I’ll tell you a little secret. I often get complimented on my butt. Yes, it’s true. I’ve been running 6 days a week since 6th grade, plenty of time to sculpt the perfect butt.
Have you ever wanted to run outside in shorts or wear tight jeans at a nightclub but didn’t feel you had the butt for it? Ever wish you could drop your dinner napkin on the floor just so you can bend over to pick it up in front of your date? Since the time of the ancient Greeks, who associated beauty with the curves of the human butt, glorifying Aphrodite’s in a statue, the butt has become one of the most admired body parts for both sexes.
Despite its seemingly simple look, the butt is comprised of ten muscles: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, tensor fasciae latae, piriformis, obturator internus, obturator externus, gemellus superior, gemellus inferior, and quadratus femoris. The most prominent and observable is the gluteus maximus, a large, thick muscle that gives the butt its characteristic shape. The fibers of this pennate muscle run diagonally, which gives it great strength and power capabilities.
Here are some of my favorite butt-sculpting exercises:
With feet greater than shoulder-width apart, stand in front of a barbell that is sitting on a rack. Place the barbell across the back of your shoulders below your neck and grab the barbell from behind with a grip slightly greater than shoulder width. Lift the barbell off the rack using your shoulders and upper back. Keeping your back straight, bend your knees and squat down until your thighs are slightly past being parallel to the floor (research shows that the gluteus maximus is more active as squat depth increases). Move your hips back as if you’re attempting to sit in a chair. Straighten your legs and stand up to return to the starting position.
Begin with hands on hips in a squat position. Jump straight up as high as possible. Upon landing with soft knees, lower back into a squat position in one smooth motion, and immediately jump up again.
Rowing is a combination of a leg press and a seated row. While sitting on the seat, place your feet on the footrests and grab the handle with thumbs on top. With the seat as close to the flywheel as possible and legs bent, begin the movement by pushing your feet against the footrests and pressing with your thighs (as when performing a leg press). When the handle is about to cross your knees, pull the handle with your upper body using your upper back muscles until the handle is at your chest (as when performing a seated row). Slide back to the starting position and repeat.
To overcome gravity, running uphill exaggerates the repetitive hip extension movements of running on flat ground, shaping the gluteus maximus. Find a steep hill about 100 meters long. After a thorough warm-up, sprint up the hill, jogging back down for recovery. Once at the bottom, rest for another 2 to 3 minutes. When running up the hill, lean forward slightly into the hill and focus on extending your hips by pushing the balls of your feet down and back against the ground as if you’re trying to push the ground behind you. Increase the cadence of your arm swing when your legs get tired.