Butt Fact: The primary function of the gluteus maximus is hip extension, meaning moving the thigh to the rear as in walking or running.
Despite the name, bench squats can also be done on a sturdy chair or stool. This exercise leads to very functional movement patterns that are important in everyday life.
- Start by sitting down and position your feet in front of you about hip width apart. Your knees should be angled about 90 degrees and positioned slightly behind your toes.
- Keeping your back flat, not rounded, cross your arms and stand up, driving through your heels.
- Slowly sit backward and down, pushing your hips and butt out behind you.
- Touch your butt to the seat and drive back up through your heels.
- Return to standing and repeat the squat 15 to 20 times.
Tips: Try not to let your upper body fall forward when standing up or use momentum to stand. As you get stronger, lower yourself to the bench and don’t sit all the way down, just barely touch the seat before standing again.
This exercise can be progressed by adding resistance. You can hold a kettle bell, or dumbbell in front of your chest, or wear a weight vest. If you squat with a barbell, this becomes an advanced exercise that experienced weightlifters use to correct their form.