Firm, round rears are so in right now. Want to jump on the trend and finally fill out your jeans? Follow this expert advice.
WHY YOU NEED TO MAKE THE CHANGE
A great butt and a pair of curve-hugging jeans are the peanut butter and jelly of a fantastic rear view: Both complement one another and create something greater than either one alone. No matter what your body type or genetics, a built-out butt is 100 percent in your grasp — if you train correctly.
HOW TO DO IT
For the butt, even more so than other body parts, that means putting in consistent gym time. “The glutes [butt muscles] are [a] big muscle group and they have big capacity for work, so the only way for them to change is to give them big work,” says Holly Perkins, CSCS, founder of Women’s Strength Nation and author of Lift to Get Lean.
Lifting heavier weights is crucial to challenge the glute muscles enough so that they change and grow. You don’t want the weight so light that the exercise isn’t effective, nor so heavy that your form falls apart. To get into the sweet spot, Perkins tells Yahoo Health, choose a weight where the final two reps of each set feel very difficult. “It needs to be that when you hit your last rep, you’re like, ‘Oh my Lord I’m done.’” If you feel like you could pump out several extra reps, pick a heavier weight during your next set.
It’s OK if your form isn’t 100 percent perfect on those final two reps, too. Don’t get us wrong — your technique shouldn’t fall apart, which can limit your results and lead to injury. But if you’re lifting enough weight, Perkins says, it’s expected that your form will get slightly sloppy as your muscles fatigue. (That fatigue is a good thing, since it inspires your muscles to grow stronger.)
For the best results, follow a butt-building workout program that includes movements such as squats, deadlifts, walking lunges, and glute bridges. “Choosing the right exercises is a big part of building a booty,” Perkins explains. A paper in Physiotherapy Theory and Practice reviewed published studies on muscle activation and identified the exercises that highly activate the glutes. On the list: step-ups, bird dogs, several squat variations, sideways lunges, and the single-leg deadlift.
Most importantly, remember that an enviable rear end will take work if you aren’t genetically blessed — but you will see results if you do the time, Perkins assures. “You really do have to come in with a sledgehammer and put in some effort if you really want to build up your booty. But anyone — absolutely anyone — can do it.”