The Ridge Wallet Review: Is This High Tech Wallet Worth It?
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. Ridge sent me this wallet, and as far as I know, I don’t have to send it back.
I don’t like anything in my pockets. I prefer to keep my jeans, chinos, or shorts as light as possible. If I have to put something in my pockets, I prefer it to be small and light. I clip a knife to my pocket, and I rarely carry my truck keys if I don’t have to. When most people come home and slip off their boots, I come home and empty my pockets.
When it comes to my “EDC” kit, I keep it light. I’ve been using a front-pocket wallet for years. I like them because they’re light and small, and they keep everything I need in one place. But when Ridge sent me the Ridge Wallet Carbon Fiber 3K and the Burnt Titanium, I wanted to see if these wallets would work for my lifestyle and my penchant for empty pockets.
The Ridge Burnt Titanium
What is the Ridge Wallet?
The Ridge company formed in 2013 and its wallets were a response to wireless theft and a lightweight, minimalist lifestyle. The Ridge wallets sit in your front pocket and benefit from RFID protection, making it more difficult to steal your credit card’s information.
These wallets consist of replaceable elastic straps and two hard shells that sandwich your credit card between them. They hold up to 12 cards, and you can outfit them with money clips or cash straps, depending on your style. They come in quite a few different materials, including aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber. You can also get them in several colors, depending on the model you choose. There are even some fun patterns, like hula girls and tropical flowers, if that’s your thing.
The RFID protection is above my paygrade, and I wouldn’t want to insult Ridge by trying to explain their technology. But here’s what I can offer you: Apparently, thieves can steal your credit card information with portable, hand-held scanners. They can make small transactions instantly, like $50 or less. They can also steal your card info and keep it for a later day and buy a couch or a pair of Yeezys or whatever thieves spend other people’s money on.
These wallets block those scanners. Plus, the wallet’s front-pocket location makes it easier to notice when a stranger tries bumping a scanner into your thighs.
The Ridge Carbon 3K loaded with cards and a million dollars
My Initial Impression
I tend to be hard to impress. To be very honest with you, I don’t care for anything that looks tactical. I spent years in law enforcement, and I’ve had my fill of high-speed, low-drag tactical products. I’m not typically a fan of Kydex, Carbon Fiber, or anything mil-spec. They just don’t fit my style anymore.
These Ridge wallets had an uphill battle to fight before they even came out of their boxes.
The Packaging: Satisfyingly good
When I opened the Ridge boxes, I noticed the packaging was pretty impressive. Both boxes came tightly wrapped in plastic, and the telescoping cover was airtight. It felt more like unboxing an Apple product than a wallet. In fact, the packaging was so good that it was satisfying when I finally got the wallets out. I understand that this is a one time experience, but Ridge really nailed the packaging.
Inside the boxes, I found some stickers, some reading material, and each box had a really high-quality Torx screwdriver. It all seemed a bit much; I just wanted to load it up and shove it in my pocket.
The Styling: Pretty good
The carbon fiber wallet had a very low-profile cash strap. I decided that was the one I would carry, aside from its tactical-styling that really didn’t impress me. The Burnt Titanium looked awesome (like, really awesome), but it came with a money clip, and I thought it felt heavier, so it didn’t make the cut.
The cash strap and clip are changeable, which is great because I love modifying things, but for this review, the Carbon 3k with the cash strap felt right for my needs. I loaded it up and started carrying it.
The Quality: Spot on
I didn’t know how much Ridge wallets cost. I wanted to be as unbiased as possible when it came in. Although I was familiar with the brand, I’d never purchased anything from them.
They aren’t cheap, but to be honest, my initial impression of the quality was that it was awesome. The fit and finish of every Torx screw, the layers of the two shells, and the materials they used, all seemed to be top-notch.
When I finally saw the price, I wasn’t shocked. Maybe my eyes opened a bit wider at the number, but the price seemed fair. Plus, if this thing prevented one e-thief from jacking my credit card digits, it would pay for itself.
The Ridge Carbon 3K loaded with cards and cash vs my regular leather wallet with the contents
The Ridge Wallet: Cons
I’ve written a lot of product reviews, and they never start with the cons. I’m switching it up because Ridge had a demanding customer to please, and it’s best if you understand why before we get to the pros.
1. The Carbon 3K is a little too tactical
As I said, I’m not a fan of anything overly tactical, and by nature of The Carbon 3K, it’s pretty tactical. I thought I’d be a fan of the carbon fiber because I love cars, and I grew up in the era of carbon fiber hoods and trunks, but this wallet didn’t ring that bell. Maybe if it had a glossier finish, it would seem less tactical, but with the matte finish, it just doesn’t work with my style.
2. They’re thick
Both of these wallets are pretty thick. They’re almost twice as thick as the front pocket wallet I was using before. My old one was just a leather sleeve that tucked into my pocket without any issue. Not the case with the Ridge wallets; in a pair of chinos, jeans, or even shorts, they need a pocket to call home, and they don’t like sharing with anything else.
3. The Titanium is a bit heavy
I chose not to carry the Titanium because I felt it was heavier than the Carbon 3K, and the money clip wasn’t as streamlined as the cash strap. Ridge might’ve spoiled me and tainted my opinion by sending the Carbon 3K with the Titanium, but I based my decision on functionality alone: The Carbon 3K felt far more functional.
4. There’s a training period
Getting the right card out of either of these wallets was a chore at first. At one point, I had to find my insurance card and it required me to remove several cards before I could get to it. With time I was able to organize it to a more streamlined process, but there’s an initial training period that you’ll have to go through.
