Buttock exercise are traditionally considered to be “women’s” – and they totally shouldn’t. Of course, women (especially girls) watch the body part, where buttocks located, with special attention. But men shouldn’t also ignore buttock trainings. At least because well-trained buttock muscles do not only make woman’s shape graceful, but man’s shape – athletic. Besides, buttock muscle is one of the biggest ones in body, so you should pay special attention to its training, either you want to get slim, or build mass.
Yes, this muscle group is trained in most of leg exercises, but targeted work on buttocks will give you an ability to much increase their efficiency Let’s look at squats, for example. One of the main requirements to correct squats – knees shouldn’t get out of toes level, the back should be bent naturally. Exactly the strong buttocks grant all of those requirements, lowering the risk of injury and increasing the squats efficiency. Strong body is impossible without strong legs. And exactly the buttock muscles are the link between upper and lower body.
Don’t forget about mostly sitting way of life of most of us. What do we sit on? Correct, on buttock muscles. As the consequence – bad blood supply to this body part in result of constant squeezing leads to untrained buttock muscles. It reflects not only on look of this body part, but makes usual daily exercises dangerous (not even talking about power training).
I hope that I have made you sure in necessary to pay attention to this muscle group. In this section the effective buttock exercises are collected, which can be performed at home. Let’s traditionally start from the easiest.
What muscles work: buttock muscles, rear hip muscles, spine muscles.
Performing technique: stand on all-four (on palms, knees and toes). Put hands on shoulder-width, legs – a little more narrow. Pre-shoulders and hips should be both perpendicular to the floor. Keep your back straight, look down (photo 1). Without core position switch, using buttocks, straighten one leg (photo 2), so that heel was on back’s level (or higher). Hold this position for a second and go back to the stating position. Perform required reps with one leg or switch leg and repeat.
Notice: when performing the exercise, avoid pelvis moves and spine bends. Watch you active leg to be always straight: imagine, that you must touch some object behind with your heel or toe (another name of this exercise, “The Kicking Donkey”, will help to imagine the required technique). Keep the other limbs still, do not let your core bend or curl. You can do this exercise slow as well as fast (like kicking with your leg), but it is recommended to start from controlled movement (in rhythm: 3 seconds to straighten/bend and one second pauses at beginning and end).
This exercise is considered as one of the easiest, that is why doing 20 reps won’t be a problem for you. If you did it – try to complicate it, by keeping the active leg bent in knee joint (photo 3). This will help you to work more accented on buttock muscles, and also will get some load off your lower back. As in previous exercise, watch the main movement to be performed only with active leg, do not let spine bends and pelvis unnecessary moves. For this variation it will be better to perform all the reps with one leg, and then switch the leg. But don’t forget to make second pauses at top and bottom points to avoid inertia. Increase your performance to the level, when you can easily do 20 reps on each leg.
When you have reached the level, mentioned above, move on to the last, hardest variation of kickbacks. To perform it, when you straighten a leg (like in classic kickback) straighten the opposite hand (for left leg – right and all the way round). Since the right performing of this exercise needs core stabilization, from bend, as well as from curl, the additional groups of spine muscles will be involved, which much increases the training effect (photo 4).
Switch hands after each rep to avoid excessive one-sided muscle exhausting. Raise the reps amount to 40 (20 for each leg).
If you have managed to do the task – continue to develop and strengthen buttock muscles with more complicated exercises (for example, pelvis raises in shoulder bridge position).
Good books to read:
Bret Contreras. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy – Human Kinetics, 2013 – 224 p.
Kavadlo Al. Pushing the Limits: Total Body Strenght with No Equipment – Dragon Door Publications, 2013 – 224 p.
BJ Gaddour. Your Body Is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days – Rodale, 2014 – 288 p.
Other articles about buttocks exercises: