I’m not gonna lie. I like butts. And I’m currently obsessed with finding ways to effectively train them. So over the past several months I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with my own workouts and with my client’s programs as well. And what I’ve come to realize is that there are ways that you can manipulate your workouts and exercises to tighten your posterior that does not include super heavy squatting, or dead lifting, which if you scour any bodybuilding forum, will tell you is a MUST have to build a better butt.
Now, I’m not denying that heavy squatting and dead lifting won’t help promote hypertrophy in your derrière, yet, based off the results I’ve seen in myself and my clients, I have found other ways to effectively train the glutes, as you will soon see. All of these techniques have been put together to what my clients and I call “The Firm Butt Society”…more details on this elite group in a future blog.
From playing around with different workouts and protocols, I’ve found a few things that have worked in regards to effectively targeting and re-shaping the glutes:
1. If the gluteal muscles are weak or inhibited, most of your hip extension is going to come from your hamstrings. Meaning, when the glutes can’t be used to extend the hip (which could be for many reasons) something has to create movement, and typically that means the hammies take over.
2. Running on the treadmill can exacerbate hamstring dominance during hip extension since the treadmill helps to extend the legs back which takes work away from the gluteals. Ever notice that a lot of long distance runners or those girls at the gym that slave away on the treadmill typically have really well developed hamstrings, but no butt? Well, this is partially why.
3. Super fast hill sprints are great for the butt.
4. So are single leg variations of anything, like single leg RDLs, single leg hip bridges and single leg squats.
5. An anteriorly tilted pelvis can make it very difficult for the leg to move smoothly inside the hip socket, and this can inhibit hip extension. When the pelvis is tilted forward, whether this is from tight hip flexors, a locked psoas, or weak abdominal muscles, the leg cannot fully extend, which makes it harder to fully activate the glutes.
6. Foam rolling the hip flexors before any sort of glute dominant exercise can help to release some tension which can improve hip extension thus recruiting more glute work.
7. Sitting on your butt all day really can flatten your butt. Sorry.
8. Your digestion can actually affect the shape of your glutes. Hear me out for a second on this one: When you have gut dysfunction (could be from anything like food intolerances and leaky gut syndrome) the added pressure from inflammation can not only the inhibit abdominal wall but can also inhibit firing the pelvic floor muscles.
When these things happen, instability is created in the pelvis. And as a way to regain stability, the gluteal muscles kick in to provide support. However, this creates false stability and over time, this can atrophy the larger butt muscles and lead to what is called “heart bottom syndrome”, which creates pancake butt.
9. Oh, I should also mention that c-sections can do the same thing.
10. A well-fitting pair of Lululemon’s can make any butt look good. It’s like magic.
To give you a quick peak as to what we do in the FBS (Firm Butt Society), I’ve put together an effective lower body workout for you with emphasis on the booty. You’ll even find videos for all of the exercises and the warm-up stuff on my YouTube channel and a free workout you can download at the end of the post so you can take it to your gym, ah yeah.