Over the years the one body part women have asked me about the most has been the butt. How to lift it, how to firm it, how to lose it, and now thanks to Kim Kardashian and JLO, women also want to know how to build or enhance it!
And since I’ve been tagged the “Booty Guru” over the past few years after launching my signature workout called Booty Slide®, it seemed like a good time to offer up some of my top tips for lifting the butt otherwise referred to as the “booty”.
Here they are:
1. Choose butt-blasting moves
Always include either a lunge or a step up (or both) type movement in your lower body or circuit type workouts. And remember to follow the golden rule of butt lifting – if your butt isn’t burning or feeling engaged you aren’t targeting it! Yes, squats are great, but my two personal favorites for overall shaping and lifting a woman’s butt are lunges and step-ups.
Please note: Lunges and step-ups can be hard on the knees so if you have previous knee issues – proceed with caution. Always maintain proper form and start with only your body weight at first. Add weights to these exercises only if you feel your knees are pain free.
Walking Lunges – These are easier on the knees than standing lunges.
Begin standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips.
Step forward with one leg, flexing the knees to 90 degrees to drop your hips.
Bend in your other leg also 90 degrees.
Drive through the heel of your front foot and press back up to standing and then travel through with the other leg. Continue on for a set of 15 on each leg or 30 total lunges.
Reverse Curtsy Lunge (variation) – Fantastic for targeting the “candy dish” area of the butt.
Stand with feet together.Cross the right foot behind and beyond the left leg as if in a curtsy position.You will be on your toes on the right foot and your left foot remains planted firming into the ground.
Bend both knees 90 degrees in the lunge position.
Push through the heel of your left foot to return as you bring your right foot back to starting position.
Repeat 10-12 reps on each leg. Then repeat on the other leg.
For best form, keep chest and chin up as you lunge.
Step Ups – One of the most underrated exercises for shaping butts.
Start with a standard height bench or use an aerobics step that is of equal height.
Any lower than this and you won’t recruit the butt muscles fully.
Be sure the bench doesn’t have extra padding as this will throw your balance off.
Place your right foot on the bench – check that your heel is fully on the bench.
Then step your left leg up to match your right foot.
Then step down with your right leg and then step down with your left.
Repeat 10 times starting with the right (lead) leg and then repeat on the left side.
2. Lift Weights
While I think Yoga is wonderful and I even include it in my exercise regiment, it’s a fact that muscle is built by applying a load of stress greater than what your body or muscles had previously adapted to. How do we do this? We do it by lifting weights and it really needs to be weights heavier than 2 lbs. so the muscles are challenged.
No muscle stress, no muscle growth. Of course, the muscle building process is more complex than this, but in the simplest of terms this is how it happens. Sorry ladies, but Yoga only or cardio day in and day out just isn’t going to give you the butt of your dreams.
Tight, toned and lifted booties are built one workout and one healthy meal at a time. The bottom line is, if you are looking to add muscle to your backside you will need to add some weights to your lower body workouts.
Start with 5lbs in each hand for your walking lunges. Maybe add an 8lb. or 10lb. medicine ball in your hands when you do your step ups. But you need to start taxing the butt muscles to make them grow!
3. Choose Your Cardio With Butt Effectiveness in Mind
When choosing cardio at the gym choose cardio that engages more of the butt muscles like the Elliptical and set it on a range between 14-20 incline. Also be sure that you are at least at a level 3-4 resistance.
If you choose the treadmill and are walking put it on an incline from between level 6-10 to get the most butt lifting effect.
The Stair Climber or Stair Steppers are the most effective for targeting the butt muscles but tend to be very exhausting so work your way up to using them and start on a slower rotation of the steps. Only increase the speed as your fitness level improves as safety always comes first.
4. Mind Your Foods
What you eat is 75% of the battle when trying to shape up. So when it comes to changing the way your butt looks, diet is critical. Clean up your diet by eliminating or at least cutting way down on the following; sugar, wheat, dairy, and fried food and adding more vegetables, fiber and lean proteins.
Be sure to eat enough protein to aid in your butt-lifting quest. Protein is crucial in the muscle building process and without enough you chance losing muscle which only makes your butt lifting quest even harder.
Aim to consume about .6 grams of protein for every pound of bodyweight you have. There are varying opinions on how much protein women need so feel free to do your own research on what might be right amount of protein for you based on your muscle and strength building goals as well as your current weight and activity levels.
5. Be Bootyful – Don’t Hide It
Stop hiding your butt! If you don’t see it, you will forget about it. Instead, wear clothes that flatter the shape of your backside whether it’s small, round or flat. In other words, choose your booty wear wisely.
Every body is different, so I can’t say for sure what you should be wearing, but know your body type and learn to work with what you have. Here’s a great list of butt flattering fashion tips.
6. Stop Wasting Your Money On Cellulite Creams
Most women not only want to shape and lift their butts but they also want to get rid of cellulite in that area. Thus far in my 20 year career, I haven’t heard of a cellulite cream that actually works and I promise if I ever do stumble across one, you will hear all about it because I have a big mouth when I find things that work.
The truth is the only thing that really reduces cellulite is proper diet and exercise. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but just as there is no magic pill for weight loss, neither is there a magic cream for making cellulite vanish.
As a woman in today’s society, it’s hard to say to another woman, “just be happy with the body you have, you are beautiful just as you are.” It works for about a minute – until another nipped, tucked, Photo Shopped picture of some celebrity flashes in front of your face and then all bets are off, you are back to longing for the body society tells us we should have.
I have yet to work with a celebrity (I’ve trained many) who isn’t unhappy with some area on her body. And let’s remember, what you see in print is not the reality of what those women look like.
This tip is about visualizing an attainable version of yourself, not some Photo Shopped image of a celebrity that doesn’t even exist. Instead, find a picture of a fitness model or a figure competitor that inspires you – those women have attainable bodies, if you’re willing to do the work.
As an afterthought – be sure to always drink lots of water which helps in the battle against cellulite, while also keeps your fluids balanced, promotes clearer skin and increases energy. Recommended 8oz 8 times a day is the minimum – more is even better.
Begin with these tips and you will definitely start to see some changes in your rear view!
Move More. Eat Better. Forgive Often.
If you have questions or comments send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to check out Booty Slide if you aren’t familiar with it – as it’s a great complimentary workout to whatever exercise program you are doing and targets the butt and legs. For more info click here