Of all the muscle groups women love to target, glutes hold the top-ranked position. There's nothing quite like a firm, round backside to finish off your look. A nice booty also shows off the fact that you know what you're doing in the gym.
If you've been training your glutes for quite some time and don't see the results you had in mind, it might be time to re-evaluate how you train them. Stop doing what doesn't work and try reigning Bikini Olympia champ Ashley Kaltwasser's butt-building workout!
Before you hit the gym, check out these key concepts that Ashley uses in her glute-training regimen. This Gaspari Nutrition athlete knows how to make her backside look great on and off the stage—so you and your booty are in good hands.
Incorporate the following five tips into your normal glute training for bikini-ready results!
Tip 1 Balance Through Your Heels
It may sound silly, but if your body weight isn't balanced where it should be, you won't train your glutes as effectively as possible. By putting your weight on your heels, you can turn a mediocre glute workout into one that gets you into tip-top shape in no time.
"When doing an exercise like Smith machine deep squats or glute-ham raises, think of pushing through the heel the entire time," explains Ashley. "This is going to place more stress on the glute muscles, taking away some of the stress off the quads."
Putting your weight on your heels and taking stress off your quads can help you build a firmer, perkier bum without adding a bunch of size to your thighs, so it's worth the effort to get this right.
You may find you need to lower the weight until you grow accustomed to this shifted balance. That's okay. It's better to lift lighter and feel that mind-muscle connection than to lift heavy and lose it.
Tip 2 Slow And Steady Wins This Race
Ashley is quick to point out that building a great butt means slow, steady work. "Slow and steady is more beneficial than fast and sloppy," she says, speaking of pistol squats in particular.
Rushing through an exercise—especially for the lower body—only increases the chance your stronger quads will take over the movement. Doing repetitions quickly can also mean that you'll use momentum rather than your glute muscles to perform the exercise.
Think about keeping your glutes under tension for as long as you can. Know that your workout might take a little longer than it usually does. It's a small price to pay for a killer butt!
Tip 3 Vary Your Foot Stance
Like any other body part, your glutes really benefit when they're worked from various angles. Rather than keeping your feet pointed straight forward, move them into a slightly turned-in or turned-out position. Changing the angle of your feet can put more emphasis on the glutes.
It's just a small change, but it can lead to insane results. Try varying your foot angle by incorporating sumo squats instead of regular squats into you routine.
Tip 4 Add A Single Leg Workout
Single-leg work is one of the best ways to build your glutes. It allows you to concentrate on one side at a time, ensuring it's your glutes—and only your glutes—moving the weight. This takes a lot of balance and a fierce mind-muscle connection. The effort you put into your workout, though, will be what makes the difference.
Because you'll be less stable when performing single-leg exercises than you are during two-legged lifts, you'll be able to feel your muscle fibers firing hard. "Make sure to perform very slow and controlled movement patterns," Ashley advises.
Take your time and feel the burn! If your muscles are screaming, it means you're doing something right.
Tip 5 Incorporate Plyometric Moves
To round out her workout program, Ashley likes to do plyometric work such as box jumps. Box jumps help increase your explosiveness, which will teach your glutes how to fire quickly. Not only is this important for athletic performance, it's great for making your glutes move more efficiently and powerfully.
"When doing box jumps, make sure you land with your entire foot on the box, not just with your toes. You don't want your heel to be hanging off; it's way too easy to get injured that way," says Ashley.
Ashley's Booty-Building Workout
Incorporate this workout into your routine at least twice per week, but don't do it two days in a row. Leave a day or two between sessions.
Because your quads and hamstrings will do a lot of work, you can use this workout in place of your normal leg workout.