Soooo, you’ve asked for it and here it is!!! My booty workout!! Once I started training, leg day quickly became my absolute favorite! What can I say, I’m a glutton for pain! I love leg day soooo much that I have 3 days that target my legs in some way. I have a heavy leg day that’s mostly barbell squats, good mornings, deadlifts. I have a lighter leg day that includes exercises like KB swings, 1-legged KB deadlifts, Barbell Bulgarian split squats, Plie squats, etc. Then I have a glute specific day which maybe my favorite of the three! I rotate some of my leg exercises every 3 weeks or so to keep things fun. I don’t change my entire routine but I may add or replace an exercise. There are tons of other great glute exercises that I include in my training so it looks like there will be a part 2 to this in the future. A lot of my exercises are superset which means you do (2) exercises back to back as 1 set and then rest.
Warm up- Jump rope 5min
20 sec- Jump rope Jumping Jacks
20-sec Jump rope Jumping lunges
20-sec Jump rope shuffle
20-sec Jump rope high knees
20- sec Jump rope Scissors
20- sec Jump rope Criss-Cross Feet Jumps
Leg Press For Glutes
The leg press can be used to specifically target the quad, hamstring, or glute based on your foot position. For all exercises, go through your full range of motion. Ideally, you should be able to lick your knee. I superset between the two exercises and do 4 sets of each
Target Glute- Place feet very high and wide on the platform so that only your heels are resting at the top. Also, point your toes outward at about a 45-degree angle. Go heavy to where you can do 8-10 good reps.
Superset with 1 legged glute press. You’ll place one foot on the floor while the other is placed high on the machine. For these, try doing a lesser weight with 15-20reps for 4sets.
Barbell Hip Thrust
This is one of my favorite and most grueling glute exercises. Glute exercises that involve hip hyperextension with bent knees offer the best total glute activation because the bent knee reduces hamstring involvement.
You’ll need a bench, a barbell, and a barbell pad or towel. Sit on the ground with your back against a bench at about a 45-degree angle and load the barbell over your hips. Plant feet firmly in front of you with knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Keep your spine straight and raise the barbell until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Slowly descend back to the ground but keep your glutes contracted. I mix up the reps and weight for this exercise. Usually I stay at a mid-heavy weight and go for 10-12 reps but sometimes I go very heavy for low reps (5-8) or light for high reps (15-20).
My gym doesn’t have a butt blaster machine so I have to improvise. I use the Lying leg curl machine to add weight to my kickbacks. This is also a favorite of mine because the burn is intense. If you’re new to training your glutes, I would suggest doing kickbacks with no weight initially. To start, get down on all fours facing away from the front of the lying leg curl machine. Make sure your core is very stable and place the heel of your right foot on the pad. Push up and extend your leg until your knee is only slightly bent. DO NOT lock out your knee. Slowly bring your leg back down but maintain tension and do not allow the weight to touch the weight stack. Make sure you’re not hyper extending your back. If you’re feeling pain in your lower back, you need to lower the weight. A common mistake is letting your back sag as you lift your foot up. Your back should remain flat and your neck should be in line with your spine throughout the exercise. I normally do 3 sets of 12 on each leg.
Superset these with the Lying Leg Curl. Go HEAVY on these leg curls at low reps (6-8 range). Explode your legs up toward your glute but come down slow and controlled using only 1-leg.
This exercise uses the assisted pull-up machine and it’s pretty simple. You may have to play with the weight a little to find what’s appropriate for you. After setting the weight, place on foot on the pad and push down using your heel. Focus on the glutes as you push the weight down. I usually do 3 sets on each leg for 15reps.
Glute Kickback Machine
Kneel on the floor or an exercise mat and bend at the waist with your arms extended in front of you. Arms should be spaced at shoulder width. Bend the knees to create a 90-degree angle between the hamstrings and the calves. This will be your starting position. Use cable attachment on machine to place around which ever foot you choose to start with. Lift up your leg until the hamstrings are in line with the back while maintaining the 90-degree angle bend. Squeeze the glutes throughout this movement and hold the contraction at the top for a second or two. Continue for 10-12 reps, for 3 sets, and be sure to switch your legs.
This is an integral part of any efficient routine but is specifically important for glute training. Most people have very tight hip flexors from sitting all day. I am one of those people and it definitely limits me when I’m training. To achieve maximum glute activation, you need adequate hip flexibility so below are a few of my favorite stretches. For each of these try doing 3 sets and hold for about 15 breaths.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Lunge
Take a kneeling position on a soft surface. Put one leg about a foot in front of your kneeling leg and bend into a 90-degree angle. Slowly lean forward into your raised leg and you should feel a pull on the inside of your hips. Repeat with the opposite leg.
Sit with your knees bent and lower your knees down to the side until the bottoms of your feet are touching. Grab the arches of your feet. Slowly and gently try to push your knees down to the ground with your elbows. You will probably immediately feel this stretch in your inner thighs and hips. DO NOT bounce your knees up and down. Try pushing it down as far as you can and hold.
This is my absolute favorite muscle to stretch. When I first started hitting my glutes hard, I suffered from severe muscle cramping afterward. The cramp felt like it was coming my butt or lower back but I could never figure out a way to stretch it. I did some research, found this stretch, and I haven’t had a butt cramp since! There are also many variations of stretching the piriformis muscle so I’ll show you a beginners and an advanced version.
Lay on your back with both legs stretched out. Place your right foot on top of your left knee and draw your legs toward your chest. Your left leg should be at a 90-degree angle and you can intensify the stretch by pulling your legs into your chest with your hands. You can also do this stretch seated. I do this several times a day while I’m at work when my legs get restless.
Pigeon Pose is a stretch I snagged from yoga and I absolutely love it! Start in a push up position and slide your right knee forward toward your right hand. Try laying your right leg down flat so that the outer ankle is touching the floor. Slide your left leg back as far as possible while keeping your hips square and forward facing. You will feel this one almost immediately! Ideally you’ll work toward bringing your left leg all the way back to where your body is flat on the floor.
I’m sure this doesn’t look like much since it’s only a few exercises, however, try it out and let me know how sitting and going up stairs are working out for you the following day. I do a lot of single limb exercises to prevent furthering my muscle imbalances. Once you start lifting, you’ll realize that one side is stronger or tighter than the other.