Your buttocks are primarily made up of three gluteal muscles. The glute muscles cover the attachment sites of your hamstring and adductor muscles. Exercises for the gluteal end of your adductor and hamstrings will also enhance the look of your butt. Use primarily dumbbells, barbells and pulleys to work your legs, maximizing and enhancing the activation of your butt muscles. Progressively increase the weight you are using so you can only lift the weight for five to six sets of six to 12 repetitions. Progressively over-loading your glutes will pump up your butt.
Complete straight legged dead lifts. Do not round your back during this exercise. Hold a barbell with your left palm facing forward and your right palm facing backward; they should be slightly wider than shoulder-width. Stand with your feet 2 to 3 inches apart. Keep a slight bend in your knees. Stick your buttocks out behind you as you lower the barbell until you feel a slight stretch in your glutes and hamstrings. Contract your glutes to raise the barbell back up.
Do walking lunges. The walking lunge significantly activates your gluteal muscles because you focus on one glute at a time; you are also bending your working hip low enough to fully engage the muscles. Hold one heavy dumbbell across your chest using both hands. Step forward with your right leg and bend your hips and knees to form nearly 90-degree angles. Stand up and step forward with your left leg. Continue alternating legs.
Include good mornings. Make the mind to muscle connection with your glutes throughout this exercise and keep your back flat. Position an EZ or crooked barbell across both shoulders and the trapezius muscle at the base of your neck; this barbell weighs 25 to 35 lbs. Place your feet as wide as your shoulders. Begin the movement by sticking your buttocks out behind you as you bend your trunk forward. Extend your head backward slightly to keep the barbell in place. Contract and squeeze your glutes together to return to an upright position. Use the 45-lb barbell in a squat rack as your strength improves.
Do glute extensions on the cable pulley. Strap an ankle attachment around each ankle. Face the weight stack of the pulley machine and connect the cable to your right ankle. Take one step back and keep a slight bend in your left knee with your left foot on the floor. Extend right hip joint and squeeze your right buttocks; your right leg should be nearly straight. Hold the contraction for three seconds then return to the start position and repeat. Switch to the other leg after one set.
- Personal Trainer Manual; American Council on Exercise
- Anatomy & Physiology; Gary Thibodeau, Ph.D. and Kevin Patton, Ph.D.
- American Council on Exercise: Upper Leg Exercises