Bodacious Backside Booty Call

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Question: I need to literally get my butt back in shape for summer. What are some good exercises to firm up my glutes which have gotten to their maximus?
Answer: The gluteus maximus is the largest single muscle on your skeleton and we usually do too much sitting on it and eating high calorie junk while we are doing that sitting which makes it even larger. During winter we tend to gain weight and a lot of it can end up on your backside. To initially combat that condition just get moving outside breaking the rust off of your joints and muscles. The recent warmth has released all those pent up desires to get yards back in shape and garden beds started. The physical labor involved in those tasks usually is a wake up call and you realize you need to get into serious workouts again when the soreness subsides.
Once you have gotten your rear in gear and are ready for real change try these exercises for shaping your glutes. Leg curls are a must for shaping up hamstrings and glutes. Get a full range of motion as you perform 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps each sets. Alternate your leg curls with one of a variety of lunges. Which ever you do, walking lunge, incline ramp lunge, reverse block lunge, the key point for safety and effectiveness is to get the center of your forward leg parallel to the floor or just below parallel as you do the exercise. If you only lunge halfway down then you mostly activate your quads. To get your glutes you need to get deep. The forward foot has to remain flat on the floor. Don’t lift your heel. Allow your rear foot to flow up on the toe and bend the back knee almost touching the floor. Do at least 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg.
Squats are excellent for developing tight buns and you don’t need heavy weight for them to be effective. Just remember, like the lunges, get the center of your thighs parallel or just below parallel to the ground to activate the muscle fibers in your glutes. Do 3 sets of 15 reps. A more advanced exercise for glutes is the Stiff-legged Deadlift or RDL (Romanian Deadlift). These require precision form to avoid irritating your lower back but when done properly will make your hams and glutes sore for days. Once you pick up the bar and have it securely in your hands, lift your ribcage to properly align your back. Lower the bar by driving your hips backwards keeping your weight in your heels. The idea is not to get the bar to the floor but to drive your hips backwards which should allow the bar to travel to your lower shins. You will feel a strong stretch in your hams and as you return to the top position squeeze your glutes together before lowering the bar again. Do 3 sets of 8 reps for this one. 24 to 36 hours later you will feel the difference.
None of these exercises will matter if you don’t follow the 80/20 rule for food, drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and do cardio to melt the fat off as well.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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