Hope you had a wonderful holiday! Mine was great. We went to Chicago and spent some time with my hubby’s fam. It was a little colder than the Bay Area but it was great to be around fam and to kick it at some of our favorite spots in the city.
So let’s talk about that backside
Last week, I watched the American Music Awards and was greeted by J. Lo’s amazing opening performance. If you missed it, you’re just not living right.
Here’s the video. I strongly suggest taking 6 minutes out of your life to be wowed.
This is an amazing display of everything that matters…choreography, performance, outfits. Everything.
We all know that J.Lo’s butt has always been a thing of much admiration and conversation. The guys love it. The girls love it. Even at the age of 46, that thing is something most of us never achieved at half her age. It might even be argued that J.Lo was very influential in making the butt a mainstream popular asset…along with Beyonce, that chick who’s first and last names start with a “K”.
I have a love/hate relationship with my butt. I personally have always had a little something back there, but as I’ve gotten older, this thing has been a challenge to maintain! The roundness is constantly threatening to turn into an oval, if you know what I’m sayin.
A little butt-ology
If you’re not familiar with butt muscles, let me explain. When we refer to the butt, we’re usually talking about the gluteus maximus, or “glutes” for short (there’s also a gluteus minimus and other muscles, but we’ll keep it simple). This muscle is pretty round by itself. However, all of the fat around it makes this shape a little less round. So, in order to keep the shape that we want, we usually want to emphasize the muscle and get rid of the fat.
I’m a pear-shaped girl, meaning I carry more weight in my hips, thighs and butt, and carry less in my upper body. (Trust me, this sucks when it comes to wearing any pair of non-stretch pants.) I personally struggle with maintaining the shape of my butt. Whether you have the same struggles, or you want to emphasize your bottom half more, this post is for you.
These are a million different things you can do to work your glute muscles, and I’m going to highlight my top three, based on effectiveness, simplicity (no weights needed!), and my personal experience of seeing results.
Plank leg lifts
There was a study in which plank leg lifts were shown to be one of most effective exercises for targeting your glutes, so this exercise is a “must”. You can do it from a low plank (on your elbows) or high plank (like the top of a pushup position). The low plank emphasizes your core more and is my preference. You just lift each leg straight in the air, and feel the burn in your glutes at the top. Hold it there for a second and repeat with the other leg.
I did a horrible angle with this video but you get the drift!
You ever have an exercise that doesn’t fail you? Butt lifts are that for me. I feel a very targeted burn in my glutes while I’m doing them and I notice the results as the days go on. It’s also a relatively easy exercise to perform, so if you’re a beginner, you got this.
Lay on the floor with your feet flat on the floor. Then just lift your butt so that your stomach forms a (slanted) table. If you feel stress in your knees, move your feet further from your body. Hold it for a second at the top and come down.
No workout is complete without the little homie, Squats! Squats actually don’t specifically target the glutes like the other two exercises, but it works so many lower body muscles, and is insanely effective in sculpting your glutes and everything around them.
You can emphasize your glutes even more by doing sumo squats. A sumo squat is just a wide-legged squat. Place your feet right outside of shoulder width, then come down putting all the weight on your heels (very important – you want like no weight on your toes and knees). Keep your back completely upright and drop as low as you can, then return to the top.
I have weights in this video to add a little challenge, but you don’t need them.
Cardio is like the condiment on a sandwich. The dressing on a salad. It’s not the main feature but it makes everything so much better. I either like to include cardio in my workout for the day or just do cardio for longer on a different day. This is when you burn all the butt fat that’s fighting your round shape.
Here are a couple of my favorites. In the spirit of whipping our butts into shape, I recommend butt kicks and squat jacks.
Remember: when we do cardio, we’re aiming for overall fat loss and cardio. You don’t spot-reduce with cardio. Cardio kind of chooses where on your body it wants to reduce weight (because it’s just a diva like that). We do our spot work through strength training. Naturally, cardio will eventually make it’s way to our butts too, and magic happens.
The best workout for your butt: The Round Booty Workout
Ok, here’s how you can tie these exercises together in a 15-20 minute workout – maybe even faster when you get the hang of these exercises.
Soooo…when will I have my butt?
If you stick with exercises like this that target your glutes, you should see results within the next few weeks, maybe even sooner. Of course, the more you stress your muscles (or the harder the workout), the better. If you find that the sumo squats are pretty easy, for example, you’re going to need to add some weight to make them challenging. You may also want to lengthen this workout and add some more lower body exercises. However, this is a great starting point, and it’s exactly what I would do if I was looking to get started with a glute-focused workout.
If you do it, let me know how it goes in the comments!