Deejo Knife Review – Hands-On Testing of the Deejo Knife
When it comes to pocket knives, I’ve seen it all. I spent years in a career where having the biggest, baddest tactical knife was a rite of passage. More than once, there’s been a lot on the line where a great pocket knife bailed me out.
When I left that career, I started transitioning my style and EDC gear to a more smart casual, mature aesthetic. Big burly knives, carbon fiber accessories, and matte black finishes stopped appealing to me.
In the process, I grew an affinity for French-made folders. To be quite honest (and admittedly unfair), I had no idea that so many great knives came from France. When I got the chance to take the French-made Deejo pocket knife for a test drive, I jumped at the chance.
While I got a free product, you’ll get an honest assessment of a luxe, highly-customizable pocket knife. Keep reading to find out how this knife fared.
Ordering My Deejo
Most companies that send me products to review seem to grab something off the shelf, check it over quickly, and ship it out. Not Deejo.
One of the things I instantly liked about Deejo as a company is that they let me shop for my knife the exact way anyone else would. Creating a knife with Deejo is an experience, not the type of soulless “add to cart” and “checkout” online shopping that I’m accustomed to.
When you land on Deejo’s homepage, the drop-down menu holds a lot of choices. Essentially, almost all of those choices lead to the same basic knife, but in several variations. Try customizing your own knife here.
You’ll have choices between metal finishes, wood species, and three sizes. You’ll also get to choose between blade designs, which Deejo refers to as “tattoos.”
Tattoo is a fair description. Most of these designs would look just as at home in a sleeve as they do on a blade.
They have nautical themes, animals, motorcycles, guitars, sports, and a myriad of other choices. While some of them are busy, none of them appear hokey or cheesy. Even the guy downhill skiing somehow looks cool on the side of a knife blade.
Several of these tattoos resonated with me. I went back and forth between a few designs, and ultimately, I chose one that was the most sentimental to me (I’ll explain later) in the 37g size. I went with a mirror polish as well, as I felt the contrast between the shiny blade and the matte engraving would tattle on Deejo if the production wasn’t spot-on.
Once I chose the design, I was able to select the wood accent for the handle. I didn’t want some ordinary, stock knife, so I went with an olive wood handle to match some of my other pieces.
You can see how your design is developing in the 3D design tool, and I was becoming very impressed with what I saw.
Deejo also offers engraving. Of course, I had to go for it. I wasn’t going to cheap out now. I felt that I needed to put Deejo’s options to the test to see what they could create. So, I personalized my knife with a saying that means a lot to me and wrapped up my purchase.
If you can’t already tell, this review won’t just cover the knife, but also what it’s like to work with Deejo as a company.
I custom ordered a knife that I knew was coming from France, so I didn’t expect to see it anytime soon. The website states that knives ship within 48 hours, but I thought there might be some grey area for custom orders.
I don’t know if Deejo gave me special attention, but this knife was on my doorstep way before I expected it.
From the time I finalized my order to the time I had it in hand was a matter of days. Having said that, make sure you order as early as possible if you want it to arrive in time for Christmas.
It came well-protected in a very sleek black gift box. It was so secure, in fact, that it was initially challenging to remove the knife to check it out. A few seconds of struggle and it was free, mine for the reviewing.
When this knife arrived so quickly, I was skeptical about the level of finish. After all, I went with a detailed design, engraving, and a custom wood handle. How could a company throw all of that together and have it on my doorstep within a few days? Quality would be lacking, I was sure.
That simply wasn’t the case. The craftsmanship was outstanding.
Weight vs. Length
The first thing I noticed was that it was light. Oh, so light. It weighs just 37 grams, making it lighter than any of my other knives. It was even lighter than my Opinel No. 6, which I started carrying to save weight.
It could be easy for a knifemaker to create a tiny knife and call it lightweight, but that’s not what Deejo does. The 37g is the largest pocket knife that Deejo offers, and it’s not small by any stretch. The closed length is around 4.25 inches, while the overall opened length is just over 8 inches.
