To really fill out a pair of blue jeans with an amazing rear, Toronto-based coach and personal trainer Lee Boyce, C.P.T., put together this stand-alone workout you should add to your routine as many as two days a week. Stick with the order described here—from most isolated to most dynamic—so you start with the heavier lifts. That way your body will recruit more fast-twitch fibers, which is key to building strength. 

But a few ground rules to ensure you’re doing them right: 1) Always maintain a neutral spine, and don’t round or arch your back; 2) press through your heels; 3) make sure your hips are always the pivot point; 4) start light, and make small progressions.

First: The barbell hip thrust, a building-block exercise that helps train the hip-hinge movement without having to coordinate other joints for an effective workout. To do it, sit on the floor and roll a loaded barbell into your lap. Lie back with your shoulders against a bench, bend your knees, and plant your feet on the floor. Then drive through your heels so you raise your hips off the floor to full extension.

Next: Sumo deadlift, a deadlift variation that uses a wider stance—with toes rotated further out—to better activate the glutes. Be sure to use a narrow grip (inside your legs), push your hips back, and lean slightly forward to grab the barbell. Keep the barbell close to your body as you lower it back down.

Finish with the dumbbell step-up, which works the posterior chain even harder. Start by standing behind a bench that brings your thigh parallel to the floor when your foot is on top. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and step up onto the bench, but leave your trailing leg hanging off. Return to the starting position.

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