For effective training of the buttocks, we can learn something from frogs. After all, they are known for their sturdy thighs, which sometimes end up on the menus of chic restaurants as ‘frog legs’. By acting more like a frog at the glute bridge, you can better activate your glutes. No, you don’t have to croak.
A firm butt usually requires more than just (heavy) squats. You should also bombard the often forgotten large glute with targeted exercises. Two of the most effective glute exercises are glute bridges and hip thrusts. Glute bridges are done lying on the floor. Hip thrusts are performed leaning on a bench, which increases the range of motion (ROM) and activates the gluteal muscle even more.
Do you find it difficult to properly contract your glutes during hip thrusts and perhaps also during squats and deadlifts? Then fitness coach Bret Contreras, aka ‘The Glute Guy’, has a good helper exercise for you: frog pumps [ i ] . This goes like this: lie on a mat in the position of a glute bridge. Straighten your lower back, bend your neck so that your chin touches your chest, place your elbows on the floor and make fists. Now put the bottoms of your feet together and place your feet as close to your hips as possible. Your legs are now kind of like a frog’s legs. This is your starting position. From here you bring your body up and down again, like a glute bridge. Ignore dubious looks from other gym goers.
Placing your feet together and letting your knees point outwards eliminates the role of the hamstrings and back stretchers. This way the tension is completely on your glutes and you can feel them burning. In the classic version of the glute bridge, the feet are side by side and the knees point forward.
According to Conteras, you can use the frog pump as a “glute activation drill” during the warm-up of a glute/leg workout. It will help you to tighten your buttocks during the main exercises. Do 3 sets of 10 reps using only your body weight.
You can also do the exercise as a ‘finisher’ to let your glutes burn to the maximum. In that case, do 2 or 3 sets of 20 to 30 reps. Due to the large number of repetitions, you mainly target the slow twitch muscle fibers and that is a plus for buttocks training. The large gluteal muscle consists for about two thirds of these ‘slow’ muscle fibers [ ii ]. You should therefore not only train your buttocks heavily, with a lot of weight, but also with lighter weight but for a longer period of time. So do a lot of reps.
You can also make the frog pump a main exercise by weighing it down with a dumbbell.