9Let’s get one thing straight… When I say ‘build a booty,’ I don’t mean lose fat around your butt. No matter how many exercises we do, we cannot control where on the body we lose the fat. You can do 1000 sit-ups and even have wash board abs, but they can still be covered up by a layer of fat. However, we can do specific exercises to tone and shape your butt so that it sits up high and gives you that ‘peach’ look we are all after.
I know there are many different workouts and exercises that can help you tone your butt and no-doubt they all have merit. But I’m going to tell you what has worked best for me. Now I am more of a pear shape, I have a small waist and upper body, with a bigger butt and thighs. So for me it wasn’t about building size, more about changing the shape, although these exercises will certainly help with building the muscles as well.
Now this seems like an obvious one, but I’m not talking about body weight squats, I’m talking about squat rack, barbell squats. As I said, it’s not that body weight squats don’t work, this is just what works for me, I believe there is no better exercise for the glutes than squats. I have found it beneficial to lift heavier, with less reps and more sets. One of my favourites is: 8 x reps, 5 x sets, rest 2 minutes, this lower rep range means I can lift a heavier weight. You can also alter your squat stance to specifically target the glutes. By doing a sumo squat, wider stance, you are able to target the hips and butt, a narrower stance targets the quads.
Bulgarian Split Squat
This is such an under-utilised exercise, but it is very effective, requires no equipment and is surprisingly difficult. Click this link to one of my previous posts to see how to perform them Bulgarian split squat
These squats are great if you have lower back pain, as they don’t require the addition of weight, but if you do hold DB’s it’s at your sides and not directly on your back. I find these a great exercise to finish leg day with, as they will completely exhaust your muscles.
Deadlifts are great for so many things, hamstrings, lower back and yes… the glutes. It is really important to develop the correct form before you start lifting really heavy. The bar needs to stay close to the legs throughout the entire movement. The back should not be hunched, abs should be braced and you need to squat down low. The upwards movement really needs you to squeeze through your glutes, as you push through your heels. The original big push should come from your glutes and hamstrings, not your back.
I must admit, I don’t love doing hip thrusters because it’s just one of those movements that isn’t very comfortable for my body. But it’s not always about comfort, it about booty building and nothing isolates the booty like hip thrusters. You need a bench and a barbell. Sit on the floor with your back against the bench, position the barbell over hips, preferably with paddling on it, otherwise get ready for the bruises. Push up through your hips, as your upper back and shoulders rest on the bench. Aim for a nice tight glute squeeze at the top and then lower back down.
Now I know lots of people get great results with at home workouts that don’t require much weight and that’s awesome! I certainly incorporate some body weight and light weight exercises into my routine, however I am also a big advocate for lifting heaving. Your glutes are made up of both fast-twitch and slow-twitch fibres. Fast-twitch is built for quick bursts of speed and power, while slow-twitch is built for endurance. So it stands to reason that the glutes need both types of training to excel, hence why lifting heavy is an important part of muscle growth.
Change it up
We all experience that point in our training when we hit the wall and everything stops changing. Suddenly you stop losing weight, or gaining muscle, or it seems your shape has not changed in forever. When this happens it can frustrating and some of you may even simply give up, thinking ‘its just not working for me.’ But don’t despair, in these moments its important to realise that your body has actually changed a lot, hence why it has stopped changing. Your body stops changing because it gets used to the new routine, it has adapted and now accepts it as the new normal. If you want to see change its probably time to change things up a bit.
-If you have been lifting heavy with low reps, try increasing your reps a and decreasing the weight
-change your stance, go wider or narrower
-change your exercises, take a break from squats and switched to lunges for a while
You will be surprised how much difference even the slightest change can make.
There is no one magic butt exercise that will give you that perfect peach butt, its all about consistency and a eating a balanced diet. While your busy building your butt, please don’t forget about the other body parts, its important to complete a balanced training program.