You’ll pardon me if the word ass offends. But now that I’ve got your attention, why not have a heart to heart about yours?
How is your ass? Does it hang low? Wobble to and fro? Hold you up or weigh you down?
Is it a work of art? A splendid thing that even other women envy? Because I will be honest, when an ass is that good, even when it belongs to a woman, I will tell her so. I respect what I know it took to get that butt to look fantastic!
In my books, a toned, sculpted ass is the ultimate indicator of your dedication to fitness and nutrition. End of story.
You can get a six pack easily. It comes in quicker than glutes any day. Do the right exercises and a load of cardio and you will get there. Your abs will show up in pairs. Some of us get two, four, six or even eight clearly defined ab muscles , which in musclemag talk is a “set of bricks, a washboard.” But even if you only have two, you’re feeling pretty good with that definition, because girl, you’ve got abs.
When it comes to your ass, there’s no partial result. You either worked your glutes or you didn’t. You either have tone and lift into that peachy curviness 🍑 that begs for tight pants (and a spanking) or you’re fighting to find your ass. In some cases, your ass is unidentifiable from the back of your knees. Or you have two smiles, one on your face and one👇🏻! Oh Lord!
These are difficult things for a woman. It’s no fun to wonder where your ass went. And to contemplate getting it back feels for all the world like having to walk uphill with cement blocks around your ankles. Where did it go and how can you get it back?
Building glorious glutes is possible. I’ve got the secrets and will reveal them because what I know to be true is, training your ass before your abs is the secret to being lean and lovely long into your years.
I’ve had some experience with asses. My own springs to mind. In the beginning I didn’t have one. I was obese at one time, that’s true but I seemed to have gathered the pounds around my middle. I had an unnoteworthy ass, more a pancake-like 🥞 structure than a peach. There were no juicy curves there, because what my mama gave me was F-L-A-T, flat!
When I learned, from my initiation-by-fire into the bodybuilding world was something quite remarkable. I could build an ass. I could carve out my own ass and make it a wondrous thing to behold. I know that because when I visited the gym for the first time, in my baggy red sweatpants and even baggier t-shirt, I saw people – women – with fantastic asses. I was too scared to wander over and ask them how they acquired those booties but I did find someone who was willing to train me and then, oh then, it was on!! I mean, I learned the secrets of building a butt and suddenly I felt like my planet had tilted.
The thing is, it’s the training of your backside my friend, that shapes it and the rest of you. There is no muscle group bigger. There is no hungrier trio of muscles. There is no greater driver of your metabolic furnace. There is no more powerful musculature. The undeniable truth about your ass is that once you learn how to harness its power you will be in possession of the greatest secret of all – training your ass is the key driver to stimulating your metabolism and maintaining a lean physique.
You will also know how to shape something so divine, you will want to wear the clothes you’ve been dying to for years. Slinky black dress? Bring it on. Skinny jeans? Hell yes! A bikini? Why not? Make love with the lights on and all your clothes off? Bring it on!
Curious how to get a sculpted bum?
Know this first … I did it. I took something so unappetizing, as far as butts go, and shaped it into … well, now, how do I put this?? Let’s just say I made the tightest pants look good and became known as the Butt Lady. Even wrote a book about it.
There are loads of scientific reasons to train your glutes, beyond getting a shapely butt, and if your job involves mostly sitting, pay attention. Back issues are the most common reason for chiropractic visits. That’s because when a back is iffy, you tend to walk, sit, stand, lift and carry using muscles that put more of a load on your back.
What you really want to do is activate your glutes and hips but they’ve forgotten how because they have something called “gluteal amnesia.” This means when your glutes are untrained and weak they don’t know how to perform the basic tasks of walking, lifting and carrying. Over time your back will let you know it doesn’t like this additional load.
Training your glutes to strengthen your back is a powerful reason to include this kind of training regularly. Much pain and misery can be avoided.
