6 Exercises To Get Your Best Bum
BY LUCY D'AGUILAR, FIT & EATS
Jun 1, 2017
Put your hands up if you want a great butt!
I know I do, but not only for the reason of personal image — my motivation is function! Did you know that your butt plays a key role in your core? Well it does, or rather if you don't have a functioning butt your core will begin to suffer (it isn't an official core muscle, but it is a very, very close relative). You may begin to get back, pelvic and hip pain as all the others would need to kick into action to support the role of the gluteus maximus.
The gluteus maximus is by far one of the most powerful muscles in the body, but it often gets turned off, especially during pregnancy and postpartum. With postural changes and modifications in movements, the poor gluteus maximus either gets neglected or so fired up and tight that it can’t function properly.
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Do you stand with your bum tucked under? If you’re not sure what I am talking about, take a look in the mirror. Do you have a nice little curve at the base of your spine, just at the top of your pelvis, or is it flat as a pancake? Has your bum suddenly gotten smaller now that you have had children? Now here I'm talking moms, but dads can have the same issues from holding kids too. Don't tuck your butt!
So why is tucking so bad? Well, when we stand in a tucked position, our bum gets tighter and tighter. Tightness leads to weakness and so the deterioration of your poor bum begins. Now I’m not saying this is a bad thing to do sometimes, but it isn't a habit you should get into all the time. Especially when performing exercises like a squat, deadlift or kettlebell swing.
My top exercises for a great butt include:
- Bench hip thrusts
- Weighted glute bridge
- All fours leg kickback
- All fours fire hydrants
- Straight leg deadlift
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Do each exercises 12 times — with the right weight or resistance — and repeat for three sets. And to know if you have the right weight or resistance, remember: the 12th repetition should feel very challenging.
To gain strength and shape to your butt, you need to challenge the muscle fibres so that they grow. Doing high repetitions without weight or resistance will fatigue the muscles without growth (think marathon runners, they are usually tall and slim). Adding weight to a movement will encourage growth of the muscle, while targeting different angles of the glutes will allow for a rounder butt. Now that’s what I'm talking about!
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