There is nothing less attractive to a woman than a guy with a flat butt and baggy pants he has to keep pulling up—you know, that Justin Bieber look. If you're on here to find out how to make your butt flatter and smaller, you've definitely come to the wrong place.
If you haven't thought about improving your glutes, hams, and lower back because you can't see them when you snap a selfie in the mirror, then you're making a huge mistake. Not only is your posterior chain one of the most dominating forces in your entire body, girls straight-up admire a guy with a good backside.
We all know that the king of posterior chain development is the squat; most likely, you're already doing it. (If you're not, it's time for a wake-up call.) I highly suggest doing paused box squats in your routine to build some power and strength. But I'm getting ahead of myself. As much as I love talking about squats, this article is actually about those other movements that will help us guys improve our rear development.
If you've been doing your squats, deadlifts, and hamstring curls, you might think you've got your posterior chain under control. Yes those are good exercises, but there's a lot more you can do to increase the size and strength of your glutes.
Here are four awesome movements you can add to your normal training routine to add some meat to your backside:
1 / Weighted Hip-Thrusters
Weighted hip thrusters are an excellent way to build strength and explosiveness, and are perfect for any performance-oriented athlete. They're also great because you can do them with little chance of injury and go heavy. I like to do these with my back on the bench and an Olympic barbell placed directly across my hip crease. FYI: I also use a pad so I don't crush any precious organs and keep the pain to a minimum; I suggest you do the same.
When you thrust upward, you should feel a strong contraction in your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. I recommend doing 5 sets, working up to a 5-rep max.
If you want some more difficult variations, do them with one leg or with your upper body on an elevated box for a greater stretch.
2 / Romanian Deadlifts
This exercise is super-important, but it has to be performed right. The most common mistake I see people do is rounding their back because they think more weight means more strength. In the case of Romanian deadlifts, however, we want to isolate the lower back, hams, and glutes.
In order to do this movement correctly, your hips have to lead the way. It is important to keep the spine in a lordotic curve (arched), the chest chin up, and your upper back tight. Once the hamstrings have fully stretched, and you have completed the range of motion, come back to the starting position. Remember, the point of this movement is not to get the bar all the way to the floor, for most people, the end point lands somewhere on the shin.
Don't overdo the forward hip motion once you stand back up. Don't tilt backward—straight up and straight down is more than sufficient. If the proper posture is compromised, the exercise is not working the proper muscles and you are at risk for injury. Do not compromise your form to get more range of motion!
This is another exercise we can perform heavy at a low rep range to work on our explosiveness. I recommend 5 sets, working your way up to your heaviest weight in a 6-rep range. Finish with one set of 25 reps at a light weight.
3 / Glute-Ham Raises
Glute-ham raises are an excellent and seriously challenging exercise. I believe they're paramount to hamstring development. So, why you aren't doing them? Unless you go to a specialized gym or an athletic development center, your gym probably doesn't have a glute-ham machine, or GHR. Don't panic. There are a few ways to overcome this nightmare of training at a health club.
If you have a partner, you can perform the exercise on the ground with your partner holding your ankles to support you. We call it a floor glute-ham raise. Use a pad under your knees to avoid pain. You can increase the difficulty of this exercise by holding a plate to your chest.
For an even easier variation, use your standard lat pull-down machine. To do it, face away from the machine and place your ankles under the pad that your thighs usually press against. Put your knees on the pad you usually sit on. This method works well because you can actually hold on to the bar from the machine for a little extra support if you are still building up strength.
The GHR is a tough movement. You'll find that you'll burn out quickly. I suggest working your way up to 5 sets of 8 reps.
4 / Bulgarian Split Squat
Use the Bulgarian split squat as a devastating finisher. I perform these holding dumbbells with one leg elevated on a bench. When you do these, drop as deep as you can to get a good stretch in your glutes and hamstrings. You'll also feel your quads work. Perform three heavy sets on each leg trying to stretch and explode out of the bottom.
To get the most from your glute training, add these movements to your regular regimen. They can be mixed up, added in at different times and in different ways, but they should become staples in your training.
The little things make the big differences. These movements may not seem like much, but they'll improve your squat, strength, and the way your jeans fit.