Beginner Exercises: Glutes

More than ever, social media emphasizes and praises women who have managed to develop and maintain the perfect behind, and although almost any exercise you do to build muscle and tone your legs will incorporate your glute muscles, there are quite a few ways you can target those muscles alone. Read on for a few of my favorite easy and effective glute exercises, and trust me, although it may seem stupid, once you start to develop and round out your butt, you will not believe how much your confidence will improve! A nice butt is one of the greatest defining features of the female body, so embrace it!

Barbell Hip Thrusts: Begin this exercise by sitting on the ground with a bench right behind you and a barbell sitting on your legs. Roll the bar so that it sits directly above your hips and lean back on the bench so that your shoulder blades are on its edge. Push through your heels and extend your hips upward until your torso is at the same level as the bench. Focus on squeezing the glutes but keep your weight on your shoulders and feet. Pause for a second at the top of the motion, then slowly lower your body back to the starting position.

This exercise is extremely effective, but it can tend to cause some discomfort on your hips from the weight of the bar. If you experience this, your gym should have a pad for the bar that you can use, but if it doesn’t, you can get one here.

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Also, if you want to watch a video for this exercise (because it can be a little tricky), go here.

Step-up with Kickback: You need a sturdy bench or step for this movement. Start by placing one foot onto the bench and press through the heel to step up. As you come up, squeeze your core and your glutes, and at the top of the motion, raise the opposite leg back behind you. Squeeze that leg once you’ve gone as far back as you can, then bring it back down to the level of the bench before stepping back on the ground. Do as many as you’d like on one leg, then switch to the other. Adding weight for this exercise is great once you’ve gotten used to balancing!

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Side Band Walking: Place a resistance band slightly below the knees and stand shoulders-width apart, knees slightly bent, and keep the chest and head up. Take a slow step to one side (stay low), then follow with the other leg. Never bring the feet closer than shoulder-width apart in order to keep the tension of the resistance band. Do a few steps in one direction, then continue in the opposite direction, depending on how much room you have.

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Cable Kickbacks: Hook the cuff attachment to the cable pulley at the lowest setting and attach it to one ankle. Stand about two feet from the machine and hold the frame for support. Contract the abs and slowly kick the attached leg straight backwards as far as you can go. Pause and hold your leg at the highest point, then slowly bring your leg back to the starting position. Try and resist the pull of the weight as much as possible. Do one leg, then the other.

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Curtsy Lunge: To start, stand with feet shoulder-width apart. (You can do this exercise holding dumbbells, or you can do it weight-free). Take a big step to the side with one leg, then step back and cross your opposite leg behind it. Bend your knees until your back leg is parallel to the ground. Keep your torso and head up, pause at the bottom of the motion, then return to start by pushing through the front leg and glute. Do the same to the other side.

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