10 Backside exercises
The 10 best exercises to get your rear in gear.
What area would you like to focus on?" a fitness professional asks her client.
"My hips, thighs and butt!" the woman replies with desperation. As personal-fitness professionals ourselves, we hear this reply from our clients, expectantly and almost without exception. No wonder: Most women gain weight and store bodyfat easily in these areas. Which also means these are the areas where most women lose weight last, making the hips, thighs and glutes the most challenging areas to firm and shape.
If your butt is a problem area, you're at the right place at the right time. Two top IFBB pro fitness competitors, Cynthia Bridges and Stacy Simons, have helped us compile a listing of the 10 best glute exercises, with tips and suggestions on how you can shape and tone yours. You'll also learn how to perform them correctly (and most effectively), and the best way to integrate them into your regular workout routine. If you're ready to improve your own "bottom line," you need to take action and stick with a plan. Soon enough, your glutes will be one of your best assets!
Developing great glutes requires performing mostly compound, multijoint exercises that involve hip extension (straightening your body from a bent-hip position). You most likely include some compound exercises like squats, leg presses or lunges in your current workout. To shift their focus from quads to glutes, you just need to adjust the way you perform them. We've included exercises you're probably used to doing (plus some new ones), but incorporated some subtle variations to help emphasize your glutes. Try incorporating one or all of our three sample workouts into your routine to start shaping up your rear view today.
Stacy, who's known for her outstanding leg and glute development, advises beginners to be patient and realize that genetics plays a big part in how your body develops. For best results, she prefers hitting legs and glutes two times a week with 3-4 sets of 3-4 of the exercises listed here for 12-15 reps. She especially likes reverse lunges, leg presses and squats (with her feet placed way out in front on the Smith machine) for more glute emphasis.
Like Stacy, Cynthia also likes squats and lunges, but for a killer workout she suggests tri-sets, in which you perform three exercises back to back with little to no rest in between. This Southern California fitness pro performs most exercises with a moderate weight for 8-12 repetitions, though every once in a while she'll do 20-plus reps just for a shock. What is Cynthia's best advice? "Squat and lunge your booty off!" That should do the job.