BY BJ GADDOUR
“The 4-3-1 dumbbell sumo squat definitely makes the list of my top 10 butt-building exercises,” says Bret “The Glute Guy” Contreras, the world’s leading expert on glute development and our host for the #MHGluteProject.
I always hesitate to share an exercise with the word “sumo” in it because it doesn’t exactly give off #BodyGoals vibes. But “sumo” really just means that you’ll be using a wider than normal stance to perform a squat or deadlift, much like a sumo wrestler who’s getting ready to bump bellies with his fellow shirtless 300+ pounders.
What’s the 4-3-1 mean?
Well, it’s not an area code. It describes the tempo with which you should perform the exercise. The first number describes how long you should take to lower the weight. The second number describes how long you should pause at the midpoint or bottom of the exercise. And the third number describes how fast you should lift the weight or return to the starting position.
So you’ll lower for 4 seconds, pause for 3 seconds at the bottom, and come right back up in a second. This means each rep will last at least 7 seconds, which is 2 or 3 times longer than the speed of movement most people use in the gym. This extended time under tension is a great way to spur new muscle growth while using lighter loads than normal. And it’s particularly challenging to hold that bottom position with your hips fully flexed and your glutes fully stretched.
Related: Tone Your Butt In One Move
Be sure to use these 4 key performance pointers from Bret to get the most out of your glutes:
– Hold the dumbbell at waist height
– Keep your weight on your heels
– Flare your feet out slightly
– Start the movement with a slight forward lean of the torso and maintain that throughout
Bret recommends 3 sets of 5 to 6 reps with about a minute rest between sets. This protocol is guaranteed to give you that sumo ass you’ve always dreamed of. Ha. We kid, we kid.
Seriously, this will be way harder than it looks. If you’re not used to tempo training, expect a bit of butt soreness the next few days. Be sure to stretch those hips with drills like the elevated pigeon and foam roll those glutes for speedier recovery.
Related: Upsize Your Lower-Body Workout