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While working out can make you stronger, more fit, and healthier, no shade if the real reason why you hit the gym is to boost your butt.
To help you meet your fitness goals — 🍑 👍 — ASAP, follow these tips from Shannon Jewell, personal trainer and fitness coach at ONE LDN, a popular boutique fitness club in London.
1. Ditch the treadmill.
Cardio, alone, won’t build a bigger butt, Jewell says — even if you amp up the incline. That’s because long periods of cardio can burn the fuel needed to support muscle growth, whereas hitting the weight room will build muscle to help that booty pop.
2. Mix up your routine.
To strenghten your glutes, Jewell recommends a dual approach to weight-training: Low rep sets using heavy weights, and high-rep sets using body weight, machines, or cables. Together, these target both slow- and fast-twitch muscle groups in the butt, according to Jewell.
When you enter the weight room, warm up, then begin with heavy weight-lifting exercises like deadlifts, squats, lunges, and stiff-leg deadlifts, using weights that are heavy enough exhaust you after three to six reps per set for two to three sets, total. (Proper form is key here, since exhausting the muscles can affect your technique and reduce the move’s effectiveness.)
Next, take a load off, and finish up with two to three 12- to 20-rep sets of body weight-exercises that target the butt.
3. Work your hamstrings — not just your butt.
The muscles in the back of your thighs known as hamstrings attach to the body at various points near the glutes — it’s why working these muscles H-A-R-D helps tone and shape your butt.
#workoutwednesday – throwback to trying to improve my deadlifts with the awesome @victoria_verna_fitness – excuse my VPL and giant 🍑 – these were hard! 😂. #deadlifts #legday #training #gymlife #gains #ldnmuscle #girlswholift #weights #glutes #fitness #gym
A post shared by Lauren Smith (@laurenjsmith13) on Oct 26, 2016 at 2:25pm PDT
To tap into these babies, try straight leg deadlifts. If you’re an experienced lifter, don’t be afraid to hold heavy weights while you’re at it: A load that only permit you to do several reps before exhaustion will force your muscles to adapt and ultimately get stronger.
4. Reduce rest time between sets.
If you take your sweet-ass time between sets — I see you checking your phone! — get a move on. “The muscle will not lift and become firmer unless your workout creates [muscle] overload,” Jewell explains. “Long periods of recovering between sets will not overload the muscle.”
Jewell says to rest between 30 and 60 seconds between sets — no longer, even when lifting heavy.
5. Don’t half-ass it when choosing weights.
This is especially important when using machines like the leg press, since machines eliminate variables like balance and coordination, and generally ask less of your body than freestanding moves. “They can be loaded up much heavier, faster,” says Jewell of machine work. She adds that the right weight will leave you struggling by the end of your set.
6. Use progressively heavier weights.
To build the butt muscles that give you a bubbly shape, you’ve got to continuously challenge yourself. To do so, increase the weight you use for any given exercise every two to four weeks — gradual increments will help you get stronger while sidestepping injury.
Working on ma squats with @victoria_verna_fitness today! My form isn’t perfect but hey 60kg y’all 🏋🏻♀️ 🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃 . . . . . . . . #squats #gym #gains #gymlife #fitness #legday #glutes #squat #fitnessfirst #girlswholift #girlgains #ldnm #weights
A post shared by Lauren Smith (@laurenjsmith13) on Oct 21, 2016 at 9:00am PDT
7. Embrace the burn.
While day-after soreness can be a literal pain in the butt, Jewell says it’s a tell-tale sign you’re working out hard enough. See, muscle soreness occurs when movement creates small muscle fiber tears — a good thing, since your body ends up rebuilding these muscles to be even stronger. Get it, girl!