There isn’t one perfect way to sculpt and grow your glute muscles, but the method by Bret Contreras, PhD, CSCS, and author of Glute Lab: The Art and Science of Strength and Physique Training, is pretty close. It’s so good, he’s been dubbed “The Glute Guy” and has the receipts to prove it on his Instagram.
If you’ve been doing random lower-body exercises at the gym without any real purpose, you’ve got to try Bret’s lower-body workout format to grow your glutes, develop your lower-body strength, and become more functional.
Before getting started it’s important to manage your expectations. “So much of getting a nice butt is due to genetics,” Bret told POPSUGAR. “If you’ve got amazing genetics, you can barely do anything and have a nice butt,” he added. Conversely, “You might never end up with the perfect butt of your liking, but it will get bigger and stronger,” he said.
If you’re a beginner, you can and should start with bodyweight movements, eventually building up to using dumbbells and barbells. You can also incorporate upper-body push and pull exercises, like a dumbbell bench press, the inverted row, pull-ups, and the overhead shoulder press to your routine to make it a total-body workout. If you don’t add upper-body movements into this workout, Bret said you can do it three times a week, taking a day of rest in between each time you perform it. On the other days, you can do cardio or an upper-body workout. If you do add upper-body exercises to the following workout, perform this workout three times a week.
If your goal is to improve your lower-body strength and get a bigger butt, check out Bret’s workout ahead.
The 4-Move Lower-Body and Butt-Strengthening Workout
Before getting started, be sure to warm your muscles up. Make sure you have access to a barbell, bumper platers, and dumbbells. When choosing a weight, Bret recommended going as heavy as possible while maintaining good form. Here’s more on how to choose the right weight.
If the weight is too light, increase it in order to challenge your muscles. If it’s too heavy and you can’t perform the designated sets and reps, lighten the weight. Most importantly, don’t forget to lift with effort to stimulate muscle growth, Bret said. Be sure to take two to three minutes of rest in between each exercise to allow your body to fully recover since you’re lifting heavy weights and fatiguing your muscles.
- Barbell hip thrust: three sets of eight to 12 reps
- Barbell squat: three sets of eight to 12 reps
- Romanian deadlift: three sets of eight to 12 reps
- Lateral band walk: three sets of 20 to 30 reps