That impressed me. I knew the dimensions when I ordered the knife, but comparing its heft to its size in person allowed me to appreciate the design that much more.
The Laser Etching
The laser etching was clean, crisp, and smooth. I know, that sounds like a beer commercial, but there’s no better way to describe this work. The design I finally chose was a bar of music notes, with a large treble clef in the middle.
My grandfather was a fantastic clarinet player, and he kept a plastic treble clef hanging from a suction cup on his sliding patio door. This design was perfect for sentimental reasons, but it also features tons of curves and twists, so I knew it would put the engraver to the test. It passed with flying colors.
I don’t know what goes into engraving this particular grade of stainless steel, but I imagine it’s easy to botch. I had my grandfather’s favorite phrase, “You Win Some, You Lose Some,” engraved on the liner lock, and it came out absolutely perfect. Clean, well proportioned, and it seems deeper than the laser etching, though I can’t say that for sure.
The olive wood handle looked great. If you don’t have an olive wood handled knife in your collection, do yourself a favor and start shopping for one. I absolutely love this wood, and Deejo’s take on it did it justice. For such a small sliver of wood, it feels natural and rugged while also being refined.
For Transparency’s Sake
I want to be very transparent. There was one aspect of my initial impression that I didn’t entirely love, but I’ll wait to explain that. Given my penchant for being hard to please, the Deejo was already off to an excellent start.
Living with the Deejo Knife
I’ll be frank with you, right off the bat. I don’t carry the Deejo often. It’s not because it’s a lousy knife to carry. There’s no design flaw that keeps it from clipping to my left front pocket. It’s actually quite the opposite.
This knife is beautiful. It’s too damn nice to tuck in the pocket of my ragged old Levi’s. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that I was clipping tactical, automatic knives to my pants pocket. To me, this knife belongs in plain sight. It needs to be where I can see it and appreciate it. It sits on my desk where I can enjoy it and use it several times a day.
When I do carry it, it’s because it fits the occasion. Whether it’s a date night with my wife, or I’m wearing a nice jacket, I carry it when it can really top off my style.
This is no ordinary knife; its stunning looks make it the perfect Christmas present. It’s not too expensive either – see prices here.
The Deejo uses Z40C13 stainless steel for their blades. A little research shows that this particular grade of stainless steel is a bit of a French thing. Other very well regarded French knife makers use Z40C13. All I can say for it is that it came sharp right out of the box, though I did hone it quickly. It’s been two months of daily use, and it maintains a very sharp edge.
The Pocket Clip
The pocket clip is very sturdy. In fact, it can be challenging to slide it over the pocket stitching of a pair of jeans. But that’s with good reason. Deejo states that much of the knife’s structural integrity comes from the pocket clip. I believe it; it’s burly.
With that said, the overall thickness is still noticeably less than my next thinnest knife — and that one doesn’t have a pocket clip.
The Blade Lock
It does feature a liner lock, and quite a good one at that. With the blade open, the thick stainless bar snaps right into place, chocking the blade open with almost zero play. In fact, the only play you really experience appears to be more a result of the Deejo’s overall thickness (or lack thereof), though it’s hardly noticeable at all.
Opening the Deejo
There isn’t a thumb stud or flipper lever on the Deejo. While that might seem like a drawback, opening this knife like a tough guy would just detract from its style and refinement. While you can open it with a flat thumb on the side of the knife, it opens quite nicely with two hands, like a gentleman would open a knife.
A Gentleman’s Knife
That’s who this knife is for, after all: a gentleman. While we all love our manly pursuits, this knife doesn’t belong field dressing game or cutting lashing for a makeshift camp.
In my opinion, it belongs in the inner pocket of a blazer or sport coat. It belongs in a briefcase pocket. In my case, it belongs on the desk of a writer and editor.
