Butt & Lower Back Workouts

Whether you're a recreational weightlifter or a strength athlete, having a strong butt and lower back can help you lift heavier weights with a reduced risk of back injury. Although some isolation exercises, such as performing back extensions on a stability ball, can help you increase lower-back strength, these exercises may not transfer the strength benefits to specific athletic performance. Therefore, it is better to do workouts that train your butt and lower back together with other muscle groups. Not only will you improve full-body strength and movement, you'll also burn more calories in less time than training in isolation.

Lower-Body Circuit

Step 1
Warm up for about four to six minutes with light aerobics, such as jogging or skipping rope, to improve blood rate and elevate heart rate. Perform dynamic exercises to increase hip and lower-back mobility, for example, Sun Salutation, hip swings and standing trunk twists. Perform each of the exercises in a circuit for 30 to 40 seconds with minimal rest in between each exercise.

Step 2
Prepare the kettlebell deadlift by placing a kettlebell that is between 30 to 50 pounds on the floor in front of you. Stand with your feet about hip-distance apart with the kettlebell between your big toes. Hinge your torso forward at your hips to grab the kettlebell with both hands, bending your knees slightly and keeping your back straight. Exhale as you push your feet against the floor to straighten your legs, thrusting your hips forward to lift your torso upright and the kettlebell off the floor. Keep your shoulders away from your ears. Inhale as you lower the weight by hinging your torso forward and bending your knees slightly, sticking your buttocks behind you.

Step 3
For the barbell squat, place a barbell on your shoulders behind your head and stand with your feet in the same position as you did for the deadlift. Hold the barbell with both hands with your elbows bent and your shoulder blades pulled together. Take a few deep breaths with your belly before you squat. Inhale as you lower your body into a deep squat while keeping your back straight and your heels on the floor. You may turn your feet and knees out slightly if needed. Exhale as you stand straight up without rounding your spine. The exhalation should automatically tighten your abs and lower back to brace your spine.

Step 4
Start the kettlebell swing by holding the kettlebell with both hands so that the weight is near your groin. Stand with your feet about hip-distance apart with your knees and feet slightly turned out or pointing straight ahead. Rock your hips back and forth to gradually build up enough momentum to swing the kettlebell. Exhale as you swing the kettlebell between your legs while hinging your torso forward. Inhale as you thrust your hips forward, swinging the kettlebell in front of you until the weight reaches the level of your eyes. The kettlebell should feel almost weightless for one second at the peak of its arc. Keep your back straight throughout the exercise. Rest for one minute after each circuit and repeat the workout two to three more times.

Warnings

See your physician or another qualified medical professional if you experience pain in your back, hips or knees. Work with a qualified exercise professional or a kettlebell instructor before training on your own if you're new to strength conditioning.

Tips


  • Activate your buttock muscles more by squatting deeper. A study performed at the Cardiff Metropolitan University in Cardiff, Wales, showed that rugby players had higher gluteus maximus activation when doing a parallel squat instead of a quarter squat. You may change the squat exercise by holding the barbell in front of you or using a dumbbell or kettlebell instead.
  • Use a lighter weight or decrease the time if you cannot perform an exercise within the given duration or cannot use proper control and form. Use a heavier weight or increase the time if you can perform the exercise without breaking a sweat.