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Best Butt Exercises

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Updated June 10, 2014

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Quadruped Hip Extensions
Best Butt Exercises
Paige Waehner
If you've wondered what the best butt exercises are, you're not alone: The American Council on Exercise recruited some very smart scientists from the University of Wisconsin to find out. ACE and the university studied 6 men and 6 women, ages 18 to 25, while they performed a variety of exercises to find out which ones most effectively work the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and the hamstrings (the major muscles of the fanny). By using EMG electrodes to measure muscle activation, the scientists found out the best exercises to target the largest muscles of the body: the glutes. You can view these exercises incorporated into a lower body workout in this new Best Butt Workout.

Best Butt Exercise

Quadruped hip extensions (or a bent-leg raise while on all-fours) came out on top for targeting the gluteus maximus. This exercise really allows you to contract the muscles of the glutes. How to do it:

  1. On hands and knees, keep the abs tight as you lift one leg up, knee at a 90-degree angle throughout the movement.
  2. Keep lifting the leg until the bottom of the foot faces the ceiling and the hip, thigh and knee are all in alignment and parallel to the floor.
  3. Don't arch the back and keep the neck straight.
  4. Lower back down and repeat for all reps before switching sides.
  5. Add ankle weights for more intensity or, as in this example, hold a light dumbbell behind the knee.
  6. Perform 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 16 reps according to your fitness level and goals.

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