Saturday Body Sculpting Buzz — Glutes
I’ll be honest: though I’m a fitness buff, my desk job and gelato addiction have my buns gravitating quickly south. Since I intend to spend this summer in my new H&M bikini, I’m on a butt-sculpting mission. If you’re with me, here’s how to get your tush up high.
How to get a Shapelier Backside
Lunges and squats, lunges and squats… Are you tired of the same old butt-shaping advice? Me too! Leave the ballet bar and spice it up with these mega-glute-boosting exercises:
- Pliés — not your everyday ballet pliés but Kim Kardashian’s version. In her Butt Body Sculpt workout, this derrière diva takes them up a notch: pliés on your toes. You lower down into a plié (glutes engaged, pelvis tucked under) and raise up onto your toes, alternating sides. Then go up on both toes, squat deeper and hold the pose. You won’t have much of a choice but I’ll tell you anyway: squeeze those glutes!
- Kickbacks — they always deliver. It doesn’t matter if you’re ballerina-flexible or can only lift your leg back two feet off the ground, because it’s all about engaging your glute to kick back. You can do leg kickbacks in place by holding onto a chair or your body bar for balance, or take it to the next level by adding them to your walking lunge series. These along with deadlifts are great for erasing that bulge that crops up below the butt cheeks (the second bum?).
- Butt Scissors — I love this one! If you’re up for a little fun (and throwing your feet up in the air) grab your stability ball and squeeze your glutes with the butt scissor exercise (not sure if that’s the technical term) by David Kirsch, who whips models into shape for a living.
Is the “Brazilian Butt Lift” Legit?
Should you splurge for the all-the-rage Brazilian Butt Lift? I haven’t handed over my credit card yet, but one thing is clear: Leandro Carvalho, creator of the BBL program, knows how to shape a woman’s butt. He’s the personal trainer to Victoria’s Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio, and his program works all three glute muscles (Gluteus Maximus, Medius and Minimus)—which he calls the “triangle technique.” Enough to make me want to buy: it includes a 10-minute routine called “bum bum rapido.”
Try before you buy with this 5-minute Brazilian Butt Lift workout.
Shoes That Work Your Glutes
Can we get Helena Christensen’s impeccable muscle tone with fancy shoes alone? I’ve been seeing ads for Reebok’s EasyTones and Skechers Shape-Ups everywhere, and I’m dying to know if they work. These $110 shoes claim to activate your glutes for major on-the-go training, reportedly increasing glute muscle activity by 28%.
While many have called these pedi-gym sneakers “wicked comfy”, no one seems to have reported a butt lift yet.
Helena, the perky-bottomed queen of EasyTones, also happens to exercise and eat healthy, so while her sneakers may add some bounce to her step, I’m guessing that a standard pair of trainers and solid exercise routine are a better bet for getting an athletic backside. (But I might change my mind if someone were to send me a free pair to try out…)
“Sitting for long periods of time often makes the hip flexors tight and overactive, which deactivates the glutes,” writes Sarah Tuff. And it deactivates more than your glutes: within 30 minutes of planting your buns on that office chair, your metabolism starts to slow down. That means you’re burning less calories by the time your coworker arrives with a lunchtime round of caramel macchiatos. Yikes!
Don’t cancel out your butt-sculpting program with bad work habits. Keep rocking the pencil skirts by staying fit at your desk job.
On top of resistance training and toning, mixing in some interval cardio will help you burn excess fat. Skip the steady state cardio and do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) like metabolic circuits, or try Miss EasyTone’s workout of choice: boxing. Kick-boxing is a great way to sculpt your rear—and just about everything else—which must be why so many models swear by it. The front kicks, side kicks and roundhouses guarantee a perfectly-shaped bum from every angle.
If cycling or running is your thing, make sure to vary your pace. Try a cycle of two minutes hard, two moderate, to keep your body off balance and burn more calories. Don’t forget to engage your glutes: it’s easy to forget and let your leg muscles do all the work, but the best way to isolate your glutes is to use ’em!