Photo courtesy of ketrin1407

Moon Madness: Your Guide to a Bigger Butt

March 2017 is Moon Madness, where we delve into a range of topics for a body part that’s much talked-about, little-trained. From avoiding injury, to getting the glutes you’ve always wanted, read on!

The booty gets a lot of press. Some celebrities are famous for theirs, some people are proud of their maximus gluteus, and some people fret over its shape, size, and what have you. If you’re wanting to grow some curves, here’s your 3-step guide.

Calories

A fact that bodybuilders have known for decades: You don’t gain size without eating. Ideally, you’ll want to be taking in 2,200 to 2,500 calories, but don’t think you can have an extra slice of cake to get them in. You’ll want to focus on taking in mostly protein, which your body can synthesize into muscle tissue. 75-100g of protein a day is your goal. If you know you have a workout the next day, have some more carbs, but if nothing’s on the schedule, fats are handy. Just avoid any major switch between them, to avoid your body freaking out.

Ranges

Not all amount of exercise is created equal. If you want to build maximum strength without adding mass, you would do only 1-5 reps of an exercise (you would just use really heavy weight). To build size, you want your reps to be between 8 and 12. That doesn’t mean you get to have super light weight, though. You’ll want to use 65-80% of the heaviest weight you can lift in a given exercise, and that weight should increase 5-10lbs (2-4kg) every week or so. Then rest only about a minute or two between sets. 3 or 4 sets should do it. If you aren’t sure, here’s an easy calculator: http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/OneRepMax.html

Photo courtesy of Rio Olympics
Sprinters like Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pryce (green hair) and Tyson Gay have much of their power come from their glutes. Their training basically gives them big butts.

Exercises

The focus here is on each individual side, which involves doing single leg exercises. If you enjoy running, try avoiding long, paced runs and do sprints instead.

Pulse and Split Squats

Pulse squats are basically just regular squats where you go a quarter of the way up, then back down, then all the way up. That’s one rep. This increases time under tension, which increases hypertrophy (muscle growth). Split Squats are almost like lunges, but your feet are wider apart (your rear knee should still be behind your butt when you’re in the “down” position). You also focus on one leg at a time, instead of walking forward. This stops your forward momentum and challenges your muscles when “reversing course”. View HERE (Note: she has only a small pulse, but goes deeper) and HERE.

Single-Leg Hip Thrust

Find a bench or solid box and set your shoulders against it, with your butt on the ground.Get a pad or towel to wrap around a barbell (or use a smaller weight) and set it across your lap. Keep one leg elevated and push your hips up with the other leg. Your heel should be planted and you should feel your hamstrings and glutes activating big time. See this exercise HERE.

Kick Backs

This is more of a catch-all term for three similar exercises. The Donkey Kick has you on your knees, with one leg pushing a cable or weight up into the air, like an ass to train your… nevermind. Next, stand-up. Cable Hip Abductors have your leg moving out to your side, almost similar to a dog next to a fire hydrant. Lastly, lean on something for Straight Leg Kick Backs, which have you pulling the weight behind you (really squeeze your glute, too). See these HERE, HERE, and HERE.

You can also add in more complex exercises, like Single-Leg Romanian Lifts and Band Squats, as you feel stronger and more comfortable.

Any questions? Comment below!

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