A firm rear looks good in everything (and nothing!) For most of us, that’s enough reason to power through squats and lunges, even if they make our knees beg for mercy.
But now there’s an even better way to train your butt, no squats or lunges required. It’s called the barbell hip thrust, and personal trainer Bret Contreras, MA, CSCS, says it’s his go-to move to target your glutes (butt muscles).
The innovative exercise was inspired by an unlikely source: the Ultimate Fighting Championship. When Contreras was watching the fights, he realized the fighters could use stronger hips to help them escape certain positions. After trying just one set of barbell hip thrusts in his garage gym, his glutes started to burn. Contreras realized the exercise would help develop a strong butt without overloading your quads (the muscles at the front of your leg that take part of the load during a squat or lunge).