Redefining the Booty

You won’t find anyone happier than I, that the female body goal has changed from having the smallest derriere possibly, to having a well-defined booty!  Clearly this has gone hand in hand with the ‘strong is the new skinny’ movement and women around the globe are cheering! With a fresh definition of gym motivation and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle there is a new sense of femininity.  Instead of counting the calories we are now counting reps.

In saying that, I am not one to want to spend hours in the gym.  So, I went in search of the best advice to achieve booty gains by incorporating some simple additions to my current weight regime.  Enter: Daniel Chapelle (@dc.conditioning)

Let’s hand over to Dan (from Virgin Active) for his top glute training tips:

 Before we get into increasing the size of that behind, we first of all need to know how muscle growth occurs. Growing a muscle is referred to as hypertrophy training, whereby our goal is to increase the size of individual muscle fibres for a larger more well-rounded muscle. Hypertrophy training is achieved through ‘progressive overload,’ which describes a continuous increase in stimulus to our muscles by performing a greater amount of sets, repetitions and weights overtime. Performing 3-4 sets of between 8-12 repetitions is a good start, with an extra emphasis on slow controlled negative repetitions for that extra burn.

Figuring out exercises to best target the glutes involves an understanding of their anatomy and function. The gluteal muscles are made up of three muscles, the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. Their role is to collectively extend and abduct the hip as well posteriorly rotate the pelvis and externally rotate the leg. In addition they play a crucial role in stabilization of the pelvis and lower back. With that being said, here are 5 great exercises to grow that booty!

Top 5 Exercises

  1. Hip thrusts
  2. Squat
  3. Deadlift
  4. Lunge
  5. Glute Kick back 

So now I think it’s time to put the trainer to the test.  Below is the work-out Dan took me through.  Did I notice a difference to my usual gym fatigue?  Let’s just say I was walking a little laboured for the next few days.

Barbell hip thrust

  • Set up by sitting on the floor with your shoulder blades against a bench or box
  • Place the barbell across your lap
  • Take a big breath in, brace your core and drive your hips up towards the sky
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top and hold for a second before slowly controlling the bar back to the floor

Tip: Maintain most of the weight through the heels of the foot, tuck chin and posteriorly rotate the pelvis upon the ascent to avoid overextension and promote a greater activation of the glute muscles.

Barbell Back Squat

  • Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart
  • Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder width, dip underneath the bar and squeeze your shoulder blades together before placing the barbell on your upper back/shoulders
  • Push your hip backwards, bend at the knees and lower yourself to a comfortable depth before driving back up the starting position.

Tip: Widen the stance of your feet as well as place resistance bands around the knees to improve glute activation.

Kettlebell Deadlift

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart, toes slightly turned out.
  • Place the kettlebell between your feet
  • Push your hips back by hinging at the hips
  • Reach for the kettlebell and contract your lats
  • Maintain a neutral spine with eyes on the horizon
  • Press through floor and drive your hips forward to stand tall
  • Control the weight by slowly lowering to the floor

Tip: Widen the stance of your feet to improve glute activation.

Dumbbell Goblet Forward Lunge

  • Hold dumbbell in a goblet position in front of the chest
  • Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, engage your core
  • Take a step forward with your right single leg and strike the floor with your heel first
  • Lower your body to the floor until both knees are approximately 90 degrees
  • Press into right heel to drive back up to the starting position
  • Repeat on the opposite side

Quadruped straight leg kickback

  • Set up on your torso horizontal to the floor by positioning your hands underneath your shoulders with your arms straight, and your knees under your hips
  • Straighten one leg out behind you and position your toes on the floor
  • Contract the glutes and lift your leg towards the sky with the straight leg before slowly lowering the leg back to the starting position
  • Keep your abdominals engaged throughout the movement and prevent any arching or movement through the lower back.

And that’s it!  5 exercises that can transform your derriere.  You can thank me later – or PT Dan if you see him around the gym. Oh, and if you are wondering, yes, butt implants are cheating.

Happy training!

*Ensure you speak with a medical professional before commence any training


Daniel holds both a bachelor and postgraduate degree in the field of exercise science and is accredited with Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) as both an Exercise Scientist and Exercise Physiologist. Daniel’s experience ranges from injury rehabilitation and chronic disease management to athlete performance and development.

Daniel has a particular interest in body recomposition through the implementation of scientific principles for both fat loss and the growth of lean muscle mass. In addition, Daniel is skilled in provided strength and conditioning and exercise programming for athletes wanting to improve their sports performance.

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