This week’s Best Butt Exercise is commonly touted as the king (or queen) of all butt-building moves.
I’m sure you’ve heard of it before.
The Squat: builder of beautiful booties, grower of glorious glutes.
Muscles worked: Glutes, hamstrings, quads
Jolie Recommends: 5 sets of 5, with weight to match whatever level you are at
Difficulty rating: 7
Effectiveness rating: 7
This is one of the best exercises out there for not only building a great butt, but also for improving your posture through strengthening the back and legs.
Not only that, but it’s a very natural move that our bodies are designed to do – children do it all the time.
Unfortunately a lot of us in our adult lives may have forgotten how to move this way.
A nice little side effect is that it also increases your metabolism naturally as you put on muscle.
Muscle tissue requires more energy to sustain than fat. Having more muscle means you burn more Calories naturally, with no additional effort! Not bad, I hear you say? I agree – it’s not too shabby at all..
Best Butt Exercise #27: Squat
The squat is a compound exercise and there are many different variations. This week we’ll be looking at the rear low-back loaded squat (if you choose to add resistance), though this exercise can just as easily be done with just bodyweight.
Squats are a difficult exercise to master, and you’ll want to pay particular attention to your form when doing these.
My suggestion is to start off with no weight or very little weight to practice the mechanics of the move first. This can be achieved by using a broomstick handle instead of a barbell, or a light weighted workout bar.
How to Do the Move
The video from ‘buff dudes’ below is a quick introduction to weighted squats and includes some of the main mistakes to avoid.
For the women out there: don’t let the huge muscly guys put you off. Trust me when I say that weighted exercises (yes, even the traditional ‘muscle man’/body builder ones with huge barbells and weight plates) are one of the best ways to get a sexy body.
You won’t get grotesquely muscular. Us females simply don’t have enough testosterone for that. And unless you are seriously training and trying to get huge, you won’t. Even if you decide you want to, it’s extremely difficult to get a body that starts bulging with muscle, so don’t be afraid.
- Start with your feet approximately shoulder/hip width apart, toes slightly pointed outwards.
- Place a bar or broomstick handle over your back, sitting just below the top of your shoulders. Grasp either side of the bar with your hands (pulling your shoulder blades together and down as you do).
- Keeping your abdominals and core tight, sit your butt backwards as though you are sitting in a small chair behind you.
- The bar should ‘track’ vertically – if someone was watching you from the side, the end of the bar should always be aligned above the center of your foot.
- Once your hips are just below your knees, use your glutes to push yourself up to the standing position. This is one rep.
Perfecting Your Form
The squat is difficult to master, and I strongly recommend performing these in front of a mirror until they feel and look right before attempting these with any form of weight.
- Knees should track out in the same direction as your toes are pointed.
- Back and neck must be held in alignment for the entire move.
- Holding the barbell (in ‘low back’ position) can be a new skill to master in itself. You may need to work on your flexibility to be able to do this correctly. Don’t give up!
If you can’t drop all the way down to a low squat, try doing bodyweight squats with hands on your thighs to build up some strength initially:
You will eventually be able to progress to hands out in front and a slightly deeper squat. Keep working your way up to holding a bar behind your back, and you’ll then have learnt one of the best exercises you can include in your workouts!