Build A Better Bootie
If you have a flat butt, chances are it’ll remain flat. Blame your genetics. But you don’t have to surrender completely. There are workouts and very specific glute exercises that can help make that posterior a little rounder and firmer, and while maybe not beautifully bulbous like those found on women with the natural gift of a round, firm, and stand-out bottom, you can help yourself achieve a bit more definition. And for those with already-there booty’s but need some toning, these tips are for you, too.
Let’s start with some basic anatomy. Three main muscles make up that booty: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, with the maximus, being the largest muscle in the body. These muscles function to in part help extend and rotate the hip joint and the thigh.
Genetics and the body’s panniculus adiposus (the superficial layer of fatty tissue) determine the shape and look of a derriere but any exercise that works and/or stretches the glutes can help to define that caboose.
Besides the aesthetics of having a round, pert and firm posterior, one thing is for sure: the more you sit the more your glutes atrophy making common movements more difficult, like climbing stairs. So cute cakes aside, you need those muscles strong and healthy. So let’s work it.
According to BodyBuildingWizard.com, glute exercises consist of two types, compound and isolation, the former involve many muscle and joint groups and the latter engage one muscle or joint group. And so there are myriad exercises that are perfect for glutes including all types of squats, and all manner of deadlifts and lunges. Others to consider incorporating are lateral shuffles, kettlebell swings, frog hops with or without dumbbells, heavy kick-backs and all types of step-ups.
Daemian Mains, AFAA certified trainer and co-owner of Definition Fit, knows a thing or three about working those buns.
Daemian says that while knowing a bit about basic anatomy and kinesiology is fine and also being aware that, as she says “if you come from a long line of flat butt folks, you are not going to ever have a Kim Kardashian rear,” but adds quickly: “Who cares? You can shape what you have into a perfect peach if you are willing to work for it and eat right,” she says.
“There are literally thousands of ‘butt moves’ videos on YouTube and Instagram and how do you know which ones are good and bad,” she asks. “It takes experience and some trial and error and in my 20-plus years as a personal trainer, I have found a few favorites.”
Her top six moves are:
- Leg Press – Double and single leg are great.
- Lunges – Proper alignment and form varies based on the type of lunge
- Deadlifts – A great exercise done stiff legged, traditional or single leg.
- Seated Hip Abduction – Leaning forward and straight back
- Cable – Leg kick-backs and hip abduction.
“I also love using ankle weights and doing my Jane Fonda or Tracy Anderson-inspired target tush moves. When I am home I do 200-500 reps of small moves to strengthen and build three times per week,” she says adding that exercise won’t help much if junk and fast food are your thing.
“Diet is very important,” she stresses. “A bad diet gives you a fat butt but not necessarily a shapely one. A clean diet based on your body caloric need is also the key to a nice looking backside. Do the best with what you’ve got and treat your body like a temple. You will have that perfect beach bum by the time summer is over and you’ll still be able to fit in those skinny jeans come fall.”