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Best Butt Exercise

I'm a Trainer, and This Is the 1 Butt Exercise I Give to All My Clients (It's Not a Hip Thrust)

A lot of people come into the gym asking for a bigger butt. There's no shame in wanting a plump derriere! In fact, there are many functional benefits of having strong glutes, like less lower-back pain, the ability to run faster, more functional hips, etc. So when a client comes in asking for a bigger butt, I'm all for it.

Although the hip thrust is the king of glute exercises, I'm more partial to the Bulgarian split squat when it comes to the intersection of size and functionality of the glutes.

Bulgarian split squats will target your glutes and legs, but will also challenge your balance and stability. These are important components of a functional approach to fitness. Just as importantly, Jason Walsh, celebrity trainer to women like Jessica Biel and Brie Larson, told POPSUGAR, "Each leg works independently of each other and also together for certain moves." You can rectify imbalances (one side being stronger or weaker than the other), so there's a lot to be gained from doing single-leg variations of classic strength-training moves.

I have my clients do Bulgarian split squats once or twice a week. You can do it with dumbbells or kettlebells at your side, or you can do it with a barbell on your back (in the same position as a back squat). Here's how you do a Bulgarian split squat.

  • Begin by placing the toes of your right foot on a bench, box, stair, or chair with your left leg straight.
  • Make sure your left foot is out far enough so that when you lower your hips, your knee stays directly over your ankle.
  • Bend your left knee, squeeze your right glute, and lower your pelvis toward the ground.
  • Press your left heel into the ground to straighten your left knee. This completes one rep.
  • Do 15 reps before switching legs.
Image Source: Josh Wiseman
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