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Everyone wants that high and tight butt you can bounce a quarter off of. Squats are great, but your hip joint moves in all directions and while all those leg lifts and peeing-on-a-fire-hydrant moves will create a burn, the low level of resistance will have you flapping your legs forever. Give these butt exercises a try to hit your glutes from all angles.
Sumo Squat: A squat is a squat, right? Wrong. Turning your toes out slightly will completely change the targeted muscles. Regular squats work you in a front to back plane, but turning your toes outward and tracking your knees over them will hit the outer thigh/saddlebag area like nothing else can. Watch a proper sumo squat performed here.
Curtsy Lunge: You cant go wrong with a classic lunge, but this variation gets deep into those glutes and outer thighs, while also challenging your balance. Hold dumbbells stationary by your sides, or to really give yourself a challenge, rack the dumbbells at your shoulders and perform a shoulder press when down in each curtsy. You can also do them on a riser, tapping your curtsying foot on the ground while keeping all your weight on your raised stabilizing leg to deepen the lunge even more.
Box jumps: They sound simple but they are tough: stand with your feet shoulder-width apart a couple of feet from the box or sturdy square bench. Drop quickly into a quarter squat, and explodue up by extending your hips, swinging your arms, and pushing through your feet to propel yourself up onto the the box. Such plyometric exercises, or plyos, burn fat at an impressive rate while building speed and power. Your glutes are the primary movers in this exercise, as they control hip flexion and extension, but they are worked differently than typical glute exercises because your muscles must stretch before they contract to propel you upward like a spring. Be sure to land as lightly on your feet as possible during both the jump and landing phase and transition in between jumps as quickly as possible.
Weighted Step-Ups: Again, these may seem like a beginner exercise but nothing ups the time under tension and gives you a fuller range of motion through your glutes than step-ups. Make sure the box or step you are using is at least tall enough that your knee creates a 90 degree angle when your foot is flat on top, so you really target those deep internal muscles. The lowering phase is just as important as the step-up, so focus on slowly lowering your body back to the floor instead of letting gravity take over. Watch a proper weighted step-up performed here.
For more glute-inspiring exercises, sign up for SHREDZ Fit Club, which features a full collection of videos for each area of your body. (Click here for the glute builders.) And its all free!
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