That’s not to say this isn’t a capable pocket knife. It’s just not the one to reach for when prying open a paint can. If you’re concerned about self-defense, as long as you have the capacity to open it with two hands, it could buy you some time to get away.
Deejo knows this isn’t the typical EDC-style knife. According to their own FAQs, it’s not a heavy-duty design. It’s meant for cutting meat, peeling and slicing fruit, and opening letters and packages.
Honestly, with the amount of Amazon packages I’m getting lately, it buys me at least a few seconds of feeling like a refined gentleman every time I use it to cut one open.
I’ve done a fair bit of gushing over this knife, so it’s important to me that you understand where the Deejo and I didn’t see eye-to-eye.
Remember that one moan I mentioned during my first impression? Here it is: the Deejo takes some getting used to in-hand. The minimalist design makes it very thin, and you’re not going to get a natural grip on it right away. I’m better acquainted with this knife now, so I’m over the awkward phase, but it does take a bit of getting used to.
My biggest complaint rears its head when the knife is in the closed position. The handle groove that the blade stores in is flat, and it’s almost 2mm wide. With the knife closed, the end of the blade rests on the wood handle, and it has enough room to wiggle and rub the blade edge against the wood.
My concern is this will dull the blade. A small v-groove instead of the flat bottom would solve this entirely. With that said, the Deejo still maintains an excellent edge.
Initially, I had some concern that choosing such a sentimental design and engraving would somehow distort my view of this knife. I thought maybe I should’ve gone with something more basic to allow myself to give a perfectly unbiased review. But then I realized, that’s what makes these knives so special.
Deejo does an incredible job of personalizing a knife. Even if you choose a basic model from their collection, the designs are so abundant that you can certainly find one to represent yourself. But it’s in building custom knives that Deejo really shines.
The Deejo knife makes one of the best, most thoughtful gifts that I can think of. The amount of thought and consideration that goes into creating the perfect knife for someone says it all. But, couple it with an innovative design and quality construction, and you have the ideal present.
It’ll be a cold day in hell before I give up my Deejo. I would certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a minimalist-design pocket knife with a bit of flair.Shop Here
The Best Tequila Under $50 To Try in 2021
The growth and depth of quality tequila make it the most interesting spirit of 2021. Cool brands, famous faces investing, and strong Mexican regulations in production and distillation have helped fuel the spirit’s popularity.
There are three main types of tequila; Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo, although you’ll find Joven (in between Blanco and Reposado), Cristalino (filtered clear), and extra Anejo tequila (matured longer) online as well. Blanco tequila is unaged tequila that tastes more of the agave plant, while Reposado (rested tequila) and Anejo (aged) tequila are recommended for those looking for more intense flavor, depth, and complexity.
The following 10 best tequilas under $50 to try this year represent the growing range of options for quality, affordable tequila. They can be used for sipping, shots, or kick-ass cocktails, representing brilliant value for the tequila aficionado looking for cool brands and great tastes to add to their collection.
1. Tequila Partida Blanco
Tequila Partido Blanco is top drawer. It’s one of the smoothest tequila options at the perfect price point for the novice tequila drinker or the regular connoisseur.
The Partida tequila brand is known for taking their agave flavor seriously throughout the distillation process and it really shines through in this crisp and flavorful Blanco (the Partida Tequila Reposado is also a great expression). The Partida distillery cooks its agave within 24 hours of harvest, giving the agave spirit a freshness and earthy tone other unaged tequila varieties struggle to match.
The nuanced Weber agave and citrus combine on the nose, while the palate offers tropical fruit, vanilla, grapefruit, and white pepper spice. It’s a favorite tequila for complete novices or veterans and will be on the shortlist as a favorite tequila for many cocktail makers and mixologists.
2. Tequila Fortaleza Blanco
Tequila Fortaleza is a small-batch, handcrafted tequila made with the same production methods used in the family operation from nearly 150 years ago.
