who has one. No one, absolutely no one, wants a flat butt! I know very well that alot of men are absolutely obsessed with booties, because I have experienced this obsession first hand. The comment about the woman who had to pretend she was asleep to be left alone was funny. An ex of mine didn’t care if I was asleep, he had to have it anyways! 🙂
Your blog is my new favorite, I will be checking it out. Thanks for all your hard work, and especially for sharing it with your readers!
H – very interesting! Those pics were crazy. I tend to believe you now. Glad you like my blog!!!
Absolutely. And what’s even more interesting (or at least to me) is that it all boils down to nature. A big, round butt signals fertility: that the woman is healthy and will have no problem getting pregnant/carry/give birth so men are programmed to be very drawn to a curvy butt. Nature wants to procreate. It may sound a little kooky, but it’s true. That’s the scientific explanation behind it. Don’t mean to sound like a Dr. Butt or anything, just thought I’d mention it. Have a good night! 🙂
Okay, so I think my left glute is not firing as well as my right, because I feel it more in my hamstrings and back on my left side when I do glute bridges than my right. Is there any way to help correct this imbalance? I’ve done single leg deadlifts and I’ve gotten a lot stronger in my glutes, but its just my left side that seems weaker and less functional than my right.
Thank you for this post.
I have had enormous success with all of my clients
after I was able to introduce some of your glute exercises into their workouts.
I use a lot of the CORE PERFORMANCE exercises
and once the client is able to actively engage his/her glutes,
their physioball and core exercise techniques improve
Thanks to you there are some wonderful backsides being developed down here in Southwest Florida.
I admire your work, i found your name by accident on youtube (about 3 weeks ago) and i have done hip thrusts with ressistance/donkey kicks nonstop three times a week. i have gotten way faster in my sprints and jump higher than what i used to. the first time i did the hip thrusts with resistance i was extremely sore the next day in the glutes. and i remember reading in one of your articles its not always good to be sore and you yourself do not like your clients to be sore. i do not to the full extent know what you mean by that. cause when i get sore i instantly think “yes i did work my muscles” n also signals to me i should take in more protein to ensure repair and growth.
so is soreness good or bad? and why dont u like it?
I have been incorporating some of your techniques into my training program & have been definately impressed. However I just stumbled on an artile on T-Nation regarding the “A”- I have a wider, upper muscular rear & the part that is lacking is the glute ham tie in & then the “side” part of that area 😉 I realize cutting back on any hyper extension exercises & too much cardio only leaves a saggy bottom & want that high & tight 😉 Thanks for great tips & exercises….Off to train & I am determined for that C shape from the side!! Diet is good & I know that plays a key roll, but I am seriously tired of lacking in that area…
Thanks, Love your site & articles!
excellent, I´m trying this new workout in home, and I want to see the results in one year. cause I think woman likes a man with a nice butt. hehehe
Bret,I love your writing and all the pictures of nice butts:)!
Thank you for including that home workout video. You suggest to work on our glutes 3 times a week. Does that mean doing all the exercises in that video, say 3 sets of each, each session?
I do weighted donkey kickbacks, leg presses, hip thrusts, seated abductions, and leg curls for my glutes. I increase the weight as I decrease the reps and sometimes vice versa. I only just started 3 months ago and have gotten great results. I guess my question to you is: There are so many glute exercises it makes one dizzy. Am I fine with what I am doing?
This is the most comprehensive page I’ve seen on butt exercises. Thank you for sharing this information with the world.
I have a general training question: I am very slender and while my legs have gotten fantastic from working out, my butt has lost mass/tone at the same time (i assume because legs are stronger now?) and I would like to add muscle mass only to the butt. I am happy with the rest of my shape, but it’s like a moving target – when I lose enough weight to have a waist and the legs like a pantyhose model, my butt disappears!
I am comfortable with which movements work the butt, but don’t know how long do I need to rest between sessions to most quickly build the muscle? Would it work better to do very intense weekly sessions with heavier weight, to the point where the muscles are sore for a few days? Or is it better to do this 3x a week?
Most of the information I find is targeted toward women who want to lose size; what about those of us who want to gain some size? Should exercise be more intense/heavier and less frequent for us?
