Your glutes are the largest muscle in your body (your gluteus maximus, specifically), so you’ll need to incorporate different exercises to activate each part of this muscle group (the gluteus medius and minimus are the other two muscles that make up your glutes). Halse recommends you complement your squats with these three moves:
1. Hip Thrust
Here’s proper form for the hip thrust exercise.
- Sit in front of a bench or box with your mid-back against the edge. Plant your feet flat on the ground.
- Lean back against the bench and lift your hips up until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
- Then, lower your hips to the ground and repeat.
- Push through your heels, not your toes, when driving your hips up.
As you perform this exercise, pause momentarily at the top of the move and give your glutes an extra squeeze. Once you feel comfortable with this move, you can add a barbell over your hips to add some resistance to the exercise and build more muscle.
If you want to get even more burn from this exercise, lower the weight slowly for three counts, press through your heels and raise your hips for one count and pause at the top, holding the move isometrically for one count. See below for more on varying your reps.
2. Bulgarian Split Squats
Here’s proper form for Bulgarian split squats.
- Stand in front of a bench or box at or below knee height. Face away from the bench/box.
- Lift one leg and place your foot on the object, curling your toes to help maintain balance.
- Keeping your back flat and shoulders back, lower your elevated knee until it touches the ground. Keep your front leg rooted and avoid letting your front knee trail beyond your toes.
- Once your back leg touches the ground (or nearly does), press through your front heel and press to standing.
Throughout this exercise, focus on keeping most of your weight on your front leg. As you grow comfortable with this exercise, you can either hold dumbbells at your sides or a barbell over your back.
3. Single-Leg Squats
Here’s proper form for single-leg squats.
- Hold a pair of light dumbbells and stand in front of a bench or box, facing away from the object.
- Raise one leg slightly off the ground and reach the dumbbells forward, holding them in front of your body.
- At the same time, lower your body toward the bench or box until you’re seated, keeping a leg off the ground.
- Press through the heel of your rooted leg and push your hips forward to return to standing.
Make sure you add these 3 moves to increase your glute gains. Do you need help getting started? Contact me for your free consultation. I can help you tone your butt to perfection. Make it a great day!!!