But there’s more. Working out your bum activates your metabolism!
Your glutes are the largest muscle group in your body because not only are they densely packed with muscle fiber but they tie into your hamstrings and lower back. Collectively that is a lot of muscle! When they are put to work a metabolic pathway in your body is triggered, activating something called the metabolic sink.
This is a biochemical reaction triggered by metabolic stress. Working your muscles requires fuel in the form of glucose which circulates in the blood. As you train, tiny receptors on your muscles open up and mop up glucose, delivering it to the working muscle fibers. The more intense the workout, the greater the metabolic sink. In turn, working out places a greater demand on your muscles – known as metabolic stress – causing a continuous cycle of training, hungry muscles, mop up glucose, training, hungry muscles, mop up glucose.
This explains why it is so important for blood sugar regulation to work out. There is no better way to “cleanse” your blood of sugar than working out. Diabetics pay attention. You can manage your condition whether it’s Type I or II or III, better through working out.
The best part about training the large muscle groups is that they are known as a metabolic catalyst not only because they cause the metabolic sink to happen but also because catalytic fat burning effect continues for several hours after working out. What does this mean for you? You are in high fat burning mode long after your workout!
Now it’s time to shape your own bit of peachiness. 🍑
Your Butt-Sculpting Exercises
Glute Activation Exercises
Glute bridges, bodyweight lunges, squats and donkey kicks
Wake up sleepy glutes that have been inactive or sat upon for too long by doing a dynamic warm-up. Glute activation exercises stimulate activity in all muscle fibers in your glutes and get you ready for a productive workout.
Although the glutes are the biggest muscle group in the body, they are also the laziest. Waking them up will do wonders for your workout and your ass.
My all time favorite is the Glute Bridge. This is done in a reclining position with your feet on a step, bench or ball. Contract the glutes and lift your hips, keeping your upper body on the ground and your knees together. Perform 10-15 hip raises. Rest and repeat for 3 sets.
Make it harder by doing single leg glute bridges or by placing a weight on your abdomen, or both.
You can also do bodyweight lunges, squats, iso squats, donkey kicks and the lateral side step with a mini band around your legs.
A note about donkey kicks.
Donkey kicks deliver the greatest amount of glute activation – so simple but oh so effective.
While this appears to be an easy exercise it is the one that is most commonly done incorrectly. Let’s get it right.
Get on all fours on the ground. Use a mat under your knees.
Contract your abs by exhaling and pulling your belly to your spine. Continue to hold that contraction while breathing.
Keep your head up and your back flat.
Lift your right leg, bend at the knee and press the flat of your foot to the ceiling. Your hamstring must be perfectly in line with your flat back. A mirror is a wonderful tool to help you check your form. Now press the foot to the ceiling, maintaining form.
Perform 20 good reps.
Return to the start position maintaining control and repeat with the opposite leg. Do at least 3 sets of donkeys.
Classic Lift Exercises
Deadlifts, squats and lunges
Learn to do these classic lift exercises not only to burn fat but to teach the body how to move in a coordinated fashion. Multi-joint exercises like deadlifts, squats and lunges recruit the largest number of muscle fibers all at once, requiring them to do a greater amount of work and also placing a high level of metabolic stress on these fibers. Translation: higher fat burning activity.
Try this version of a deadlift. The sumo deadlift is done with side foot placement, meaning your feet are placed wider than your knees and pointing slightly out. This accomplishes maximum glute activation, stressing more muscle fibers and helping to shape a rounder, more toned butt. A further benefit is that you can use heavier weight which shapes bigger leaner muscles.
Squats are arguably the most commonly done glute exercise. Form is essential here because getting the squat right is the difference between a rounded ass and a blocky one. The key is to squat beyond parallel, meaning you need to drop your butt low enough that your forelegs (quads) are parallel with the ground. Easy to write, harder to do but worth the effort.
