Worst Booty Exercises

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Like I mentioned in my last post, when I first started my build-a-booty journey, there were not many resources online back then.

Nowadays, there are a tonne of Instagram models and trainers putting out videos on the daily, which actually give me new ideas on exercises to try.

I will try almost anything once. But I’m gonna be real here – I think a lot of these exercises are just an excuse for these models to get sexy, crazy up close shots of their butt.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about showing off your best assets!

But when it comes to booty building, I don’t mess around with these non effective exercises.

When I work out, I like to only spend time on exercises I KNOW, without a doubt, are really working the muscle group (in this case, the glutes). I need to feel that contraction and burn during the entire movement.

I understand that every body is different, and what works for me may not work for you. And a lot of times, which exercises you do all comes down to preference.

So here are some exercises that I’ve tried that just didn’t cut it for me.

Single leg pushdown on the Assisted Dip/Pull Up machine

I’ve tried this on numerous occasions, and for the life of me, I just could not feel it in my glutes.

I played around with my foot positioning and angle, a forward lean, then a backward lean. I’ve tried adjusting the weight lighter and higher. I see so many girls do this at my gym and all over the ‘gram, but I could not get it to work at all!

To me, I think it’s the perpendicular movement of the leg, and there isn’t enough flex and rotation of the hip, so I can’t get a good contraction in the booty.

What works WAY better for me are lunges on the hack squat machine. It allows me to lunge deeper, really pop that booty on the way down, creating a bigger range of movement, and really feeling that buuuuuuurn.

Glute Kickback Machine

For this, I’m talking about this machine model in particular:

I’ve tried it so many many many times.

Again, I tried adjusting my stance, the load, my body positioning. I’ve even tried doing it sideways. I just can’t feel it in the booty.

To me, the combination of your body being upright, and your leg pushing the load straight back, doesn’t allow you to really flex that hip up and back to contract those glutes. I actually only end up feeling this more in my quads (front thigh) on the negative movement.

I find exercises where your leg is pushing the load “back and up” way more efficient. ie. cable kickbacks, or kneeling donkey kicks on the laying leg curl machine.

I’ve just joined a new gym, and they have a version of the Glute Kickback machine that is 100% better. It allows you to be slightly bent forward, and your leg is pushing the weight “back and up”. It’s similar to this model shown here:

better glute kickback machine


saywhatOkay, let me explain this.

We’ve all seen the memes and the comments about that “squat booty”.

Squats are a great exercise and should be included in every program. But as far as the best for booty building, I don’t think so.

Squats are a compound movement, and are great for building overall strength (mainly in your legs, but it also strengthens your entire upper body).

But when it comes to booty building, there are other exercises that more efficiently activate the muscle. Read more about it here on Bret’s blog.

Basically, Hip Thrusts have a higher EMG rating in the glutes than squats do. EMG measures muscle activation. And I am ALL about activating those muscles.

EMG however, does not measure hypertrophy (muscle growth). So it doesn’t necessarily mean that your booty won’t grow with squats. My workout routine involves quite a bit of squats. I need to build the strength for progressive overload in my other workouts.

But I don’t think it’s THE end all, be all booty building exercise that everyone praises it to be.

It does activate the glute muscles, but there are exercises that fire those same muscles even more.

Like I said, I just love feeling that burn and contraction when I workout. That’s why I prefer to do exercises with a higher booty activation.

Sooo…. What are your least faves?

Have you tried these exercises and felt the same way as me? What are some exercises you’ve tried but just couldn’t get it to work?

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Let me know in the comments below!

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  1. Isolation machines make me mad lol. I just do Crossfit. Great post!

    1. hahaha, we all have different preferences and goals. As long as you’re keeping in shape and enjoy doing it, do whatever makes you happy! 🙂

  2. Ahhh! I’ll have to give these a try. I can already feel the sore glutes

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