Each agave is selected for ripeness before it’s harvested and steam-cooked in a small brick oven. From there, a two-ton tahona stone wheel slowly squeezes the juices from the agave. When fermentation is complete, the distinctive tequila taste is achieved by being distilled twice in two very small, copper-pot stills.
Fortaleza Blanco is a classic unaged tequila with a creamy texture and a tasty finish. The Blanco’s flavor includes cooked agave, vanilla, butter, citrus, black pepper, along with herbs.
3. El Jimador Anejo Tequila
El Jimador Anejo is crafted from the finest hand-selected blue agave and then double distilled and aged in American Oak. The dark amber-aged tequila blends the classical taste of agave with smooth, buttery notes of caramel and walnut from the 12 month cask maturation, plus a hint of cinnamon and spices at the finish.
While one of the cheaper tequilas on this list, the El Jimador Anejo is a bottle you can buy with confidence to enjoy. It’s a rare aged and affordable tequila that’s perfect for slow sipping or as a simple mixed drink with lime and soda.
4. Casamigos Reposado Tequila
Casamigos Reposado Tequila is distilled from blue agave plants from the Jalisco Highlands, the heartland of Mexican tequila. Each agave is hand-selected for flavor, then slow-cooked.
This Casamigos Tequila expression is aged for seven months in white oak barrels, which gives the Reposado a chocolate woody taste, which makes it a great option for sipping or drinking neat. The Casamigos Reposado offers an aroma of vanilla, maple, spices, and peanut shells, with the customary tequila heat balanced by sweet tropical fruit and oak.
5. Espolon Blanco Tequila
Espolon Blanco tequila honors Mexico’s art and history, and the story of Espolon – the spur of a rooster – is great for starting conversations.
A nice, simple tequila is useful to pour liberally than a more expensive Blanco tequila with a similar clean agave taste. Crafted in Jalisco from 100% blue agave plant, Espolon Blanco is a good tequila at a bargain price.
Buying a tequila with versatility like Espolon Blanco can sometimes be the way to go – a party may break out after a quality tequila shot, mixed drink, or when a cocktail loosens things up!
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6. Herradura Reposado Tequila
Herradura Reposado is rich amber with copper color highlights, the result of resting eleven months in American white oak barrels. While many cocktail makers endorse the use of silver tequila only, a good Reposado tequila like this Herradura can kick your margarita or classic tequila cocktail flavor up to a new taste level.
The aroma carries light lashings of anise, fruit, and spices around cooked agave, with a surprisingly smooth vanilla and butter flavor that extends to a smooth, sweet finish with a hint of spice and heat. The Herradura Reposado comes at a nice price point for a good quality 750ml bottle, and the brand also markets a nifty agave nectar (aka agave syrup) that you can add as a non-sugar sweetener to your cocktail mix.
7. Patron Silver Tequila
Patron Silver is a premium tequila that every tequila lover makes a beeline for when traveling through duty-free on their way through a new country, or on the way home. Patron tequila is a no-nonsense, top-quality drop that you can mix into your classic margarita for warmth and the crispest taste of citrus, and when downed as a tequila shot, it’s almost second to none, lacking the fierce aftertaste of some other, less smooth expressions.
It’s a premium tequila that your home bar can rely on when entertaining, but if the silver is not your thing you can stretch out and try the other varieties, which range from the standard Reposado and Anejo bottles through to the ultra-premium Patron Tequila Platinum.
8. Corralejo Anejo
Described by the brand as a “tequila to be passed around the dinner table, to share at a party, or to order a round at the bar.” Featuring hand-harvested estate-grown 100% blue weber agave, Corralejo Anejo is double distilled and aged for 12 months in charred American oak barrels.
Corralejo Anejo tequila is a great expression to introduce to tequila drinkers looking for a more complex flavor, or for passing around between a group of friends during a night of Mexican food.
