Exercises that pump the buttocks better than squats and deadlifts

All shake the gluteal muscles wrong

In 2009, coach Bret Contreras (Bret Contreras) used electromyography to measure muscle activity during exercise.

During the experiment, participants performed exercises with body weight, dumbbells, barbells and expanders, and special sensors monitored the activity of different muscle groups. After a lot of training using simulators, free weights and expands, Contreras realized that in the world of fitness they do not understand how to pump the gluteal muscles at all.

Static traction and squats do not help pump up the buttocks

There are more effective exercises for pumping the buttocks than the deadlift, squats and lunges.

All these exercises are performed in an upright position and include flexion and extension of the thigh. However, the greatest activation of the gluteal muscles occurs during another motor pattern – the retraction of the thigh back.

Gluteus muscles: abduction of the thigh
Hip back

This movement is natural for a person. It is present when walking, running, sprinting, throwing projectiles, attacks, and exercises for training this pattern are usually performed in a horizontal position.

Exercises for the extension of the thigh also involve the gluteal muscles, but not completely. For example, during the deadlift, the gluteal muscles are activated only by 52%, and in Zergher’s squats – by 45%.

At the same time, the most effective exercises based on the hip retraction, provide more than 100% of the activation of the gluteal muscles. For example, lifting the hips provides 119% activation, retraction of the thigh back on the knees – 112%, and lifting the bent legs back – 111%.

This is confirmed by scientific evidence. StudyA Comparison of Gluteus Maximus, Biceps Femoris, and Vastus Lateralis Electromyographic Activity in the Back Squat and Barbell Hip Thrust Exercises. showed that lifting the hips better activates the gluteus muscles and hamstrings, than squats with a bar on the back. Lifting the hips activates the upper part of the gluteus muscles by 69.5%, and the lower one – by 86.8%, while the squat only by 29.4 and 45.4%.

Based on these findings, Contreras proposed an effective plan for pumping gluteal muscles, consisting of four phases.

Four phases of exercises

Do exercises of each phase for at least 2-3 weeks. At the same time, do not stop doing sit-ups, lunges and cravings. Do these exercises in days of legs, and the complex for activation and development of the buttocks – on other days. It does not take much time and will provide you with strength and hypertrophy of the gluteal muscles.

Phase 1. The development of flexibility of the hip flexor muscles and the activation of the buttocks

To fully activate the buttocks, you need to open your hips, and for this you need to develop the flexibility of the hip flexors.

Stretching of hip flexor muscles

Gluteus muscles: Stretching muscles
Stretching of hip flexor muscles

Remain in this position for 60 seconds, then change the leg. When the time is over, try to gently stretch the stretch.

Exercises to activate the buttocks

Choose two exercises from the below and follow two approaches for 10 static retention pose for 5 seconds each.

Activation of adductors

Choose one exercise from the following and follow two approaches for 10 static retentions of 5 seconds each. If possible, use weighting agents.

Phase 2. Hypertrophy of gluteal muscles

Now it’s time to move on to more complex exercises and pump more functional muscle mass. Choose two exercises and make two sets of 10-20 repetitions.

Choose one exercise and follow two approaches for 10-20 repetitions.

Phase 3. Development of gluteal muscle strength

By this phase, you have already learned to feel your gluteal muscles and understand when they are included in the work. Now you are ready to pump them using heavy weights.

Choose one exercise from the exercises below and make four sets of five repetitions.

Phase 4. Development of power and speed

Now it’s time to test your gluteal muscles and increase their capabilities with a sprint.

Stretch for at least 20 minutes and gradually increase the speed of running on each workout. The break between classes is five days.

  • The first day: four 100-meter sprints at 80% of the maximum speed.
  • The second day: two 100-meter sprints at 90% of the maximum speed.
  • The third day: one 100-meter sprint at maximum speed.

Take a stopwatch and try to set a personal record.

When you are finished mastering the last phase, you can simply mix the exercises from all parts of the program and create your own training for the gluteal muscles.