The Ridge Burnt Titanium loaded with cards and cash
The Ridge Wallet: Pros
If you think I’ve given these Ridge wallets a hard time, it’s because I have. But it’s been honest criticism. Keep reading to find out what I did like about the Ridge wallets. I think it will surprise you.
To be fair, I was already enjoying the benefits of a minimalist wallet, which may be why I didn’t swoon over the Ridge wallets at first sight. I already knew the benefits, and I didn’t have to cut down on the junk I bring with me. Most guys moving from a full-size billfold will probably go head over heels for the design, and they should. Minimalism is wonderful.
Also, although I didn’t carry the Titanium, a friend of mine did. He’s a nurse in a busy rehab facility, as well as an outdoorsman and avid shooter. I trust his opinion on EDC gear.
1. These things are damned tough
I’m not easy on anything I own, and I truly believe these things will hold up to whatever I use them during. I had the Carbon 3K in my pocket for several remodeling projects, and it’s got one tiny scratch on the cash strap. Other than that, this thing looks like it’s brand new. I would’ve had no concerns about carrying this wallet during a busy midnight shift on patrol.
The experience was the same with the Titanium. It’s just a tough wallet. It’s been through quite a bit already and shows no signs of wear, dents, or scratches. It’s unlikely that you’ll find another wallet this tough this compact in size.
2. The Titanium looks great
The Burnt Titanium finish looks really, really cool. There’s no denying that this thing has way more style than the carbon fiber wallet. Choosing one of these wallets based on style alone, I’d choose the Titanium.
3. The money clip is awesome
If you don’t carry cash often, don’t count out the money clip’s functionality. This clip can really come in handy. It’s tough and sturdy, but also easy to manipulate. Yes, it can hold your cash in place securely, but it can also hold your wallet in place.
Anyone who has ever worn scrubs knows that the pockets are a joke. They don’t hold anything, and during a busy shift on your feet, who knows where you’re dropping your stuff. The Ridge money clip slides over the waistband of a pair of scrubs easily and holds your wallet in place for your entire shift. If you absolutely need a money clip, you can purchase an extra clip from Ridge and install it on the other side.
This clip isn’t just for nurses or doctors. First responders and other professionals that carry a lot of gear in their pockets will enjoy the clip on the Ridge wallets. You can clip it to your duty bag, a pocket inside a cargo pocket, or even a breast pocket, and it’s going to stay put.
It can clip to a pair of gym shorts as well. Hell, we wish everything clippable used one of Ridge’s money clips.
A future licensing deal, maybe? Call me, Ridge.
4. The elastic straps are strong
I don’t have the ability or scientific intellect to test the RFID-blocker, but I can tell you this: Nothing is getting out of this wallet if you don’t want it to. It holds your cards securely in place, in any position, during any activity. Even if you twist the shells back and forth independently of one another, your cards aren’t going to slip out. This is thanks to the super-strong elastic straps.
Initially, I thought the elastic straps were cause for concern. But they’re as tough as elastic straps can be. If they do ever wear, they’re easy to replace. Ridge sells sets for a few dollars, and you can swap them out with the screwdriver that came with your Ridge.
5. It doesn’t heat up
As I mentioned, I don’t like keeping things in my pockets. I especially dislike stuff in my pockets when the weather’s hot. Knowing this, I purposely challenged myself to carry the Carbon 3K when the weather got particularly balmy.
This is by far my favorite thing about The Ridge Carbon 3K. While a leather wallet can retain body heat and get kind of nasty, the Carbon 3K doesn’t. It stays absolutely cool in your pocket. It doesn’t matter if you’re mowing the lawn on a 95-degree day or relaxing by the pool. This thing stays comfortable.
Plus, it doesn’t harbor bacteria or sweat the way a leather wallet does.
And that, my friends, is how the Carbon 3K won me over.
The Ridge Carbon 3K
When I would carry the Ridge wallet
There are a lot of scenarios where the Ridge wallet is the perfect choice for your cards and cash. First off, anytime the weather’s hot, this thing’s going in my pocket. It might seem like an overstatement, but the level of comfort that the Carbon 3K provides when it’s steamy out is absolutely insane.
I would also carry the Ridge during any outdoor pursuit. You can use it to hold your cards and cash, or your hunting, fishing, or boating license. You can keep it on you during the roughest mountain bike rides. It can take literally anything you can throw at it; work or play.
Also, it’s ideal for traveling. It’s lightweight, secure, and protects your precious digits.
With that said, I won’t be carrying it everywhere I go. If I’m heading to a nice dinner with my wife, I’d be sheepish about producing either of these Ridge wallets from my pocket. Maybe less so with the Titanium, but I’d much prefer the classier look of a leather wallet and a polished money clip.
I’m more likely to carry the Ridge when I’m wearing a G-Shock, Oakleys, and carrying my Kershaw Brawler. It might even work in a pair of chukkas, jeans, aviators, and a Seiko SKX. However, when it comes to a classier look, I’ll swap the Ridge out for my leather wallet.
My Overall Impression
I admit that I was extremely hard on these Ridge wallets. I thought they were thick, and the tactical styling didn’t thrill me. But when I took everything the Ridge wallets had to offer into consideration, I found that they’re a truly impressive option for EDC.
When it comes to a tough wallet for EDC, these Ridge wallets are an excellent choice, and I couldn’t recommend it enough. I have no concerns about the quality of the materials or the fit and finish; they’re all impeccable.
Do I think they’re worth the money? That’s the real question, right? Here’s your answer: I truly believe that you’ll get your money’s worth out of either of these Ridge wallets. You can certainly find a less expensive option to carry your cards, but none are as flexible, durable, and comfortable as the Ridge.Check Price
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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