Baby Got Back!
We like big butts and we can not lie...or maybe we just really want a nice toned rear?! Our society has been obsessed with building a better booty and having a booty! Take J.LO for an example, or all of the Kardashians, they are all known for their ASSets. As a bikini competitor, it's all about the back butt pose. Girls are literally judged on their booty! For all of us not willing to go under the knife to get that Kardashian we are offering some tips on how to get a tighter, firmer, higher, and rounder rear.
Do you have to do squats to build a better booty? NOPE! I actually don't squat much at all, and if I do it's with very low weights. I personally don't have the hip mobility to squat that low to get the full benefit from squatting and frankly, I'm worried I will blow a knee out! There are tons of other ways to build your glute muscles that are just as effective.
What is "booty" exactly?
There are three gluteal muscles that make up our booty. Most think it's just one large muscle but in actually the booty is compromised of three separate gluteus muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus.
The gluteus maximus is the largest of the three muscles and helps with moving your upper body forward. Think to stand from seated movements, running, walking, lunging, stepping into something, that's all gluteus maximus! This muscle helps straighten your legs from seated to the standing (or squat) position. This is usually the muscles folks are talking about when they talk about working out their glutes.
The gluteus medius is a set of muscles that reside on the pelvic bones and helps with walking. It is also used when you lift your leg and rotate it out to the side.
The gluteus minimus is the muscle under the gluteus medius and also helps with hip extensions.
What DOESN'T Build a better booty?
Before we discuss how to build our glutes let's first discuss what doesn't work when it comes to making that booty firm, toned, and shapely.
More Cardio: this won't necessarily help build a bigger, rounder, more uplifted butt. You don't want to neglect your cardio workouts because the less fat you have the more shapely your butt can get. I would also like to point out that running on high inclines does engage the glutes and the hamstrings more than doing spin or running on a flat road.
Spot Reducing A Specific Area: when you burn fat, your body takes and burns from all over the body, not just the booty. So going into a workout targeting just 1 area of your body doesn't guarantee you to get leaner in that one specific area. I know, it's not fair, but it's life.
What DOES work?
Keep changing up your range of repetitions! More repetitions don't necessarily build more bulk but it will help with your endurance. Fewer repetitions will help build strength, but you aren't necessarily going after strength either. So stay in a rep range that is challenging, but not exhausting, and keep changing up your reps and weights.
Mix it up, Like Sir Mix-A-Lot. Try different exercises, different weights, different terrain, and different angles. hitting your glutes in more than one angle will help get all 3 muscles activated. There are tons of different exercises to engage that booty! Keep changing it up and mix it up every few weeks.
Plan your workouts in advance. Go into the gym with a strategy. track your weights, reps, and exercises so you are strategic with building your glutes and entire body. This will help you also plan out your workouts so you aren't working on your glutes back to back. Give your body some time to recover in between workouts.
Lil Sweetie's Booty Workouts!
Step onto a high, stable surface. This can be performed with or without additional weight in your hands. From a standing position with feet hip-width apart, step up onto a box, bench, or platform with your right foot. Push through your heel to lift your body up onto the step. Step back down slowly with your right foot and repeat on the opposite side.
Also known as a “hip-lift,” you begin by lying on your back with your arms straight by your sides. With your feet flat on the ground, your knees bent, and your abs tight, slowly lift your hips off the floor and squeeze your glutes while pressing your hips toward the ceiling. Hold for a few seconds, and return hips slowly to the ground. Repeat. For an additional challenge and to activate your inner thighs as well, you can hold a medicine ball between your knees.
Butt Blaster Kickback (Cable Kick Backs)
This can be done with the cable machine! Cuff your ankle to the cable pulley system (in low position). Stand with your hands either at your sides or gripping the machine, lift your right leg (keeping it straight) and move it back as far as you comfortably can. Hold the position for a few seconds and squeeze your glutes. Return to the start. It’s easiest to complete 10 repetitions on one side and then switch to the opposite leg.
Stand tall with your feet hip distance apart. Take a large step forward with the right foot and lower your body toward the floor. Both legs should be bent at a 90-degree angle at the bottom of the lunge. Push off left foot (back foot) so the left knee lifts up and you land with left foot in front, same bent knee position. Now push off the right foot, lift the right knee, and land with the right foot in front, same body position. Continue to “walk” your lunge forward as far as you can go, then turn around and walk back
Begin in a standing position with feet together or hip-width apart. With your hands at your waist, use your right leg to take a giant step out to your right side, keeping your knee and toes facing forward, but at a slight outward angle. Bend your right knee while leaning forward slightly to get to the lunge position. Push up through your right heel to return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.
Get on all fours on the mat (hands under shoulders, knees under hips). Keeping right knee bent 90 degrees, flex right foot and lift knee to hip level. Lower knee without touching the floor; lift again. Do 15 reps. Switch legs; repeat.
Lying Side Leg Lifts
While lying on your side with your legs straight and both knees facing forward, lift your top leg up toward the ceiling (while keeping it straight). Pause at the top of the movement, and then return to the start. Do 10 repetitions, and then switch positions and repeat for the opposite side. You can experiment with facing your knee slightly more upward or outward to see how it activates different areas of the glutes.
Bulgarian Split Squats
Find yourself a step, bench or any other contraption that you can rest a foot on, it needs to be about knee height. Get into a forward lunge position with torso upright, core braced and hips square to your body, with your back foot elevated on the bench. Your leading leg should be half a meter or so in front of the bench. Lower until your front thigh is almost horizontal, keeping your knee in line with your foot. Don't let your front knee travel beyond your toes. Drive up through your front heel back to the starting position, again keeping your movements measured.
Start from standing, and step your left leg behind you and to the right so your thighs cross, bending both knees as if you were curtsying. Make sure your front knee is aligned with your front ankle.
Return to standing, and switch sides to complete one rep.
You can also use the Resistance Bands at the gym to do a more intense type of glute workouts like Jumping Squats, Jumping Lunges, Hip Abductions, and Donkey Kicks.