Common FAQ: “How do I build the perfect butt?…You know, like the ones on Instagram?”
Well, first and foremost, let’s address those Insta Booties…And, you might wanna take this with a grain of salt, but about 90% of the time, they’re not legit.
Now, I’m not saying those girls don’t train hard just like everyone else, nor am I saying that they don’t have beautiful photo worthy bodies (er, booties), or that the advice sometimes offered with the posts is total shit, BUT—and this is a hard pill for many to swallow—when it comes to social media, things aren’t always as they seem…
Thanks to the magic of lightning, posing, and digital enhancement, a.k.a. PHOTOSHOP…(not to mention all the aspiring Doctor 90210s of the world–but that’s a whole other ballgame)…anyone can create the illusion of the “perfect” peach anywhere, anytime!…All it takes is the right angle, under the right light, and the simple click of a mouse with a little crop here, a little drag there, and…voila!…you’ve got a butt big enough to make Sir Mix-A-Lot wanna pull up tough!
It’s just how it is…
But, that does not mean you can’t work hard and achieve the body, or booty, that you desire…It just means you’ve got to be realistic and understand what can, and can’t, be done…As with all fitness goals involving a change in body composition, it requires hard work, dedication, persistence, and patience…If you want that booty, you’re going to have to work for it!
So, where should you begin?
Well, first let’s start off by discussing the muscles involved, the glutes. They are the muscles that give us that nice curvy bottom, and they include
1.the gluteus maximus
2.the gluteus medius
3.the gluteus minimus
A lot of our daily movements, like walking and running, include these muscles, as well as balance and stability, but most people never train them, specifically, resulting in masses of weak-assed individuals…pun totally intended!…See, the thing is, the glutes are different than, oh say, the abs, in that when you train them, it IS possible to achieve hypertrophy—growth in muscle size.
Let me put it into perspective…
If you want bigger biceps, do you train your triceps?…No!…You add to your workout specific exercises that will activate and overload your biceps. Thus, in order to grow and shape a nice rump, you have to target the three main muscles that form it.
Ok, now that you know you can grow your glutes, let’s talk about how to do it!
The secret is to target each of the glute muscles and progressively overload them with high intensity. This can be accomplished by:
1. Performing more reps with the same weight,
2. Increasing the resistance (weight) load and performing the same amount of reps,
3. Adding more sets of work to a specific muscle group with the same weight.
Since the best rep range for growth is between 6-12, it is best to start off slowly (with a lower resistance) and progress.
Ok! Now that we’re covered the basics of booty gainz, let’s talk about the best types of exercises for the job!
The most common piece of advice I hear people give one another is…”If you want a bigger butt, just squat, lunge, and deadlift more!”…Don’t get me wrong, squats, lunges, and deadlifts are ALL great exercise! They definitely hit the glutes, BUT they also target a lot of other muscles, like the quads, hamstrings, abs, and others. Although some people may build a beautiful butt from just squatting, deadlifting, and lunging, one size does not fit all, and this approach may not work for everyone. For those who may need a little extra help, hitting those glutes directly is going to be a game changer!
If you want to really build an awesome booty, you need to hit it directly with exercises that cause the highest percentage of muscle activation. Since the glutes are most activated when the hips are near full extension, it is best to focus on exercises that target the glutes, specifically, while achieving this full range of motion.
A few of my favorite booty shaping exercises include:
• Side Plank Abductions
• Hip Bridges
• Kettlebell Swings (with an emphasis on hip thrust with glute contraction)
• Single-Legged Elevated Hip Thrusts
• Bent-Over or Quadruped Hip Extensions (Donkey Kicks)
• Standing Hip Abductions w/ Band
• Pistol Squats (I’m still working on those)
Most of these exercises achieve a 70% or greater maximal voluntary muscle contraction (MVIC), giving the glutes their highest percent of muscle activation…The higher that percentage, the more you’re working those glutes, thus the faster you’re moving toward a juicy, plump peach that’ll make ‘em all shout “Baby got back!”
The takeaway here is, if a bigger booty is your goal, you’re going to need to incorporate a targeted, glute specific workout into your routine at least once a week. BUT, it is also very important not to neglect your legs, because, after all, they ARE all related. So, for best results, try dedicating your Leg Day routines (1-2 times a week) to exercises that also hit the glutes, like:
• Heavy Barbell Squats
• Single-Legged Deadlifts
• Split Squats
• Box Squats
• Curtsy Lunges
• Leg Extensions
That way, you’ll end up with a beautifully sculpted lower body all the way around!
One final thing, nutrition. When growing and shaping those glutes is a goal, you’ve got to be sure you’re giving your muscles something to grow on. You can’t starve a peach tree and expect it to bear fruit, after all….You’ve got to eat!…Muscle hypertrophy (growth) and maintenance requires energy (Calories) and nutrients (all three macronutrients, that is!). Although everyone’s specific energy and micronutrient needs vary, it is very important to fuel your body with wholesome, nourishing foods daly. Minimally processed whole grains, lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy (as long as you don’t have an allergy or intolerance), and friendly fats are all important components of a well-balanced diet.
Well, there you have it! If booty gainz are what you’re after, step away from the squat rack for a little while, and devote some time to the glutes and ONLY the glutes! And, remember, don’t neglect your nutrition…You gotta nourish to flourish…Ultimately, the butt you want IS within reach, you just have to train, and eat, for it!
Need help developing a routine? My At-Home Strong Booty Script program ($29.99) is just what you need! Set up in four easy to follow phases, it is specifically designed for shaping and toning the glutes! Starting off with body weight exercises and progressing to heavier resistances, it includes a detailed, step by step exercise how-to guide, making it suitable for those of all fitness levels!
Contact me today to get started!