Summer will be here before you know it (or if you live in Florida, nearly all weather is a fiery hellstorm), so you need to get ready. This means it’s time to work on the show-muscles. Abs, back, and the best one: your butt (gentlemen, girls like them too). Let’s take a look at a few moves that will boost your booty. With us as a consultant is NPC bikini competitor and booty queen, Jordan Beaubrin (@realfit_j).
This is your go-to. It’s your Excalibur. If you only had one move for your ass, squats are the way to go.
“To build the booty, you must be religious to squats and never stop,” Beaubrin says.
Now, the trick is, you need to be hitting some force on these. Males are in good shape when they’re able to squat twice their bodyweight, and females should be hitting about 1.3-1.5x their bodyweight.
If you don’t have access to weights, do jumping or one-legged variants. There really are endless derivatives of this exercise, like side lunges and front squats, so don’t be afraid to try any and all of them. For the standard, have your feet pointed out slightly, legs at least shoulder-width apart (exact width varies by individual, find out where you can squat the deepest comfortably), and squeeze your glutes when you extend your legs.
Another issue that comes up is knee pain. This often comes from people not going down far enough in their squats. If you’re only doing half squats, you’re using the quadriceps much more than the hamstrings and glute muscles. When you’re create that imbalance, yeah, you’re going to have knee pain. Now, research indicates that half squats (and half reps in general) do have their place. However, if you’re not going for some seriously high performance, focus first on the full range of motion. This way, you don’t build your quads so fast that your back-of-leg muscles can’t catch up (and also, this article is about working your butt).
Oh, the deadlift. It’s been called “the king of lifts” time and again. It’s generally supposed to be the strongest lift you have (2.5x men’s bodyweight, 1.7-2x women’s bodyweight) and it’s a pretty primal move: You pick something up and put it back down.
You can perform it either “conventional” or “sumo,” but glute activation is similar, so use the stance that you’re most comfortable with. Keep your back straight through the entire lift and shoulders back when you lock out. Do not be afraid of this exercise. Yes, it’s something you’re most likely to see hardcore lifters doing, but with proper form, you’ll help your posture and build fantastic functional strength
If squats are your ground troops, hip-thrusters are your commando team. Specially targeted for maximum glute activation. Pull up a bench and sit on the floor with your shoulders on the bench as a “T”. Plant your feet at least shoulder-width apart and get the barbell into your hip crease. Push up from your heels (you can even lift your toes off the ground, if you feel comfortable).
As you get up there in weight, you might feel the bench sliding behind you. Throw some weights behind it (don’t put them on top of the bench’s feet, flat on the floor they’ll have maximum surface area resistance and won’t move).
Beaubrin, for her effort, swears by reverse hack squats.
“[You] feel it more in your hamstrings and you can push heavier weight,” she says.
Even without that move, the competitor has one big rule to keep the buns at the top of their game.
“Always increasing weight,” Beaubrin tells me, “but still pushing high volume and high reps.”