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At Oxygen, we hear a lot of questions (and complaints!) about glutes. For women, getting their butt in shape is high on the list (it’s all about that bass, right?), but the glutes are among the most notoriously stubborn and uncooperative bodyparts to shape.
Related:Get Ashley’s Awesome Abs
To help decode the mystery of getting great glutes, we turned to 11-time IFBB Bikini champion Ashley Kaltwasser. She opened up her top-secret training log to us and shared her best training and three of her all-time favorite moves for building and shaping her booty. Use her advice, and make your glutes the envy of your gym.
Ashley’s Top Tips for Training Glutes
1) Always have your weight in your heels. This helps take away the engagement of your quads and shifts the work to the powerful muscles in your glutes instead. During movements like squats, you should be able to lift your toes off the ground at any time during a rep.
2) Pre-exhaust your glutes with some resistance-band work or isolation movements, such as my banded fire hydrants, before tackling the bigger moves like squats and lunges. That way they have to work harder to lift a weight that might not normally feel very heavy.
3) Incorporate plyometrics into your leg training. Explosive moves like jump lunges, pop squats and speedskaters require the power of the glutes to propel your body into the air.
4) Work all sides of your glutes with multidirectional exercises — front lunges, side lunges, skaters, donkey kicks, bridges. Use everything in your training arsenal and keep changing it up to keep progressing.
5) Make your cardio glute intensive. Put an incline on the treadmill, do sprints on a track or use the StepMill. Also, one of the best cardio machines for glutes is the rowing machine, which requires the legs to push explosively to initiate the row. Watch a YouTube video on rowing form, then do some intervals on the rower at your gym after your leg workout.
Stability-Ball Lower-Body Extension
Setup: Lie facedown on a stability ball and roll forward so your hands are on the floor in front of you and your hips are fully supported on the peak of the ball, legs together, abs tight.
Move: Lift your legs up into the air as high as you can and pause. Hold yourself steady with your hands and abs. Slowly lower to the start and repeat right away.
Tip: To hit your glutes from a different angle, try lifting your legs in a V position.
Related:A Champion Lower Body
Setup: Take a wide split stance — one foot forward, one foot back — with your hands on your hips.
Move: Bend both knees to lunge down, then extend them quickly and jump up as high as you can, switching legs in midair to land with your opposite leg forward. Immediately bend both knees to go into your next lunge and continue, alternating sides.
Tip: Your front knee should always stay over your toes to protect your joints, and you should always land softly and absorb the impact.
Setup: Get on all fours and wrap a resistance band around your working leg just above your knee. Make sure your back is flat and your head and spine are neutral.
Move:Lift your banded leg up and to the side, keeping your knee bent 90 degrees and lifting to hip level and your weight distributed evenly between your hands and knee. Pause at the top, then slowly lower to the start, resisting the pull of the band as you return. Do all reps on one side before switching.
Tip: Keep your hips square and steady as you do your reps, and don’t let your back sway.