Here’s one exercise that probably should be up at the top of the best butt exercises list – the Frog Pump exercise, or just ‘Frog Pumps’ as they’re becoming known as.
A variation of the glute bridge, this variation was specifically invented to target and isolate your gluteal muscles by Bret Contreras (the self-proclaimed ‘Glute Guy’ for those of you who haven’t heard of him before).
As a qualified personal trainer who has a specific focus on building great glutes, you can be sure that this exercise is going to help you activate and target your glutes – it’s specifically designed so that your body can’t help but use the glutes to complete the motion.
Exercise: Frog Pumps
Muscles worked: Glutes
Jolie Recommends: 3 sets of 50 (bodyweight) / 3 sets of 20 reps (weighted)
Difficulty rating: 5
Effectiveness rating: 8
Best Butt Exercise #44: Frog Pumps
This exercise is perfect for beginners to the glute game. If you’ve ever had trouble with activating your glutes, this may well be the exercise for you that changes the everything.
Basically, you can’t train your glute muscles if you’re not able to feel them working (other muscles will just end up taking over), so being able to activate your glute muscles is extremely important if you want to build a better butt through strength training!
The Frog Pump exercise is a specific variation of glute bridges (one of my favorite exercises for the butt) that has been customized so that you will feel it more in your butt.
Changing the foot placement, having the knees splayed out, keeping your chin on your chest, and keeping a posterior pelvic tilt all are chosen specifically so that your body can’t help but use the glutes muscles to lift up your hips. There’s simply hardly any other choice – the glutes are really the only muscle that can perform the movement.
It means that this variation may be perfect for those who have given regular glute bridges a go and are struggling to feel them in their butt.
A word of caution though – the frog pump varation may not be for everyone.
Some people absolutely love them because they feel their booty working almost immediately; but others can’t get it to work for them. That’s perfectly natural, as each of us have a different anatomy that can result in differences to how you feel a particular exercise.
In any case, I’d recommend you give this one a try – it may just be your next favorite glute activation exercise!
How to Do the Move
The frog pump exercise is done from a lying position, as explained in the video below:
- Place the soles of your feet together with your knees butterflied out, with knees bent and feet placed about a foot or two away from your buttocks.
- Flatten your lower back (lumbar spine) to the ground, and tuck your chin to your chest so you are looking down between your legs.
- Place your elbows firmly on the ground either side of your torso to stabilize your body.
- Tuck the pelvis forward and under so that it is in a posterior tilt position before starting the exercise.
- Keeping your core tight and pelvis tilted posteriorly, press the hips up into the air by squeezing the glutes strongly.
- Squeeze tightly at the top and then lower back down.
- Repeat, squeezing the glutes as forcefully as possible at the top of each ‘pump’.
Perfecting Your Form
- Flatten the lumbar spine to the ground and keep your chin tucked – this improves your spinal position and increases glute activation.
- Keep your ribs down (don’t arch your back) – keeping your core tight can help with this.
- Play around with your foot placement until you feel it the most in your glutes. Keeping the feet closer to your butt will help inhibit the hamstrings from taking over.
- Maintain a posterior pelvic tilt throughout the whole exercise, which will help you really feel this one in your glutes.
As always, start this one with just bodyweight to begin with. You should find that you can work up a good burn even without using any weights.
I recommend starting out with 3 sets of maybe 10 reps. Work your way up to 3 sets of 50 reps before you think about adding weight to make the exercise a little harder.
You can either come all the way back to the ground for one rep, or do half-depth ‘pulses’ for each rep. Play around and see what feels best – whichever seems to give you the best booty burn!
Advanced – How to Frog Pump Like a Boss (Frog pumps described in great detail!)
Since Frog Pumps are becoming so popular, Bret actually made a follow up video which covers the frog pump exercise in even more detail.
It goes over some of the same instructions, but it’s worth watching for a little extra detail and also to hammer home some of the form cues.
Check out the video below to understand exactly how to perfect the move (and even load up a heavy dumbell) to max out your glute gains:
Yes, they look silly and you may not want to do these in public at the gym, but at least have a play around with these at home and let me know how you go!
I’m interested to hear what you have to say – do you feel frog pumps in your glutes? Let me know by leaving a comment below!