No ifs, ands, or buts: If you want a nice butt, you must train for it. If an Olympian wants to be the fastest swimmer, longest jumper, or most precise marksman, she has to train for it. The swimmer isn't going to swim twice per week, then head over to the archery range a couple times, and follow it up with a few hours of sprint drills. She's going to swim until mastery is achieved.
The rules are no different when it comes to building a strong, round pair of cheeks. But there's an additional upside here: Prioritize butt-building—namely getting your glutes beastly strong—and your entire body will look incredible.
For that reason alone, it's almost your duty to train that booty, and train it well. Here's how to build stronger glutes and get that desired physique:
Pick Well For Your Posterior
Set up your workout regimen to directly correlate with the outcome you want. If you want a better booty—and more important—a better body, you need a program that matches that goal. Sounds simple, but so many workouts performed by women are way off the mark, even when they are designed specifically for women. Don't even get me started on the typical "bro-gram" that many women do in the gym.
No lifter in her right mind can perform every lift under the sun. Just like powerlifters need specific exercises to gear up for competition, you must carefully select the right exercises to achieve your desired results.
Above all else, choose exercises that heavily work the glutes. That immediately eliminates leg extensions, hack squats, or leg presses, which mostly target the quads. You can also get rid of machine leg curls, because the movements we'll be doing will definitely work those hammies.
Inferior (below hip joint) Hip Movements: Squat, split squat, step-up, kettlebell swings, hip thrust, glute bridge
Superior (above hip joint) Hip Movements: Deadlift, good morning, back extension, Romanian deadlift, stiff-legged deadlift
Glute Isolation Movements: Cable kickbacks, cable pull-through
The muscle fibers in your glutes are half fast twitch, half slow twitch. The glutes have multiple subdivisions and perform multiple roles. They play an integral role in basic movements including hip extension, abduction, external rotation, and posterior and anterior pelvic tilting. Your glutes are also responsible for hip and spine stabilization, posture improvement, and injury reduction in the hamstrings and hip joints. No wonder you can't simply add a single glute exercise to your weekly workout routine and expect results.
When setting up your program, select four movements which work the glutes in various ranges without overworking the low back or quads. Choose one or two movements from each section of the above list. That way, you won't unevenly hammer your quads or lower back. It's also smart to put bridging movements first in the workout because they have the highest levels of glute activation. Feel the burn!
Pump Up Your Posterior
Glute pump/burn is an important aspect of training. If you're not feeling the burn, you're leaving room on the table for glute development. This is a vital aspect of strength training for women, and is likely one of the most overlooked aspects during a workout. Leave each workout with your glutes on fire. That's the golden rule. Write it down. Do it.
Glute building is different than powerlifting. Muscles don't know weights, they respond to mechanical tension, metabolic stress, and muscle damage. It's not about how much weight you can move, it's about how much weight you can move with the glutes. Having said that, the stress you apply to your glutes needs to increase over time, whether that's weight, time under tension, volume—whatever. You won't improve your glutes if they never have to adapt to new stimuli.
Kellie's Better Glutes Training Regimen
I put together this sample workout to help you get started. Note that 66 percent of the exercises target the glutes from multiple angles. The remaining percentage involves compound upper body exercises.
For best results, do a full-body workout—one that includes glute work—four times per week. The regimen below is one example. Don't focus on how long you train, but how efficiently. A typical training session can last between 45 and 60 minutes.
Want to learn more? Check out Strong Curves: A Woman's Guide to Building a Better Butt and Body by Bret Contreras and Kellie Davis. This book is a comprehensive guide to decoding the female anatomy so you can unlock your greatest potential when it comes to reshaping, strengthening, and building your best body possible.