9. Cazadores Anejo Cristalino
Another 750ml bottle right on the upper limit of our price threshold, Cazadores Anejo Cristalino owes its sheen and transparency to the time-consuming thorough filtration process. Its foundation is first achieved through the slow and harmonious processes of fermentation and distillation in wooden open-air tanks, then sent to mature for 24 months in American white oak barrels, making it one of the longest aged tequilas on our list.
The tequila is then filtered to remove the color while conserving the sensory qualities of a top-quality Anejo tequila, including the wood notes absorbed into the spirit during aging. An affordable tequila, especially compared to other Cristalino expressions, Cazadores is a great option for the experienced tequila drinker looking to sample a different but still extremely smooth drinking experience.
10. Hornito’s Black Barrel Tequila
Black Barrel starts as a premium Anejo tequila, then spends four months in deep charred ex-bourbon barrels to give it a rich, smoky flavor and golden amber color. Before bottling, Black Barrel spends an additional two months in specially toasted oak barrels for more depth and distinct complexity of woody oak and smoke notes.
Hornitos Black Barrel is likely to become a favorite tequila for the whiskey drinker moving into sipping tequila, as it offers bourbon and rye notes but still tastes as a tequila should. Mellow and well balanced yet full of intense flavor, it also makes a good tequila for a premium margarita or mixed drink.
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The 10 Best Band T-shirts of All Time
Music fans everywhere know the easiest way to show your support for your favorite band is to wear their merch loud and proud. Nowadays, it’s easy to get your hands on clothing items from your favorite musical acts, especially if they’re currently active, making music, or touring. In fact, there’s no need to even attend a show if you want to score some coveted merch from your music icons, as you had to decades ago, thanks to the internet and a lovely thing called worldwide shipping.
Luckily, fans of classic rock and punk bands who may have missed out on seeing their favorite groups perform live decades ago can still cash in on some seriously cool, vintage-inspired logo tees that’ll add a bit of edge to their wardrobe. Whether you pair these comfortable t-shirts with destroyed denim and Chuck Taylors, casual joggers and sneakers, or fitted chinos and Dr. Martens, there’s a classic band t-shirt that’ll fit anyone’s unique style – and music taste – from our list of the 10 best band t-shirts of all time.
1. Led Zeppelin 1977 American Tour T-shirt
Led Zeppelin is one of the greatest rock bands of all time, and their 1977 tour is in the history books for a reason. After all, it was the band’s eleventh and final North American tour after a two-year touring hiatus and was wildly profitable for the group, as they sold a whopping $1.3 million tickets at the time. They also broke the world’s indoor attendance record at their show in Detroit, where they performed for over 76,000 people at once.
And while we all wish we could go back to the golden days of rock concerts, the harsh reality is we can’t. But what we can do is sport a Led Zeppelin 1977 American Tour shirt, which showcases all the 1977 tour dates on the back, comes in classic black, and is available in sizes S-XXL. Throw it on for any casual occasion and you’re guaranteed to be the coolest dude in the room.
2. Nirvana Smiley Face T-shirt
Nirvana is a band that will never go out of style, and neither will this classic Nirvana Smiley Face t-shirt featuring the iconic smiley face logo the band has become synonymous with over the last three decades. According to Forbes, the logo can be traced back to 1991, when Nirvana and their record label, DGC Records, hosted a record release party for the band’s album, Nevermind.
Apparently, an invitation to the party featured the “X-eye smiley face,” and the logo stuck with the band ever since. The Nirvana Smiley Face tee comes in classic black and can be paired with destroyed/ripped denim or joggers for a casual yet edgy look.
3. Rolling Stones Classic Tongue T-shirt
It’s hard to believe The Rolling Stones have been around since the 60s and are still making music to this day. The group has had one of the most successful runs in rock history and has been using their classic tongue logo ever since it appeared on their album Sticky Fingers for the first time in 1971.
