Many women email me asking how to work their booty. The truth is many lower body exercises will work your glutes, but the key to growing a butt is to do the right exercises and activate or "wake" it before you begin. Why should we activate those muscles, and how is it done?
The number one reason is to prevent injury. It is always a good idea to warm up and slowly get your blood flowing before you exercise, especially when lifting heavy weights. You want to make sure your sleepy leg muscles are awake so they can bear the load and your back does not take over. That can lead to a lower back injury.
Another great reason is to prevent becoming quad (front part of your upper leg) dominant. Most people's quads are stronger than their posterior chain (backside). Because of this, the quads tend to take over when performing lower body movements. That will continue to build strength in the quads, which is good, but not ideal if you want to grow a booty or strengthen your posterior chain. Besides, not too many people can say they feel squats in their butt without activating it first.
You may also notice that you have tight hip flexors. Stretching and performing these exercises will help loosen them up, give you better range of motion, and help you feel your leg workout in your butt.
Here are a few tips before you begin:
*Keep the movements slow and controlled. You don't want to power through them. Hold each contraction for 2-3 seconds before releasing.
*Squeeze your booty at the top of every squat or lunge.
*When squatting, make sure you are driving through your heal and not your toes.
*Hold the hip flexor stretch for about 30 seconds each side.
*A foam roller is another great tool to have in your home to roll out your hip flexors before exercising. If you have knee pain, roll out your IT band every day.
*Perform each exercise for 15-20 reps (each leg).
Obviously there are other exercises you can do to activate your glutes (clams, donkey kick backs, etc.), but this routine is a good place to start before beginning every leg workout.
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