This week I’ll be introducing you to the famous deadlift in today’s post in the best butt exercises series. The deadlift is well known as a classic bodybuilding exercise (which incidentally, is absolutely great for the butt), but there are a few different versions out there and it can get confusing. In this feature, we’ll look at the American deadlift variation, as it specifically works into the glutes by incorporating a slight variation on the movement.
Best Butt Exercise #7: American Deadlift
The deadlift is definitely up at the top of the list when it comes to the best bodybuilding exercises. This compound exercises works many muscles, but mainly the hamstrings, glutes and back.
It is typically performed with a barbell as a weight-lifting exercise, but if you are a beginner and new to weight training, then I recommend you start out with this exercise without any weights (performing the movement with just body weight until you master the move is fine), or with light dumbbells to begin with. As you improve you can work your way up to a barbell and start to add additional weight.
There are a few different versions of the deadlift out there, not to mention the multitude of variations that come into play when you start considering different grips on the bar. Just some of the common versions are:
- Conventional deadlift
- Sumo deadlift
- Stiff legged deadlift
- Romanian deadlift
- American deadlift
We’ll look at the American deadlift variant, which incorporates a pelvic tilt a the end of the movement – the secret behind why this variant is a great choice for working the glutes specifically.
Exercise: American Deadlift
Muscles worked: Glutes, Hamstrings, Back.
Jolie Recommends: Beginners: Bodyweight only, sets of 10 reps. Advanced: Weighted, sets of 5-10 reps.
Difficulty rating: 4
Effectiveness rating: 9
Stand with your feet approximately shoulder width apart, toes pointing forward, angled slightly out for comfort.
Practice with a broomstick, length of dowel, or if you are stuck for equipment, simply mimic holding a barbell in front of your body and just resting on the front of your thighs. Your arms should be fully extended down.
Grip the bar with both hands approximately shoulder-width apart. There are many different hand grips, but I recommend starting with a standard grip with the palms of both hands facing towards your body.
Your head and neck should remain in line with your back the whole time throughout the majority of the lift, with the exception of at the top of the movement when you will be tilting your pelvis and squeezing the glutes to thrust forward.
Holding the barbell (or substitute) in front of you, hinge forward at the hips, allowing the knees to bend slightly.
Keep the back tight, with a slight arch in your lower back.
The bar should track down in a straight line vertically as you hinge at the hips and drop your upper body down, being sure to maintain the arch in your lower back.
Once you feel a maximum stretch in your hamstrings (your hands would be at your knee level or slightly below at this stage), you want to engage the glutes and hamstrings and drive up to a standing position again.
As you reach the top of the movement, tilt your pelvis backwards, tucking your tailbone under and forwards. Your spine may round slightly at the top and bottom as you do this. Squeeze the glutes powerfully as you perform the pelvic tilt – this is where your butt will really be doing most of the work.