Photo courtesy of Rethwill Images

Moon Madness: Tightening & Firming Your 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!

Some people think they have a small butt and want to grow theirs.. Other people wish they had that problem and want to slim it down and tighten up. Let’s walk through a few easy ways to lose fat and tone your backside.

Running

Ask any bodybuilder: Cardio is the enemy of mass. Most cardio will do the weight-loss trick, but running works your glutes so the muscles can firm up while the fat melts. Preferably do long distance (work up to 3mi+/5km+), but if you want to keep some curves/just love sprinting, quarter mile/400m repeats will work.

Photos courtesy of ivacy and NBC Olympics
Longer distance runners, like Shalane Flanagan (marathoner, left) and Allyson Felix (400m specialist, right), have glutes that don’t “jut out” as much. Both women are in their 30s.

Weights

Squats

These are your baseline. Anyone thinking squats are going to give you a huge butt is sorely mistaken. Glutes only really fire up in the most vertical range of motion in this exercise, but they burn more calories than any other weighted exercise and are all around great for your lower body. If you need to see how to do them, see this.

Kettlebell Swing

KB Swings work most of your body, similar to deadlifts. However, swings are a little easier to do on your own and are more of a high-intensity type of exercise. Find out proper form in this video.

Reverse Leg Raise

These are a simple and effective exercise for targeting your glutes. It’s no frills, and you can do it basically anywhere. Use a bench if possible, so you can take your leg(s) through a larger range of motion, but the floor works, too. View it here.

Plyometrics

In a word, “jumping”. These are explosive, bodyweight movements that are focused on the lower body and are the bread and butter of building power. My personal favorites are bounds and the single-leg box jump, but you can see a bunch of variants here.

Diet

If fat loss is part of your goal, there’s no getting around this. It’s simply much easier to cut calories from your diet than it is to burn them off. For faster fat shredding, drink only water (although you can use zero-calorie flavoring) and avoid carbs, especially at night. Fats are generally OK.

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