How to Build a Well Rounded, Developed and Firm Booty
Triangle Training: The Muscles of the Gluteus Maximus
Gluteus Maximus Development
Continuing my quest on writing equally for both genders, this by far is the body part that I get asked about the most from women. Technically men work on their glutes as well, but unless your a body builder or male physique/fitness competitor, the butt isn't really going to be a focus point. I remember when I was growing up, having a well rounded and developed back side was frowned upon, and was basically considered a bad thing. Thin was the in thing. Nowadays, things have definitely changed. You can't even turn on the radio without hearing a song that is about or associated with the derriere. Ladies, you might be well endowed up top, but a well developed backside is King. You have seen those women in the gym, walking around with a butt so nice, it looks as if you could bounce a quarter off of it. You find yourself questioning whether its real? Did she have some sort of cosmetic surgery? Some people are blessed and don't have to work as hard as others, but for the majority of us normal people that have to put in twice the amount of work, these simple tips and exercises will get you on your way to a strong, powerful, well developed butt.
Squat, Squat, and more Squats
Squat! Squat! Squat! Its an absolute necessity to overall glute development. Its equivalent to what the bench press is to your chest development. With the exception of underlying circumstances such as back or knee problems, those would be the only reasons that the squat shouldn't be a mainstay in your leg routine. Any time you are building something, regardless of what it is, you have to start with a foundation. Burning fat off to develop muscle is more volume, so a lower weight amount and higher rep range should be used. You have to burn the fat off before you will be able to see the muscle. Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. Some people are just naturally strong. You may be able to add a couple of plates in the squat rack, but if you can not pump out at least 8-10 reps with that amount of weight, you will begin to look bulky/husky, and I'm under the distinct impression that is not the look the majority of females are trying to acquire. Regardless of your fitness level or the weight and sets used, you should feel the burn in your glutes.
Deep Squats activate the Glutes
Standing leg curl performed by Scott Herman
This is an isolation movement that focuses on the back of the leg development. This is definitely not a powerful movement and should be done with volume. It does not really matter whether you perform them in the seated position(machine that you push the weight down with your heels) or lying down, (laying down at an angle and curling the weight up to your buttocks) a moderately heavy weight that will still allow you to control and slowly perform each repetition/set, (for the beginning fitness enthusiasts, 4 sets of 10-15 reps is a good start)while isolating your hamstrings and glutes, will have you on your way to some nice, muscular, well defined legs.
Variations of Lunges
The squat is more of the builder, while the lunge is for sculpting/defining and shaping. The lunge is more of an isolation movement and it isn't really beneficial to use big, heavy weights when performing this movement, your focus should be more on your form, as it requires balance and coordination. This exercise is definitely quality over quantity. For those that have issues with their coordination or balance, you're better off just using your own body weight until you can properly maintain stability/form with additional weight. If you are athletic and active in sports, the lunge will be very helpful in your performance of those activities as well. There are multiple variations of the lunge, which will work on all major muscles of the leg and glutes, including your abductors (inner thigh) which is another area of concern for some females. Whichever style of the lunge you use, it should be performed slow with a flexing of the muscle at the contraction point of each repetition. If your just starting out, you may not be capable of high rep/volume sets, so 8-10 reps is a start until you learn your body's strength limits. As effective as the lunge is when done correctly, it's just as effective when its carried out incorrectly and can cause serious knee problems. If you are just beginning your fitness quest and haven't tried them before, make sure you have/get assistance from a fitness professional to ensure it's being done properly.
Well Developed Gluteus Maximus
Sherlyn Roy teaches the butt blaster
The Butt Machine
Some of you are reading this and saying to yourself, what is a butt machine. Well they do vary depending on the gym you attend. If your gym is a private establishment, they may not have one, but most commercial gyms will have one, or something comparable to it. The more common ones will have you in a position on your knees, and the weight placed on one of your feet and you kick it back or press it back, depending on the machine. This movement isolates and stimulates the glutes. As with all isolation movements, you don't want to use heavy weight. A couple of burn out sets with this machine is a good idea. If your gym doesn't have one, put it in the suggestion box. After all, the customer is always right, right?
Performing the dead lift
As the name suggests, you are lifting dead weight. It's a lot easier to lift weight that already has momentum, than weight from a stand still. Most exercises have both an eccentric (lowering of weight) and a concentric (lifting of weight) movement, very few start with dead weight. That's why pull ups are so difficult for most people. How much you weigh, is the amount of dead weight you are pulling up. The dead lift is actually considered a power lifting exercise. The movement targets the lower back, glutes and hamstrings, however it also involves other muscles such as your torso, hips, forearms, and a variety of different back muscles. Although there is no question about it, this is a power movement, but for the average person/fitness beginner, minimal weight should still be used. Again with a higher rep range for approximately four sets to start (between 10-15 depending on you) Your back should be kept firm and eyes up. There are several variations of this exercise, regardless of which one you are doing, your knees should never be completely locked. Ironically even if your performing the "stiff legged dead lift", your knees should be close to, but not completely locked. This is a dangerous exercise if not performed correctly as it can easily cause a multitude of issues, including lower back problems. If you are doing them correctly, you will feel a burn in your glutes and hamstrings.
Ladies, Rome was not built in a day. It takes time to build and develop muscle. Do not expect to go in the gym and perform a couple of sets of squats and expect your butt to be big, perky and round. However, if you put in the work and these exercises are a consistent part of your leg routine, you will be on your way to nice muscular, defined legs with a booty to match.
More links with information on muscular development
- Developing Strong, Muscular Thighs
If building lean, muscular legs was easy, everyone would have them. They may be one of the harder muscle groups to develop. This article explores the steps in developing your quadriceps.
- Exploring the Lunge exercise
This article will explore the benefits of performing lunges and the variations you can use in order to develop your lower body.