Building a larger butt has definitely become a trend in the fitness community. As a trainer, I have to say that I'm not opposed to it at all. Yes, it has a lot to do with vanity, but at the end of the day, consistently doing lower-body strength exercises primarily focusing on the gluteal muscles will strengthen and activate those muscles. This is important for a few reasons: having active glutes (when the muscles are firing properly) will allow you to improve your athletic performance (running, jumping, etc.), it will prevent dormant butt syndrome (your hip flexors tighten and you may experience back and knee pain), and your butt will look amazing.
One of the most popular glute-activating exercises is the barbell hip thrust. All you have to do is scroll through Instagram and you'll see your favorite influencers, celebrities, and even your friends doing this move. I think it's a great exercise to incorporate into your routine to improve your overall lower-body strength and to enhance your assets, but I don't advise it for beginners since it's an advanced lift.
Instead, I recommend starting with the weighted glute bridge. This will allow you to get comfortable with the movement pattern before progressing to the barbell hip thrust. Curious about how to do it? Continue reading for all the details.
Here's how to do a weighted glute bridge:
- Grab a medium to heavy dumbbell; 20 pounds is a great starting point. You can also do this exercise using just your bodyweight.
- On your mat, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Be sure and keep your feet underneath your knees, not in front. Place the dumbbell on top of your lower abdominals (below your belly button and above your hip bones). Hold the dumbbell in place with both hands to prevent it from moving.
- Raise your hips up to the ceiling, tensing your abs and squeezing your butt as you do. You should be making a long diagonal line with your body, from shoulders to knees.
- Hold for three seconds making sure your spine doesn't round and your hips don't sag. Keep your abs and butt muscles engaged.
- Lower down to the ground; this is considered one rep.
- Complete three sets of 12 reps.
- Begin to implement this exercise into your routine two to three times a week. Once you're comfortable with this movement pattern, advance to the barbell hip thrust.