By Erin Fischer
SIX STAR AMBASSADOR
It is often believed that doing the same exercises repetitively will give you the results you desire, when in reality, you should consistently be changing up your workouts. While training legs, it is important to focus on the different muscle groups, training each in different ways. For the ultimate glute development, these movements are crucial.
1. ROMANIAN DEADLIFT (BARBELL)
Start by holding the barbell at your hips, keeping your shoulders back with a slight arch in your back, and a slight bend in the knees with your feet shoulder-width apart. Begin to lower the bar by bending at the hips. Make sure to keep the bar close to your body and keep your shoulders back, an arch in your back and a slight bend at the knee. Keeping your weight in your heels while driving your butt back, you will feel the tension in your hamstrings. You then want to drive the hips forward and return to the starting position, squeezing the glutes while standing up tall.
2. LATERAL BAND WALKS
This exercise is done with a resistance band around the ankles. For an easier movement, the band can be moved higher up, below the knees. Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, squatting halfway down. Start to take sideways steps in one direction, stepping onto the heel rather than pushing through your toes. Continue to resist the pulling of the band while taking steps and staying low in squat position. After 10 to 15 steps, switch to taking steps in the opposite direction.
3. KETTLEBELL SUMO SQUAT
For this movement, stand in a wide stance with your feet pointed slightly outward. The wider your stance is, the more your glute muscles will be activated rather than your quads. Hold a kettlebell in front of you and keep your back straight. Begin to lower into a squat position, keeping your posture upright. Return back into the starting position, pushing through the heels and squeezing the glutes at the top of the repetition.
4. BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT
Position one leg reaching back onto a bench behind you. You want to make sure you are not too close to the bench (that will focus more on your quads), and also not too far away (that will cause pain in the groin and hips). Begin to lower down into a lunge position until the back knee is close to the ground. Then, push through the heel, returning to the starting position. After 10 to 15 repetitions, switch legs. This movement can be performed holding dumbbells for an added difficulty.
5. ROPE PULL-THROUGH
Similar to the Romanian deadlift, begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, shoulders back, a slight arch in the back and a slight bend at the knee. Using a cable machine, attach a rope and face away from the machine, straddling the cable so the rope is in between your legs. Bend at the hips, reaching back through your legs, and keep your arms straight until tension is felt in your hamstrings. While returning to the starting position, push through the heels. Make sure you are keeping the motion in your hips rather than pulling through your shoulders, and squeeze the glutes at the return to the start position.
6. BARBELL HIP THRUST
Begin by sitting on the ground against a bench, with a barbell across your hips and feet firmly on the ground in front of you. Elevate your glutes off the ground slightly, and this will be your starting position. Pushing through your heels, extend your hips upward, forming a straight line with your body going from your shoulders to the knees and squeezing at the glutes. Pause at the top while your body is in this straight line, and then slowly bring the hips back toward the ground and repeat for 10 to 15 repetitions.