Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss

Quick Wits: Best Exercises for the Glutes & Calves (Lifting for Muscle Series)

February 15, 2024 Philip Pape, Nutrition Coach & Physique Engineer
Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss
Quick Wits: Best Exercises for the Glutes & Calves (Lifting for Muscle Series)
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Show Notes Transcript

To round out the lower body, we are hitting the glutes and calf muscles today (something for everyone).

"I like big butts and I cannot lie..." 🎶🤣 

Philip (@witsandweights) reveals his top 4 exercises for building strength and definition to get a big butt and big calves in this special Lifting for Muscle Series of Quick Wits!


“Quick Wits” are short, 3-5 minute episodes between full episodes to give you an actionable strategy or hit of motivation.

These mini-episodes give you practical advice on fitness, training, and mindset based on my everyday experience with clients that you can implement right away.

If you enjoy these bonus episodes or have feedback on how to make them better, just send me a message on IG @witsandweights or hit me up in the free Wits & Weights Facebook community.

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Philip Pape:

To round out the lower body. We are hitting the glutes and the calves today. So, ladies and men, something for you. Here today in the lifting for muscle series of quick wits, we're going to talk about my four top exercises for building strength and definition to get a big butt, big calves. Whatever you're going for.

Philip Pape:

Welcome to the Wits and Weights podcast. I'm your host, phillip Pape, and this twice a week podcast is dedicated to helping you achieve physical self mastery by getting stronger, optimizing your nutrition and upgrading your body composition. We'll uncover science-backed strategies for movement, metabolism, muscle and mindset with a skeptical eye on the fitness industry, so you can look and feel your absolute best. Let's dive right in. Today we're honing in on the glutes and calves. Sometimes these muscles are overlooked. I do think they get hit pretty well with other movements, but not as much if you don't respond as well to those or you just want even more definition in these areas. I know a lot of the ladies out there want to work on those glutes, even some of us men. I have the opposite problem and I really need bigger calves. We all want to work on these areas.

Philip Pape:

Let's talk about four exercises today, starting with the glutes. The gluteus maximus is one of the largest and most powerful muscles in the body. It definitely deserves attention. Squats and deadlifts are definitely going to hit them, but if you want some glute-specific movements, we need something that requires squeezing the glutes through hip extension. I'm going to combine two exercises here. Either hip thrusts which I realize are very popular, but they can be a little tricky and the loading is somewhat interesting depending on how strong you are and you don't want to get injured, and trying to get your back in the right place, all that stuff. I like the cable pull-through as a more accessible movement. You put a rope at the bottom of a cable attachment, you stand away from the rack and you just pull through and squeeze the glutes. Honestly, it mimics a kettlebell swing in a way, but you can really load it up and get the tension throughout the movement. That's for hip extension. Number two we have again I'm going to combine a couple things here, but lunges and step-ups. Depending on who you are, you're going to feel it more in the glutes. I like reverse lunges in place, but I also like walking lunges. I'm not a big fan of the forward static lunge. I prefer a reverse lunge or walking lunges. Then also the other thing I mentioned here besides lunges was step-ups. If you have a box, let's say 12, 18 inches, and you can put a barbell on your back or use dumbbells and step up, you can really get a burn in the glute muscles.

Philip Pape:

Let's move on to the calves. These can be very stubborn for some of us, just like any other muscle. You need to give them the right amount of stress, stimulus and volume to get them to grow. Here I'm just going to talk about standing versus seated. Standing calf raises target the gastrocnemius muscle. I think I'm pronouncing that right. That's what gives your calf its rounded shape.

Philip Pape:

We're going to use either a standing calf raise machine or something like a squat safety bar on your back with a calf block. You could even do donkey calf raises. There's ways to do that, with a barbell or with a machine. Really depends on your equipment situation. You could even hang from a dip belt. You can hang some weight and bend over, holding your arms on a rack and a calf block, and do it that way. There's a lot of ways to hit that. Then we have seated calf raises, which target the soleus or soleus muscle Forgive my Latin. That's located beneath the larger rounded calf muscles, that's the lower part of the muscle that helps with your lower leg aesthetics.

Philip Pape:

Seated calf raises is just what it sounds like. You sit down and you're basically pressing up with your thighs, either with a home machine or a machine in the gym. There you go. For the glutes, you've got anything with hip extension Make what did I say? Hip thrust and cable pull throughs. We have lunges and step ups. For the calves, we have standing calf raises and seated calf raises. You might need to get creative with your equipment. There you go Now. Remember, a strong lower body is more than just individual muscle groups. It's really an entire system. If you can work on these separate muscle groups in a complimentary fashion, you'll see overall development, which is what we're going for. Until next time, keep pushing, stay strong.

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