“It’s a universal statement, I mean sticking out your tongue at something is very anti-authority, a protest really… various generations have picked that up,” the logo’s designer, Jon Pasche, said in an interview. And no matter what generation you’re from, you’ll look seriously cool rocking this Rolling Stones Classic Tongue t-shirt anywhere you go – whether it’s a concert, the grocery store, or even on a date; plus, this shirt comes in either black or green, and is available in sizes S-XXL.
4. Ramones Presidential Seal T-shirt
The Ramones are often considered one of the first punk rock groups in America, and their logo is one of the most recognizable ones in the music industry – even though they split in the late 1990s. The band’s creative director, Arturo Vega, who passed away in 2013, revealed how he came up with the logo, which is a play on the seal of the president of the United States.
“Instead of the olive branch, we had an apple tree branch, since the Ramones were American as apple pie,” he shared. “And since Johnny was such a baseball fanatic, we had the eagle hold a baseball bat instead of the arrows.” While The Ramones are obviously no longer together, you can still show your stellar taste in music by sporting a classic Presidential Seal shirt, which is made of 100% cotton, comes in black, and is available in sizes S-XXXL.
5. Joy Division Unknown Pleasures T-shirt
Even if you don’t know Joy Division, you’ve likely seen the logo from their iconic debut album, Unknown Pleasures, at some point in your life. And although the band started performing under the name New Order after lead singer Ian Curtis tragically died by suicide before their first US tour, the impact of Unknown Pleasures and the band’s innovative user of a synthesizer lives on in music history to this day.
This t-shirt, featuring the album art created by Peter Saville from the band’s first album, will add depth to any casual t-shirt collection and is available in a wide range of sizes for a perfect fit unique to your personal style. Pair with ripped skinny jeans and some Chuck Taylor high tops to complete the look.
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6. Guns N’ Roses Logo T-shirt
If you don’t have a Guns N’ Roses t-shirt in your closet, are you really even a classic rock fan? The logo, which aptly features two guns pointing east and west and a rose underneath each gun, was actually first designed by Slash himself. “I designed the first Guns N’ Roses logo, all our flyers – and my tattoos,” he revealed during an interview.
“Most of the time it was born out of necessity: it served my musical career.” And what better way to honor the legendary frontman than wearing the classic logo on a t-shirt? Available in a classic black color and sizes XS-XXXL, fans of all ages and sizes can easily show their love for Guns N’ Roses with this comfy cotton tee.
7. Wu-Tang Clan Logo T-shirt
The Wu-Tang Clan logo is one of the most recognizable in hip-hop music to this day. The group, which formed in the early 90s and has been a staple in the scene ever since is responsible for mega-hits like C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me), Protect Ya Neck, and Method Man.
Show your support for the hip hop group with this iconic Wu-Tang Clan Logo shirt, which you can snag in sizes XS-XXXL, is made of 100% cotton, and comes in black. The best part about this shirt? There’s a toddler version of it, so you and your little guy or girl can show off your stellar musical tastes together wherever you go. Because as we all know, Wu-Tang is for the children.
8. Black Sabbath Purple Logo T-shirt
Black Sabbath is responsible for producing some of the most well-known rock songs in history. Even if you’ve never voluntarily listened to a Black Sabbath album, there’s a 100% chance you’ve heard their most popular songs, like Paranoid, Iron Man, or War Pigs on the radio, in TV shows, or in films.
And whether you’re a diehard, longtime fan or just starting to get into their music, the Black Sabbath Purple Logo tee is a must-have in your band t-shirt collection. Made from 100% cotton, this band tee is super-comfy, makes a statement with the bold purple logo featured across the chest, and comes in sizes XS-XXXL.
9. Black Flag Logo T-shirt
Black Flag is one of the most popular punk bands of its generation, and its iconic four-bar logo makes a statement wherever it’s seen. The logo was actually designed by guitarist George Ginn’s brother, Raymond Pettibon, who never went to art school and once said that the design was meant to represent the “abstract movement of a waving black flag.”
