Muscle building isn’t just about showing off your big guns — it’s about your whole body. And since your glutes are your largest muscle group, it’s essential to build them up for strength and power.
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There are countless variations of squats to choose from. Here are three variations that will really target your glutes.
1. Barbell Front Squat
Barbell front squats are an effective way to sculpt your butt into male-model shape. They work your thigh muscles, particularly in the front of the thighs (quadriceps), and the butt area. This squat is becoming increasingly popular among high-level athletes and fitness enthusiasts as part of CrossFit routines. It’s also been a long time staple among the routines of Olympic weight lifters.
How to Do It:
- Grab the barbell with both hands at about shoulder-width apart on the mat.
- With one swift motion, swing the barbell to the front of your shoulders with your elbows pointed forward.
- Ensuring your elbows are still pointed forward and the barbell is in front of your shoulder, slowly lower your body until your upper body forms a right angle with your quads.
- Push back up for one rep.
2. Bulgarian Split Squat
This is one squat that’s not really meant for beginners or the faint-hearted. Bulgarian split squats help build a strong core as well as help improve balance, since one side of the body bears the majority of the load at a time. It’s best to start the exercise without any added weight. Simply concentrate on getting the movement correct and developing balance.
How to Do It:
- Stand in front of a bench and place one foot on the bench behind you.
- Slowly lower your body into a squatting motion until your torso forms a right angle with your quadriceps.
- To increase the effectiveness of the workout, grab a pair of dumbbells and carry out the routine.
- And for an even more grueling challenge, go underneath a barbell weight rack and with your arms shoulder width apart, hold the barbell weight and support it on the back of your shoulders.
- Go over the same routine you did with the dumbbells, only this time with the with the barbell supported on your shoulders.
3. Zercher Squat
These squats are my favorites as they have a huge impact on the core and abdominal muscles as well as the lower back muscles. These are still fairly rare at most gyms among casual workout enthusiasts but core lifters have a good idea of the benefits of the Zercher squat for a toned butt.
How to Do It:
- Place the barbell on a rack adjusted to the level of your elbows.
- With both elbows bent at your sides, lift the barbell in the bent crook of your arms and slowly start to lower your body until the bar touches your thighs.
- Slowly come back up to the starting posture for a single rep.
- Be careful not to be too sudden with your movements or overload the barbell with weights.