This is the best site for anyone who desires to find out about this subject. You notice so much its nearly onerous to argue with you (not that I truly would want…HaHa). You undoubtedly put a brand new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply nice!
Loved your article! I have been working out almost daily for 2 and a half years and have lost 70lbs. I have come to enjoy weight training and consider myself to be pretty “buff” but my ass needs work. When I first began getting in shape, I used the “Butt Bible” alternating upper and lower workouts each day and had tremendous results (my butt was definitely in better shape than it is now) I but got bored with the routine and Pauline Nordine is annoying. I would still like your take on this video series as it seems to utilize many of your concepts. I think you may enjoy checking it out as research. Thanks for the great advice!
Hey Bret !! What an absolutely fantastic article ! You only realise the substantial importance of your glutes once they arnt functioning properly !! I’ve had PFPS in my right leg for over 2 years now and it was only recently diagnosed ! After about an entire year of being unable to squat , lunge or run and countless hours of other isometric exercises to build my quads and hams I was eventually diagnosed with patella femoral pain syndrome ! I’m a sportsman and play Cricket ! I played for about 6 months with the pain and eventually my back gave way ! Cause of the overuse of my good leg (left leg) ! To cut a long story short I’ve started training my glutes and I’ve finally able to squat , lunge and run without pain but not all the time ! There are times when my knee pain comes back ! My glut meds arnt functioning properly I can tell my self , ex: while walking up the stairs or squatting or lunging or side way shuffles , there is an absence of glut med firing on my right leg but my good leg( left leg) works perfectly ! Please give me some advice on how I should tackle this hurdle sport is my life and my future ! I live in India btw and I’m a big fan ! Please help ! Thanks !
Bret, may you please make an instructional video on Youtube for the body weight quadruped hip circles that you used for your MVC study?
In 300 years time you will get the praise you deserve Brett!
You have helped me heaps thanks mate!
Bret, I have always had nice butt and natural arched back, when I was younger I did floor work and running and I seemed to always be complimented on my backside. But when I wanted to develope the glute muscles more I was told to do heavy low weight squatting, at first it was amazing results and was often asked if I had but implants , but after a year of squatting my thighs got huge and I hated them and they over shadowed my nice butt! I started doing more cardio and tried so hard to get the looked I had before , and could not . I even went to a personal trainer and he seemed to over develope my legs as well ! It has looked as if my upper gluteus disappeared and only one muscle in them existed !! I am so happy after a year of searching online to have found your workouts versus everything else talking about squats and lunges . I have started with weighted butt bridges and body weight hip thrusts until I get my form correct to add weight . Do I need to add the band external rotation exercise as well? And do you think weighted donkey kicks on a leg extension machine are helpful for building ? Please help ! THANKS!
I used to have a butt like the women in your photos. It’s depressing that it’s gone. I almost bought the Brazilian butt lift video. I thank you for exposing the bologna in their claims. I have to say I feel confident in the work out you provide. I am willing to do almost anything to get my old butt back. Thank you so much for giving me this info for free. And yes I will spread the word!!!!
What a great read! Bret, you are right about some women bulking up easily. Unfortunately I am one of then. At aged 14/15 I used to do deadlifts as part of school gym.classes and lots of bicep work,shoulder, back and legs… I’ve not done any muscle training or much exercise to be frank in 8 years and i’ve still retained the bulk (although not the strength).
I bulk up very easily even from long distance running such as my calves. My question is, every other area bulks easily except my butt is flat kind of like masculine flat with that square appearance. Have you had clients with similar shape gain a good visible increase? As in inches?
Where are all the older women? I am 43 in a week and My ass has dropped and I wan the cute little figure that I had, I’m not in horrible shape I just need to get back into the gym. I want some motivation hoping to see some older women who have bounced back….
I am trying to compile a butt workout i can do 2-3 times a week that will be easy for me to understand and build upon. I don’t have a gym membership or equipment other then some barbells, a balance ball and body bands. I want to make it work at home, i saw your video demonstrating the workouts you can do at home ( http://youtu.be/bK7zIUBH6Z0). I just would like to know how many reps and sets to do of each and if there is any combination that’s best. should i try 10 reps for each move in the video and do three sets or are those too many moves to do in one workout? I am kind of a beginner in that I’ve only ever done dvd workouts. I read the whole article and it was very informative and great, but some of it kind of went over my head lol.
