7 exercises that will shape your buttocks, and maybe change your life

There’s a good reason to give your butt a little extra attention during your next workout. In fact, there are quite a few. ” A powerful butt is a game changer in fitness ,” Rob Sulaver, certified sports nutritionist and owner of Bandana Training , tells SELF.

” The glutes are the foundation of many primary patterns you perform throughout your training ,” he continues. That means building your glutes will help you be a better runner, yogi, rower, weight lifter, food lifter, kid lifter…the list goes on.

Sulaver, who currently stars on ABC’s “My Diet Is Better Than Yours,” stopped by the SELF office to talk about her buttocks. Here are his seven best moves for beginners to target your booty and build a killer butt.

1. Reverent lunge
7 exercises that will shape your buttocks, and maybe change your life

How to do them: Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Shift your weight to your left leg and step your right foot diagonally behind your left leg. Bend both knees to lunge down until your left thigh is parallel to the ground. Return to the start and alternate sides with each repetition.

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Tip: There are a million different variations of lunges you can do, and all of them are great according to Sulaver, including this variation. Of course, variety is key, so if you already do lunges regularly (whoops!), switch them up: try walking lunges, reverse lunges, side lunges…

2. Hip bridge
7 exercises that will shape your buttocks, and maybe change your life

How to do it: Lie on your back on the mat with your knees bent, feet flat, and arms at your sides. He raises his hips, pause, and lowers them back to the ground. Be sure to push through your heels to lift your hips.

Tip: Make this move more challenging by keeping your right leg extended throughout the entire exercise (just be sure to repeat on the opposite side).

3. Swing with kettlebell
7 exercises that will shape your buttocks, and maybe change your life

How to do it: Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the kettlebell with both hands. Bend your knees and rotate your hips to balance the kettlebell between your legs. Stand up as you swing it up to chest height.

Tip: Squeeze your glutes at the top of the swing when the bell is at shoulder height, explains Sulaver. And he remembers that in this exercise you do not squat, but lean back at the hips. And lastly, be sure to incorporate your breath, so do an explosive exhale at the top of the movement.

4. Climb steps
7 exercises that will shape your buttocks, and maybe change your life

How to do it: Start by standing on top of a plyo box or training bench. Shift your weight to your left leg and move your right foot just behind the box (so it’s hanging over the edge). Slowly bend your left leg and lower your right foot toward the ground. Continue to lower yourself until your right foot gently touches the ground, then drive through your left heel to return to standing position. Don’t forget to repeat the exercise on the opposite side.

Tip: Keep your core tight to help you maintain balance throughout the exercise, and make sure to stay upright (reaching full hip extension) at the top of the exercise.

5. Bulgarian split squat
7 exercises that will shape your buttocks, and maybe change your life

How to do it: Stand with your back to the chair or bench. Bring your right leg forward and place the top of your left foot on the chair or bench. Bend your knees and lower your body until your back knee is on the ground. Straighten your legs to return to the starting position. Don’t forget to repeat it on the opposite side, and hold a dumbbell in each hand to make this move more challenging.

Tip: Press through the heel of your front foot to stay upright, and make sure you don’t put too much pressure on your back foot.

6. Bench squat
7 exercises that will shape your buttocks, and maybe change your life

How to do it: Stand in front of a box or bench with a kettlebell held at chest height. Lean your hips back and bend your knees to lower your buttocks toward the bench. Continue lowering until your buttocks touch the seat of the bench, then push through your heels to stand up.

Tip: make it more difficult by using a lower bench. “This tactical feedback of your butt hitting the bench each time ensures that you’re hitting the same depth and range of motion during each rep,” Sulaver explains.

7. Side steps with mini band
7 exercises that will shape your buttocks, and maybe change your life

How to do it: Wrap a circular resistance band above your ankles (or above your knees), and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and hands on hips (this is your athletic stance). Take a step to the right for 15 seconds, keeping your feet under your hips and not touching. Reverse direction for 15 seconds.

Tip: Do not shift your weight to one leg during the exercise. Stay focused throughout the movement and keep your chest up and your core engaged.

7 exercises that will shape your buttocks, and maybe change your life
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