Barbell Hip Thrusts
I learned about exercise from Bret Contreras. It directly targets the glutes and heavy weight can be used. From a strength standpoint, this will enhance the deadlift lockout or any hip thrusting motion. I have used these frequently with IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Johnnie Jackson. It helped him deadlift 832 raw in a meet this year. Johnnie did these with over 600 pounds. Don't use pygmy weights here; heavy pig iron is needed to get the job done.
How to correctly perform a barbell hip thrust:
Start with your body seated on the ground with your back rested upon a bench
Make sure the bench won't move
Place a weighted barbell on your hips
If you have large hips, plates can be stacked under the loaded weights to give you extra room
From here, lean your shoulders back against the bench with your shoulders resting on top of the bench
Forcefully push your hips up vertically, keeping the bar rested in your pelvis region
Hold this top position briefly
Return to starting position
For strength, keep sets in the 5-8 rep range and for physique development in the 12-20 rep range
Single Leg Cable Kickbacks
This isolation exercise is very effective for targeting the glutes. I have used these with Priscilla Smith and she has gone from a last call Bikini competitor to a strong national level competitor and soon-to-be pro.
How to correctly perform single leg cable kickbacks:
Hook a cuff around the ankle (you can use ab straps or even free motion handles)
Face the weight stack and stand approximately two to three feet from it
Hold the steel supports to balance yourself
Slightly bend your knees and tighten your abdominals
Using the leg that has the cuff, kick back as far as you can
Hold your leg at that position for a second to get a good peak contraction
Return to the starting position
*Important note- This exercise can also be done with resistance bands.
Below is an example on a physique athlete leg day.
Dead Stop Leg Press-15,15,15
Leg Extensions One Leg-20,15,12
Barbell Hip Thrusts-12,12,12
Below is an example of a movement-based power program on the deadlift day
Glute Ham Raises-6,6,6
Barbell Hip Thrusts-6,6,6