U have helped me so much ,,, i do Brazilian buttlift Julian Michael butt n thigh n insanity n i still don’t hv the backside like ur tlkn bout. ..now i will do some of ur suggestions n hope for further better results. ..
Hi, and love your exercises. I want to ask though if there are any gluteal exercises I can be working on while I heal from a right inner sprained ankle. (boy how we depend on ankles). I know I am limited right now and doing what I can, while I am healing, but do you have any suggestions of butt exercises where I don’t have to really bend the ankles or put weight on them. When my ankle is totally better, I will work on all, but for now, I just have to heal. I just don’t want to lose anymore muscle tone. I am in my 50’s, so it’s even worse for me at my age. Thanks.
Hi. I was checking out your site and you do know a lot about shaping the rear end.
I’m a new first-time dad and dont really have time to exercise like i used to and i have a very flat ass. i’m 5’8″ 162 lb.
i used to go to the gym and do squats, leg extensions, leg curls, leg presses, etc but now since my son was born 10 months ago i have no time to get to the gym and reshape my butt. it was getting firmer and rounder as i progressed forabout 2 years but since i havent hit the gym in 18 months everything i gained has gone away. Hopefully as my son gets a lil older i will find the time to do the exercises and get a decent round butt. I’m in my 50’s.! Thanks and have a good one.
I was excited when I read the first part of the article, but when I skipped down to the exercises, I was very disappointed to find no information on any of the warm-up. All I see is a list of exercise names. Where do I find the info?
Interesting glute data and i liked the videos. Would like to see pictures of women over 50 transform saggy glutes to firm and shapely .
I’m a fit woman runner, and I’ve been following your site for a bit over a year now–have really noticed some improvements! However, I’m wondering if you have any advice for perhaps a month training program for glutes? I incorporate glutes hard twice weekly (as I run heavily and on hills 6 days a week). I like to switch it up–for example, hip thrusts (finally up to 185lbs after a year!), glute bridges, walking lunges, Bulgarian split squats, goblet squats, chair squats, etc. However, I would love to know if you had a good training program for women athletes to mix it up a bit with a focus on glutes? I apologize if this is on your site and I missed it.
Thank you so much!
I’ve been searching far and wide for a butt program for women that want a super tiny firm-medium firm butt, with a clear distinction between butt and hamstring (so, no visible tie, but direct from butt shape to leg contrast), slim non bulky but trim thighs, and super small peach butt cheeks.
Please list a simple routine for such a goal. Most programs seem be designed to create bubble butts with great big thighs to along with it. How about a program for the exact opposite! Tiniest butt, smallest trim thighs and no visible ham tie in. 😉
I’m just wondering how you feel about doing 4 sets of everything that involves a barbell for 6-12 reps (hip thrusts, squats, deadlifts, reverse lunges from deficit with the smith machine)? I really enjoy pushing myself in the gym and I’m just wondering if I’m doing a bit much. Do you ever do abduction exercises for the inner abductors? I currently do 2 outer abductor exercises and 2 inner a week. I train my lower body 3x/week. I don’t want to be hindering my progress but I love getting super intense at the gym. I also do 2 upper body days a week and do cardio on those days. I seem to recover fairly well, but as I said just want to make sure I’m not getting in my own way.
Thanks for all the info you provide! I’m currently working on a medical science degree but have decided to switch to kinesiology as I plan to get my master’s in physiotherapy after my bachelor’s. I really enjoy how you incorporate your research/results into your articles!
Thank you for taking the time to write this!
Great information here, thank you!
I have one side of glute muscles (left) that tends to be underactive. It’s strange because it almost feels as if that hip isn’t straight or something. I also feel a type of snapping or rolling sensation (not painful) on that side when I try to do bridges. (IT band??)
I’ve been told to stretch stretch stretch, since my hams are tight. But is there anything else you suggest besides that? Does that get into physical therapy territory?
