My boyfriend and I have a nickname for this workout – the big butt routine. Ever since he introduced me to these lifts, I have seen tremendous changes in my lower body, to the point where a new wardrobe might be a necessity…
Note: this may not be everyone’s goal, but it is definitely the result of the big butt routine.
1) Squats. Its literally my favorite lift and I begin nearly every strength session with squats – warming up my entire body. It is also so versatile – you can do back squats, front squats, goblet squats, overhead squats, box squats; you can use barbells or dumbbells; and if you do them correctly, it activates nearly every muscle in your lower body. I love squats so much I might make a post solely about different types of squats.
The main issue I see many people have at the gym with squats is that they are simply not squatting low enough. You want to push your knees out as you squat down, keep your back straight, and go so your butt is at least parallel to the ground (butt below the knees). Read this to get more detailed instructions; also watch this video.
2) Deadlifts. Want to feel badass by picking up some heavy weights? Do deadlifts. You can do them with a regular barbell, dumbbells or with a trap bar (which is a great way to get the form down).
Essentially, you start with your weight of choice on the floor, stand should width apart with your toes are under the bar (inside the trap bar, separating the two dumbbells), then squat down and grasp the bar using the same technique you would a regular squat, and finally keep your back straight and stand back up. Do not curve your spine, or jerk up and down during the movement.
3) Romanian aka stiff/straight-legged deadlift. So with all these compound lifts you’re not just singling out your glutes, but working all the muscles in your legs. I like doing the Romanian deadlifts because your hamstrings are the main muscle group, but your glutes do the assisting.
You simply grasp the barbell or dumbbells and keeping your knees slightly bent and back straight, lower the barbell to your feet. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Bring your torso back up, keeping your back straight and knees slightly bent at all times.
4) Lunges. These babies are killer – I’m almost always guaranteed butt soreness the next day when I do these. I prefer to hold dumbbells in each hand and perform walking lunges, but many options exist: overhead lunges, lunge and twist, lateral lunges, etc.
Pretty self explanatory, I’m sure all of you have done a lunge at some point in your life. Focus on keeping your back straight, chest raised and a full range of motion, dropping the back knee to the floor or as close to the floor as possible.
4a) Variation: Split squat. Ostensibly the same as lunges, except your back leg is raised, perhaps on a bench or a box.
Plyo, cardio and micellaneous:
5) Box jumps, weighted or unweighted: I kind of love these too. Pretty self-explanatory, you grab a box and jump on top of it, making sure to straighten your hips at the top before jumping or stepping back down. Weights can be added in the form of dumbbells in each hand or a medicine ball.
6) Sprints. Hill workouts. Stair climber intervals. I’m shocked too that cardio made this list of butt boosters, but these high intensity workouts can bolster your strength training.
a) I personally like to do short sprints on the treadmill – 30 seconds at max intensity, then 30+ seconds jump off to the sides. And I mean max intensity – the last 5 seconds of the sprint you should be running for dear life at the edge of the treadmill scrambling not to fall off. Sprints marked by distance vs. time can be done outside – ie: sprint up the street, job back down etc., but it’s personally harder to gauge how hard I’m pushing myself.
b) I actually love hill workouts. I find my nearest hill (happens to be Capitol Hill), and take a warm up jog to the start. I sprint up the section of the hill (about 1/5 miles or two blocks) and jog back down, repeating as many times as necessary before jogging back home. It has made me much more comfortable with hills (tiny baby ones) on my runs.
c) I’m slowly increasing my miles up each week so I definitely do some cross training to make sure I don’t get injured. I really like doing intervals on the stair climber – 40 seconds at a hard pace (close to the pace of jogging up the stairs) and then 40 seconds recovery, repeat for however many minutes you choose to torture yourself with. I have to admit it makes the time go by pretty quickly.
7). I also regularly incorporate single-leg leg press into my routines to even out the strength in each leg, but that is probably the only machine-assisted lift I do.
PS: I know weighted glute bridges are supposed to be amazing for your ass but I really don’t do them enough to assess. Here’s a picture of it to give you more options:
Obviously unless you are doing a leg day, you don’t have to do all the lifts at once. It’s an arsenal of booty boosting moves (I can’t take myself seriously saying that) to switch up in your routine. The number of reps you do of each also depends on your goals, strength/power (1-5 reps) vs. hypertrophy (6-12 reps) vs. endurance (12+ reps): read more here about it.
Nice butts make everyone happy.