The Science of Butts

The Butt is a complex organism primarily comprised of hip hop music, deep squats, and Sir Mix-a-Lot. The key to understanding the building and usage of The Butt is not only found in songs like “Drop it Low” and “A$$”, but also in carefully designed work outs, a little bit of anatomy, and a little bit of strategy. (Ah! It rhymes! New rap song about butts in the making!)

Let’s first take a look at the Anatomy:

glutes

Your glute max is your powerhouse for the extenion of the hip. Please note how it inserts at the femur.

Your glute medius and minimus is responsible for abduction and external rotation of the femur. They are also important stabilizers.

There are a lot of other muscles tied into your hips that flex and rotate, but for the sake of keeping it simple, we’ll try to focus on these guys.

The butt lip. The fold-over. The under-cheek. The crease. You know what part I’m talking about yet? That’s not a part of the butt anatomy, as cute as it is. It’s your body’s genetic choice of how it stores fat. So forget about lifting that part up or shaping it. Your butt wants what it wants. The only way to change it is to get rid of it by lowering body fat. I was thoroughly disappointed to discover this. The bottom of your glute max, as previously mentioned, is on the femur, which looks great on that ham/glute tie in on your back pose in bikini, but does NOT accentuate the underbutt.

Left: 13% body fat Right: 20% body fat Low body fat=Loss of butt crease, which just means you need to build those glutes up even more so no one will notice you lost the 'donk in badonk

Left: 13% body fat
Right: 20% body fat
Low body fat=Loss of butt crease, which just means you need to build those glutes up even more so no one will notice you lost the ‘donk in badonk

See: Lean looks better from the back, where the side view is lacking:

Should have been leaner to better demonstrate glute/ham tie in.  Sorry ya'll! What was I thinking!

Should have been leaner to better demonstrate glute/ham tie in. Sorry ya’ll! What was I thinking!?

HOW DO I GET A ROUND PERFECT BUTT????

Skinny is out. Strong curves are in. THANK GOD. Because my body is all about mass quantities of food and sweaty work outs.

We’ve all heard it a before: Squat. Squat. Squat. But I’ve been squatting for years. I just hit a new max of 245lbs. I feel like I have the squat thing down. So is that all? There’s more to it than just one exercise and there are plenty more ways to get there. Here are a few pointers from personal experience that have helped me grow my booty:

Stretching and warm up: 

Ok, this doesn’t directly grow your shelf-butt. Indirectly, stretching does influence your range of motion, and range of motion is make or break in building a better booty. Get full range of motion to achieve maximum twerkable results. Body builders have a reputation for being tight and inflexible, excuses stemming from the shear mass of their enormous muscles blocking them from being able to touch their toes. Well, maybe that’s true (it’s not, but I don’t feel like arguing with a 250lb muscle guru who can bench press 3 of me), but increasing your range of motion, especially in the lower body is crucial for a good squat, and a good work out.

Foam roll!!! Roll around on that weird foam tube you’ve been wondering about to find that tight spot on your calves, glutes, quads, and hip flexors (TFL!) and put all the body weight you can handle into it. Hold there for 30 seconds or until you feel the muscle relax. Then stretch those areas.

I’m a big believer in static stretching (where you hold it 10-30 seconds until it loosens up) with light dynamic stretching (hip swings, etc).

Activate: What’s tight? Activate the muscle on the opposing side with some light body weight work. For example, I have have tight hips, so I do 20 standing leg lifts to activate the glute medius.

To make sure you have full range of motion and nothing’s too tight,  do a couple sets of body weight squats, squatting as low as possible.

Form: Quality over quantity

I love putting up heavy weight. I love having as much weight on the bar as the guy next to me. However, having a better butt than the guy next to me is more important, so step down to the maximum weight you can handle to get as low as you can. I often alternate leg days that are super heavy with moderate (but acceptable form) to next week just focusing on getting low, chest up, glute focus. Both have their benefit. Form day, however is much more crucial to getting 2 basketballs for a be-hind.

A good tip from a trainer friend: Set the spotting bars in the squat rack at the right height to catch the weight at the deepest point of your squat. Load up the weight 10-20lbs heavier (or at) your max. Perform the negative motion of your squat til it catches on the spot bars and crawl out from underneath. This will help you get the feel for the depth of what your squat should be. Then contemplate how you will ever get the bar back up to the top.

Exercises to get that c-shaped derriere:

Deep squats: nothing we don’t know

Lunges: get that knee down to the floor. Go HEAVY! None of that 20lb crap. Your lunges are crucial for symmetry that can be lost in the squat. Treat these as important as squats. Also great for core strength. Forget about side dips. These will effect your obliques more than any ab work out you can do.

Dead lifts: Regular and Straight leg (not on the same day, but work these in for that glute/ham tie in and overall shape. Hit the ground. Let them stare.

Hip bridges: There’s a ton of variations online to check out! Go Heavy or Go Home!

Cable kick backs (standing, kneeling): Get you some glute medius and minumus action! Lead with that heel, not your toe, or you’ll suffer from tight hips.

Step ups: Stack em high and heavy!

Plyometrcs/box jumps: Everyone’s favorite! Don’t forget you have those fast twitch muscles to tend to! No muscle fiber left behind!

Side lunges/side to side movement: I’m guilty of leaving these guys out, but those stabilizing muscles will support the big ones to get some growth!

—–

There are more of course, but if you did all of these with proper form and challenging weight, there’s no reason you shouldn’t see results!

To find out more  and get your own customized plan for butt building, strength programming, correctional exercise, weight loss, message me! We’ll talk muscles!

-Audra

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About audralamontagne

Nationally Qualified NPC Bikini Competitor Personal trainer Professional smart ass Follow me on twitter: @Audrala
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