Butt Exercises That Are Gentle on the Knees

Stiff-leg deadlifts develop strength and size in your glutes.

Stiff-leg deadlifts develop strength and size in your glutes.

The gluteus maximus of the butt is the largest and most powerful muscle in your body. Most workouts that are designed to target the butt involve squats and lunges, which are compound exercises that involve the knee joints. However, it is possible to develop the butt by performing exercises that don’t require any contribution from the knees.

Stiff-Leg Deadlifts

The butt is the muscle responsible for handling most of the work during the stiff-leg deadlift. Stand with your feet set to about shoulder-width apart. Grip a barbell with your hands set just outside your hips and your palms facing your thighs. Allow the bar to hang down in front of your thighs. Keep your knees straight as you push your hips backward and bend forward at the waist so you lower the bar down toward your feet. Your back needs to stay straight throughout the entire movement. Once your back is near parallel to the floor, extend your hips and rise back up to a standing position. Perform two sets of eight to 12 repetitions.

Lying Hip Extension

Instead of using an outside weighted implement, the lying hip extension uses your own body weight as resistance. Lie on your back on a mat with one leg extended and the other knee bent with your foot flat on the floor. Set your arms on the floor down by your sides. Push your hips up off the floor by driving your heel into the ground. Your extended leg should rise up off the floor with your hips. After you’re finished with one leg, perform the next set with the opposite leg bent. Doing each leg at a time allows you to work each glute independently. Perform two sets of 12 to 15 repetitions on each side.

Reverse Hyperextension

For reverse hyperextension, lie face down on a tall hyperextension bench with your hips and legs hanging off the edge. Grip the handles tightly with both hands. Keep your legs straight as you raise them up behind you until they’re parallel with the floor. If the exercise is too difficult and you’re unable to perform repetitions without jerking upward, you can reduce the amount of weight you have to lift by bending your knees slightly. To make it more difficult, with your legs extended, squeeze a weighted plate in between your feet. Perform two sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.

Good Mornings

To perform good mornings, place a weighted barbell on the back of your shoulders. Set your feet so they’re shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight and eyes up as you push forward at the waist. Continue until your back is nearly parallel with the floor and then extend your hips to return to a standing position. If you’re just starting out, begin without using a barbell and instead place your hands behind your head. As you build strength, you can add weight to the barbell. Perform two sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.

 

About the Author

Kim Nunley has been screenwriting and working as an online health and fitness writer since 2005. She’s had multiple short screenplays produced and her feature scripts have placed at the Austin Film Festival. Prior to writing full-time, she worked as a strength coach, athletic coach and college instructor. She holds a master's degree in kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton.

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