If you’re a fan of the band and don’t have this classic Black Flag Logo t-shirt already in your drawer, then honestly, what are you waiting for? According to reviews, this affordable t-shirt is made of high-quality material, is extremely comfortable, and fits true to size.
10. Sonic Youth Goo Album Cover T-shirt
New York City is the birthplace of many famous rock bands, and Sonic Youth may be one of the most well-known groups to originate out of NYC in the 80s. The band is responsible for hits like Teen Age Riot, Bull in the Heather, and Kool Thing, and performed together for a whopping three decades until their 2011 split.
And even though it’s been 10 years since the breakup devastated fans across the globe, you can still show off your great taste in music by sporting this Sonic Youth Goo Album Cover t-shirt, which comes in a crisp white, has a black logo, and features the words, “I stole my sister’s boyfriend, it was all a whirlwind, heat and flash, within a week we killed my parents and hit the road.”
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Top 10 Glute Exercises To Build a Great Butt
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want a good butt these days? While much of the focus for men has long been on a ripped chest and massive arms, the world is beginning to wake up to the importance of having a sculpted bum. Not only does it look good (like, really good), but a firm, muscular butt is essential for your overall health and fitness success.
If you’re a self-proclaimed gym-goer, then you probably already know that your glutes are the largest (and most powerful) muscles in the body, generating enough force and momentum to constantly move you through the ups and downs of life – literally. So working them out is not just about aesthetics (though that’s important too), but you gain so much more added strength and power by really burning those glutes out a few times a week.
To help narrow down the list to the 10 best exercises for those great glute gains, we’ve chatted with Danny Kennedy – founder of DK Fitness and The Fitness and Lifestyle Podcast, who helps men and Olympic and professional athletes all over the world to get in their very best shape. He’s let us in on some of his favorite exercises for targeting the glutes and how you can get the most out of each exercise by putting your mind to muscle. Let’s get it.
1. Barbell Hip Thrust
How to perform: To get in position, rest your upper back on a bench with a barbell across the hips. Ensure your hands have a firm grip underneath the bar and place your feet directly below the knees about a shoulder-width apart. Once you’re set, push your hips into the air while keeping your pelvis tucked under and your heels driving into the floor. Squeeze the glutes at the top of each rep.
What you gain: Hip thrusts of any kind are one of those exercises that will make your glutes strong as hell because they isolate the gluteus maximus (the largest bum muscle), meaning that all of the power is coming from the glutes and your strong hip drive. Putting your weight in the back of your heels, rather than your toes, activates and isolates the gluteus muscles even more if you’re looking to up the ante.
2. Sumo Deadlift
How to perform: Place your feet awkwardly wide outside of shoulder width, with your hips just above 90 degrees. Keep your arms long with scaps retracted and back flat to protect your spine and help you lift the bar. You’ll pull through the heels, similarly to a hip thrust, finishing with your hips all the way into extension and your glutes fired on.
What you gain: The sumo-style wide stance with toes and knees slightly pointed outward allows for greater glute activation than a typical deadlift. The sumo deadlift is also one that builds tension through the flexing and thrusting of the hips, which is perfect for building a better booty.
3. Walking Lunges
How to perform: You can perform walking lunges with a weight (dumbbell or kettlebell) in either hand or opt for using your own bodyweight. To perform this exercise, take long steps (aka lunges), keeping your chest slightly forward. Place all of your weight through the front heel and squeeze the glutes at the top of each rep.
What you gain: Walking lunges are an intense lower body exercise that should definitely be on your to-do list when glute day comes around. These lunges don’t only heavily target the glutes, but they also activate the rest of your lower body (calves and inner thighs included).
How to perform: Set your feet up slightly outside shoulder-width apart and rotate them outward. Push your hips back, forcing the knees out. Put mind to muscle, and think about spreading the floor and finishing with your glutes contracted and hips in full extension at the top.
