Top 10 Bum Stretches

The gluts are your body's largest and most powerful muscle group. They bond to move your hips in every direction, powering you up, down, forward, backward, and side-to-side. And since they're big, moving them can amplify your metabolic pace.But spending so much time parked on your butt has caused your muscles to stop firing. They're weak and under trained, leaving you with a butt that's as flat as the Great Plains.

SetUp

"The setup is one of the best butt-building exercises in existence," says BJ Gaddour.

It's a motion that we perform every day, going up and down stairs and stepping on and off curbs, he says. "If you can't properly perform it with a slow and controlled tempo, then you have no business lunging, squatting, running, or jumping."

HOW TO DO IT:

Place one foot on a sturdy box or step with your weight placed on the center of your foot. Push your hips back and then stand straight up, squeezing the glute of your supporting leg at the top of the movement. Hold this position while keeping your hips and shoulders square and your body tall. Push your hips back again, and slowly lower your trailing foot to the floor, taking 3 seconds on the way back down to the initial point. Once you've perfected this pattern, you can hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands.

Hip Thrust

There's no better way to turn on your glutes than the hip thrust. It's like a plank for your backside. It’s super safe to practice and incredibly easy to learn, and you can do it anywhere, anytime. Doing hip thrusts for at least 20 seconds for every 20 minutes that you're in a seated position during the day.

HOW TO DO IT:

Lie on your back with your knees bent at 90-degree angles. Place your feet flat on the floor hip-width apart. Then crunch your abs and tilt your pelvis back so that your lower back is flat against the floor. Keep this pelvic tilt throughout the entire exercise. Push through your feet and lift up your hips as high as you can without arching your lower back. Hold this position for a couple seconds, and then slowly reverse the movement.Make it harder by elevating your shoulders, elevating your feet, or reducing your base of support by placing your fingertips on your forehead.

Single Leg Hip Thrust

Once you've mastered the hip thrust on the previous slide, move on the single-leg version. Lifting your hips one leg at a time requires a great deal of glute stability and strength, it will also help you iron out any strength and flexibility imbalances between sides of your glutes and hips."

HOW TO DO IT:

Lie on your back with the foot of your working leg placed flat on the floor and underneath your knee so that it's bent at a 90-degree angle. Bend the knee of your non-working leg toward your chest. Crunch your abs and tilt your pelvis back so that your lower back is flattened against your hands or floor. Maintain this pelvic tilt throughout the exercise. Push through the foot on the floor and raise your hips as high as you can without arching your lower back. Pause, and then slowly reverse the movement.

Barbell Squat

The back squat is generally known as a quad exercise, but it can build your backside just as well. As you squat, you're stretching your glutes under load. Then you need to produce a forceful glute contraction to propel your body 'out of the hole' to standing.

HOW TO DO IT:

Hold a barbell across your back using an overhand grip. Keeping your head up and chest high, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Make sure your knees track over your feet and don't collapse inward. Push back to the starting position.

Hip Hinge

The better you are at the hip hinge, the better you will be at every lower-body exercise. Squats, lunges, dead lifts, jumps, and stepups all start by hinging back at your hips, preloading your glutes and hamstrings. The key to hip hinging is little to no movement at the knee and lower back. You are only moving at the hips, keeping your spine neutral.

HOW TO DO IT:

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Set your head in a neutral position with your ears aligned with your shoulders, hips, and ankles, and keep this position as you hint back and bend forward. Keep your knees soft with a slight bend, and push your hips and hamstrings back as far as you can until your torso is parallel to the floor. Picture yourself closing a door with your butt. Pause, and then push your hips forward and come to a full stand. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.

Walking Dumbbell Lunge

 

As you sink down into the lunge, the hips on your lead leg must deeply bend. This stretches your glutes and places a high load on them at the most difficult part of the movement. That's why the walking dumbbell has a horrible reputation for preventing people from sitting down the next day, he says.

HOW TO DO IT:

Stand holding a pair of dumbbells and take a long step forward with your left foot. Push up into a standing position, bringing your back foot forward. That’s 1 rep. Alternate the leg you step forward with so that you’re “walking” with each rep.

Cable kickback

If you want a round, hard butt, you can't skip this move. The movement zeroes in on the gluteus maximus, which is the muscle that creates the shape of your rear end.

HOW TO DO IT:

Lower the arm of a cable machine so it's level with your ankle. Stand facing the machine with your feet hip-width apart. Put one foot through the cable handle. Keeping your chest lifted, use your glute to pull the foot with the cable directly behind you. Don't let your back arch. Pause, and then slowly return your foot to the starting position. Do your reps with your weaker side before switching legs and performing the same number with your stronger side.

Lateral Mini Band Walk

A mini-band might not be one of the first tools you reach for when building a stronger, more powerful backside, but it should be. When placed around the tops of your shins as you move side to side, the mini-band hits your hand-to-reach gluteus medius, a muscle that helps rotate your thigh inward and outward. Waking up this muscle allows you to use all your glute strength when performing moves like a heavy-loaded squat or lunge.

HOW TO DO IT:

Place both feet inside a mini-band. With your feet just beyond shoulder-width, place the band at the top of your shins, right above your ankles, or around the balls of your feet. Maintaining the distance between your feet, create a square by taking small, short steps. Take 8 side steps to your left, 8 steps forward, 8 side steps to your right, and 8 steps backward.

Goblet Reverse Lunge

This exercise targets your gluteus maximus, your butt's main muscle. Done often, it'll help lift your butt so it no longer droops. "Since it's the largest muscle in your backside, targeting it will also help you make greater gains in size and strength," says Contreras.

HOW TO DO IT:

Cup the head of a dumbbell in both hands and hold it vertically in front of your chest, elbows pointing down. Step back with your right leg and lower your body until your front knee is bent 90 degrees. Pause, and then push your body back to standing. Do all your reps on one side before switching legs and doing the same number on the other side.

Clamshell

This exercise targets your hip abductors, primarily a muscle called the gluteus medius. This muscle assists your largest butt muscle-your gluteus maximus-in raising your thigh out to the side. It also rotates your thigh outward when your leg is straight and inward when your hip is bent. As the name suggests, think of a clamshell opening as you do the exercise. Your glute should do all the work, so keep the rest of your body completely still as you left and lower your leg.

HOW TO DO IT:

Lie on your side with your knees bent 90 degrees and your heels together and in line with your butt. Open your knees as far as you can, without rotating your pelvis or back. Pause; return to the starting position.

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