Bar-In-Front Split Squats

This is a great "trouble spot" exercise for the glutes and hamstrings, specifically that area where the lower glute ties into the upper hamstrings.

It's not going to burn fat directly from that area, but it will definitely work those aspects of the glutes and hams very effectively, helping "lift" the butt.

Great exercise for lifting the butt

It's a simple split squat movement done with a barbell in a very specific way...using the barbell held in FRONT of your lead leg rather than on your back or in between the legs. This positioning is actually extremely powerful in terms of how it forces your body to focus the tension on the lower-glute/upper ham.

 



 

First, you'll need a barbell (dumbbells actually don't work very well for this exercise as having the bar as a solid "block" in front of you keeps the stretch on the correct area more effectively - dumbbells will tend to just hang straight down).

Start with a very light weight the first time you do (even just the bar, which I'll show below). This isn't one I would recommend if you have any lower back issues, but if you do have a healthy back, this should present no problems.

Get into the bottom Split Squat position with the bar in front of your lead leg. Keep an arch in your lower back and lean forward and grab the bar, about shoulder-width apart.

Bar-in Front Split Squats for lifting the butt

Now you're going to stand up, pulling the bar up the front of your leg as you do. Do your best to keep that arch in the lower back as you stand up. This is arch is important for putting a stretch on the glutes and hams at the bottom...no arch, no stretch and the exercise won't work as it should.

Your upper back will likely round forward as you lift...the lower back may even flatten out a bit...but it's the striving to keep that arch in the lower back that matters, both in terms of stabilizing the core and in putting greater stretch on the glutes and hamstrings.

Bar-in Front Split Squats for lifting the buttBar-in Front Split Squats for lifting the butt

When doing this exercise, hold your breath from the bottom until the bar clears your knee. This is the point where core stabilization is not as critical. It's when you're leaning forward that you really want that extra stability for the spine.

Come all the way up to a standing position with your feet together.

Bar-in Front Split Squats for lthe lower glutes and upper hamstrings

Now lower the bar and repeat.

Do your reps on one leg (e.g. 6 to 8 reps) then switch and do the other.

Bar-in Front Split Squats for lthe lower glutes and upper hamstringsBar-in Front Split Squats for lthe lower glutes and upper hamstringsBar-in Front Split Squats for lthe lower glutes and upper hamstrings

Now, as I mentioned above, you want to do this one with light weight. I'm only using 25 lb plates here. There are two reasons for this.

1. It's not an exercise where you want or need to go heavy (or where you even CAN go heavy). The weight is going to be forward of your center of mass, which means you physically won't be able to get very heavy.

2. If you use plates that are too large, you won't get as good a stretch on the glutes and hams at the bottom as you'll be starting too high up (I found 25 lb plates to be the max to use).

Here's what the exercise looks like with just the bar.

Bar-in Front Split Squats for lthe  glute-ham tie-inBar-in Front Split Squats for lthe  glute-ham tie-in

Bar-in Front Split Squats for lthe  glute-ham tie-inBar-in Front Split Squats for lthe  glute-ham tie-in

If you have a hard time finding exercises that really hit your lower glutes/upper hamstrings and this is a "trouble spot" of yours, you'll definitely want to give this exercise a try.

It targets this area exactly and can help "lift" the glutes.

I would recommend performing at least 3 to 4 sets of this one during your glute training for best results.

I would also recommend Bar-In-Front Walking Lunges for targeting the same lower glute and upper hamstring area.

 

 


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