What you gain: I mean, what kind of booty-building recommendation list would this be if we didn’t include the iconic glute exercise: the squat. But squats really are worth the hype. They target the glutes, hamstrings, adductors, core, and back while improving your overall coordination and mobility. Squats may even boost your testosterone levels, so there’s really no reason not to give them a try.
5. Step Up
How to perform: Step up onto a bench or box that’s at knee height or slightly above. Forcing the heel down into the bench (or box), stand all the way up. Make sure you squeeze the glutes at the top of each rep with your hips in full extension and find control as you go back down.
What you gain: This staple glute exercise targets the gluteus maximus with incredible accuracy. Not to mention, this cross-fit-like exercise will make you better at doing everyday things like walking up flights of stairs and give you the control to make the most out of every movement.
By now, you’ve probably caught onto a significant theme with the bulk of these exercises, and that’s squeezing your glutes at the top. This is crucial for activating and isolating that muscle group and getting the full effect of each exercise.
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6. Kettlebell Swing
How to perform: After putting the kettlebell in front of you, take a slightly wider than hip-width stance. Bend at the hips and knees, getting a good, tight grip on the bell because you really don’t want it flying out and breaking some mirrors or windows. Or both. Tighten your upper body by engaging your core and lats. Then, hike the kettlebell back through your legs and swing it up, squeezing your glutes at the top.
What you gain: Talk about explosive! This fiery movement requires a whole lot of hip and glute power. This exercise involves a triple extension – from the ankles, knees, and hips – that targets those glutes in one fluid motion.
7. Bulgarian Split Squat
How to perform: Load up a barbell and hold it on the backs of your shoulders, similar to a weighted squat position. Rest the top of your right foot on a bench or box behind you, with your back knee bent to 90 degrees. Keeping your core straight and engaged, bend your hips and left leg, lowering down until your back knee almost touches the floor.
What you gain: When doing a proper Bulgarian split squat with good form, your glutes don’t take a break. They support your knee, hip flexor, and help engage the rest of your lower body. Plus, since you’re focusing on keeping your core nice and tight, it’s an effective ab exercise as well.
8. Barbell Glute Bridge
How to perform: Lie on your back with your legs extended, roll the barbell up to your thighs until it’s sitting on your lap.
Tip: Try placing a towel or pad underneath the bar to protect your hips. Engage your core and drive your heels into the floor, extending your hips up until they’re in line with your torso. Squeeze glutes at the top and control yourself on the way down.
What you gain: Like a hip thrust, the weighted glute bridge will target the glutes without arching and overextending the back. Glute bridges can be used in conjunction with hip thrusts on glutes day. But if you’re new to working out, bridges may be better to start with since they have a smaller range of motion.
9. Side-Lying Clamshell
How to perform: Start by lying on your side with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Put your heels together and open your knees as wide as you can without rotating in your back or pelvis. Lower back down with control. Clamshells can be done as a bodyweight warm-up, or you can turn up the intensity by using resistance bands or weights.
What you gain: You may have seen your girl doing clamshells in her at-home Pilates workout, but they’re not to be slept on – she’s onto something. Side-lying clamshells primarily target your gluteus medius, which you can think of as the muscle on the side of the butt. While it might not be the biggest part of the bum, an inactive gluteus medius can cause lower back and knee issues, causing you to struggle with even the most basic of movements like walking.
10. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift
How to perform: Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in one hand and raise that same side’s leg off the floor. Flex your supporting leg slightly to engage the glutes, holding that bend as you hinge at the hips and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor. Squeeze your glutes, thrust your hips forward, and return to your starting position.
What you gain: Split or single-leg exercises are ideal for getting more functional movements out of your training day. By focusing on a single leg, you work on your balance and ability to keep your center of gravity, strengthen vulnerable areas of the body like the ankle and knee, and become more adapted for quick performance in sports.
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