No one wants to hit a booty-building plateau, but if you think your progress is stalling — especially since it's probably been a while since you set foot in a gym — it may be time for a little kick in the butt (pun intended).
That's where these five exercises come in. If a strength plateau is your concern, incorporate these moves into your lower-body workout routine — you'll definitely feel your butt in the morning, promises Carolina Araujo, certified personal trainer.
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1. Pulse Sumo Squat
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and your feet turned out at 45 degrees.
- Hinge your hips back and bend your knees to lower yourself into a squat. Keep your chest up, back flat and knees in line with your toes.
- Reverse the motion to lift up halfway to standing.
- Lower back down to the bottom of the squat.
- Press through the heels and return to standing. That's one rep!
To make this move even tougher, you can hold a weight (dumbbell, kettlebell, weight plate) at chest level, Araujo says.
2. Abducted Hip Thrust
- Sit on the ground with the bottom of your shoulder blades on the edge of a couch, chair or bench.
- Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground just outside of hip-width apart. Point your toes out.
- Keeping your neck long, press into your heels and raise your hips off the ground. As you bridge up, your neck and shoulders should move onto the bench.
- Pause here for a moment, then lower back down slowly.
To add a little extra spice to your hip thrust, place a resistance band right above your knees and focus on keeping it taught as you move through your reps.
3. Elevated Split Squat
- Stand three feet in front of a step or thick book.
- Root your left foot into the ground and raise your right foot onto the book or step.
- Bend your knees, lowering your left knee toward the ground and bending your right knee to 90 degrees.
- Press into your right heel to return to standing in a split stance.
- Once the 45 seconds are up, switch sides.
4. Stiff-Leg Deadlift With Toes Elevated
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, the balls of your feet elevated onto a weight plate or book.
- Hold a weight (dumbbell, kettlebell, heavy backpack or a gallon water jug) in your hands.
- Keeping a flat back, push your hips back and lean your torso forward, allowing a slight in your knees.
- Continue to hinge your hips until your upper body is about parallel to the ground.
- Then, push your hips forward and reverse the motion to return to standing.
Keeping the tiny bend in your knees will help you really target your glutes and hamstrings, Araujo says.
5. Pistol Squat With Chair
- Stand in front of a chair or couch.
- Raise your right leg straight out in front of you.
- Rooting your left heel, press your hips back and sit down into the chair slowly, keeping your back flat.
- Tap the chair with your butt lightly, then press into your left heel and reverse the motion to return to standing.
- Once you finish the time on this leg, switch sides.
Feeling extra strong? Ditch the chair and try a single-leg squat unassisted.