Lunges activate quads, glutes and hamstrings. They are easy to do and if done correctly promise a perfect posterior. Perfection means sinking low with your rear leg, squeezing your glutes as you work and doing heaps and heaps of reps. Why not hold dumbbells in your hands while you work to ramp up the intensity and the results?
Kettlebell swings, the “#1 exercise that fixes 99 problems” according to many fitness fans. KB swings cure the Western problem of hunching forward, poor posture and anterior dominance. What’s that you ask? From our sedentary lifestyles anterior muscles, shorten, tighten and pull us forward.
KB swings cure that and much more but once again it’s an exercise that must be done properly in order to reap the benefits. The key? Using a heavy enough weight and hinging correctly from the hips NOT squatting as I see many people do. A well executed KB swing works your posterior chain muscles – back, abs, butt, hamstrings. It’s a big bang for your buck exercise.
Single Leg Movements
Lunges, single leg deadlifts, step ups
Single leg movements deliver a focused and deeply targeted challenge to your glute muscles. The benefits are monumental especially if you are keen to preserve cognitive function in your brain.
Here’s why. A single leg movement always demands more focus and effort from the muscles you are working while simultaneously firing more intensely with your brain. This leads to greater glute muscle activity from all three regions of your glutes while also strengthening your brain muscle pathways.
Single leg movements balance the symmetry in your body so that a weak side is developed appropriately to equalize with the stronger side.
Single leg movements deliver the greatest benefits for shaping rounded, toned glutes.
Try the donkey kick + step-up superset: pair donkey kicks and supersets in a workout.
When you are stronger and your form is tight you can do cable resisted donkey kicks or use a band to increase the challenge.
According to MuscleandFitness Hers, “the dumbbell step-up is a multi-joint, single-sided strength movement for the lower body, emphasizing the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. The exercise also improves core strength and stability.” Progressively add weights as you get stronger.
Now superset Donkey kicks with dumbbell step ups. Do 10 Donkey Kicks per side and immediately do 10 step ups per side. Perform 3 rounds.
Hard hitting booty builders
Glute/hamstring raises with or without weight, barbell glute bridges, good mornings, reverse hyperextensions
Next level butt builder moves are the favourites of anyone serious about lifting and shaping a back end that’s hard to ignore. And yes, an ass can grab attention.
Glute/hamstring raises are a pro trainers secret sauce. They look intimidating to do but are one of the few exercises that deeply challenge lower back and butt muscles. If you don’t have access to a Glute Ham machine, then try finding an immovable object and trying a Natural Glute Ham Raise.
Do this by hooking your ankles, placing a pad under your knees and pushing yourself up to a pushup position. Now let yourself drop to a pushup, then explode back upright, and drop down again. Master this one and you’re solidly in the booty building business.
Glute bridges as described above can be made far more intense by adding a loaded barbell to the movement. You can imagine how the extra load would challenge your glutes! It’s a beautiful exercise even if it does look intimidating.
Good Mornings are a classic glute builder. As in the KB swing, this exercise is done with a hip hinge NOT a squat. A barbell is placed across your back for added resistance and it is kept there while you hinge from your hips and lower into a squat position. But stop! Don’t drop all the way down. Stop when your upper body is about 15 degrees from parallel. Then hinge forward with your hips, pushing yourself to an upright position and repeat. This is another ideal exercise for the entire posterior chain. You can also do this exercise with a resistance band looped around your feet and your neck.
This exercise trains the often forgotten hip extension area. Reverse hyperextensions can be done without a machine by lying face down on a bench. Your torso is on the bench, hands gripping the bench. Legs are on the ground. Now lift the legs and tuck them under you. This is a tough exercise to do but it is one of those that when correctly done, absolutely shows your finesse as a booty builder.
Now that I’ve had this heart to heart with you about your ass, versus your abs, how are you feeling about hitting a solid butt building workout right now? I thought so! Ass over abs every time ladies. It’s the way!