Do you have a schedule on how many reps or how manyh times to do this? i workout at home by the way
I am so conflicted on this article! The work out advice seems great and I am going to use it 100% as laid out. On the other hand it’s bit on the chauvinistic side AND models, porn stars and Brazilian Butt competitors RARELY get their rounded butts from glute exercises. So as amazing as most of those pics are I call bullshit for all the women out there struggling. Now that doesn’t mean that you are not 100% correct that these are the most effective glute exercises for shaping a more attractive bum but I live in Miami and know the amount of liposuction, fat transfers, fillers and procedures that go into the majority of the women with ‘perfect’ butts that prowl the beaches and competitions here. PLUS it’s not hard to have a great ass when you are in your 20’s and have never had a kid. Estrogen does most of the work for you. I would like to see you use more butts that have actually seen the inside of a gym for your pics. But I get it sex sells. All that said I do appreciate the workout content you have provided.
Ditto to this!
I mean the people that come to this page are well informed and have researched (to death probably) where the best source of info for glute building is, they don’t want to see pics of media tramp Kim Kartrashian – they want to see legitimate gym results, glutes that followed YOUR program. We know any routine engaged in is going to take hard work, discipline, perseverance and stamina over the long term – so dangling pictures of Brazilian Butt competitors (where surgery is rampant) is actually undermining an otherwise excellently articulated piece of work. Shame. That said I will be devising my own programme from your advice however I will not expect to see BB results, or punish myself for not being in, nor advancing to that stage as quickly as desired.
I was wondering how I can work in the Glute Supplement Circuit 10minute workouts in my current split. My current split as follow, 3 Leg days and 2 upper body days, 2 rest days. Leg days I have mainly squats/deadlifts/calfs/lying leg curls. I was wondering if I could do the glute supplement workouts everyday or only on rest/upperbody days?
I have been lifting for 3-4 years, I am prepping for my first show this year. I have big quads and never seem to be able to grow/put size in my glutes so any advice would be helpful! I am female, 26 year old.
Hello, I just recently discovered you and your amazing articles! I do have a few questions that I feel are impossible to answer, but, I am 19 years old and I have lost about 50 pounds I weigh 145pounds now and my height is 5″2. Now I have been stuck at 145 pounds for a year and can seem to drop no more fat, it’s really just my flabby arms and a lower body. My butt is almost gone fat is helping it stay there😭. What should I do? I really wanna gain muscle in my arms and my butt I really don’t wanna lose it so I wanna gain muscles in my bum. Should I lose fat first or can I go ahead and start lifting? I barely eat as well😭😭. Please help how long till I see results?
Hi, Brett don’t know if you still reply here, but I was wondering what to do in a case where I’ve trained wrong for years and as a result have huge quads and a flat butt. I have been doing hip thrusts and many of your other suggestions now and I finally feel something in my glutes!!! Is there a way to atrophy my quads while building my glutes?
I have been doing some of these exercises at home essentially squats, reverse lunges, glute bridges, clamshell etc for about 2 months and 3 times a week. Unfortunately i cant really feel the burn on my glutes, only when i do the clamshell and when in the glute bridge i pause at the top and start doing pulses. Anyway i dont know what i am doing wrong and lately my knees have been giving up. They keep hurting not during exercise but after. I really believe that i have a good form but for my knees to be hurting i probably do not have a good form.
Can you give me an opinion about this please?
Can I grow glutes by working out twice a week + on session with mini bands at home?
This is how the program looks like at the moment
Work out for example monday:
Squat 4-6 reps x 3 sets
(2 minutes rest between sets)
Hip-thrust 8-10 reps x 3
(2 min rest between sets)
Bulgarian split 8-0 reps x 3 sets
(2 min rest between sets)
15-20 x 3 sets
1 min rest between sets
or is to much to have on one day for the glutes?
hey bret am kenyan and have a naturally big butt love it and shaping it however ive always had saddle bags since i can remember and big thighs how can i mantain my butt and super lift it with smaller thighs and smallest waist
I saw on your Instagram a picture talking about the 10 moste common mistakes women make when they train. One of them was making too many sets. However, in your advanced protocol you suggest doing about 11 sets. So if I train mostly just my lower body, doing about 10 sets per workout would be a good baseline ?