For the Best Butt Exercise this week, we’ll again be taking it down to the floor to work the glutes on all fours. Hip extension is one of the best ways to get the butt muscles firing, so let’s do it!
Exercise: Hip Extensions
Muscles worked: Glutes, hamstrings, core, balance
Jolie Recommends: 20 reps for 3 sets
Difficulty rating: 3
Effectiveness rating: 7
Best Butt Exercise #33: Hip Extensions
We return to the position on all-fours on the floor this week, because there really are so many great butt-working moves you can do from this starting position. There’s more to butt-building than just donkey kicks, and if you stick with me you’ll soon learn all the variations!
This exercise can be performed with bodyweight, but really benefits from a little added resistance by using a resistance band around your foot.
Alternatively, if you are at the gym you can hook yourself up to a cable resistance machine with an ankle strap or preferably a glute strap. Pushing through the heel and extending the leg up and back is one of the keys that makes this exercise so effective for firming up the butt.
How to Do the Move
The instructional video below is a bit dry, but it shows clearly how to perform hip extensions to target your glutes. The animation is quite good, even though the voice over is a little robotic!
- Start on all fours in a crawling position on your elbows, with your elbows directly under your shoulders, and knees directly below hips.
- Keeping your hips level, lift your left knee off the ground slightly by pulling your leg backwards. Only your right knee should be touching the ground.
- Tighten your core muscles to keep your back and neck in a neutral position throughout the exercise.
- Using the glutes, extend your left leg out directly behind you to straighten it. Your straight leg should be in line with, or higher than the line of your back.
- Bring the left knee back in towards the starting position, stopping just before it becomes parallel with the right leg. This is one rep.
- Complete the desired number of reps, then repeat on the right side.
Perfecting Your Form
- Keep the core tight and back and neck in neutral position for the entire exercise.
- Don’t bring the knee of the working leg in close to the chest – keeping it less than parallel with your balancing leg will keep tension on the glutes to give you a harder workout.
- Lead with the heel of your foot on the working leg and keep the toes pulled up towards your chest.
- Focus on using the glutes to perform the movement, not the abs or lower back.
Aim for 3 sets of 20 reps, or less reps if you can add resistance! This exercise can easily have resistance added by using a resistance band around your foot on the working leg, anchoring it with your hands.
Or, if you really want to get serious with this one, try using the cable resistance machine at the gym to add weight. Consider using an attachment like the glute strap instead of an ankle cuff, which will really get you working into those glutes very intensely.