How To Build a Strong and Sexy Butt

Now I understand that most of the people reading this article will be women.

I also know that my blog isn’t pink and particularly feminine.

But bear with me.

Because I trust an intelligent woman can recognize good content when she sees it.

So below I will give you the TRUE way to build a strong and sexy Butt.

Not the “Best 37 Butt Exercise” that are trending on Instagram.

It’s time to get real.

I’m not sorry if I get technical below.

I did my best to simplify things and I am confident you will understand me.

Any guys who are still reading right now.

I salute you for your intelligence and open-mindedness.

It’s Just Another Muscle

Remember that the glutes (butt) are a muscle just like any other.

It doesn’t matter how unhappy you are with it or how much fat is stored there.

It’s a muscle and muscles must be trained in the same way.

Regardless of where they are and how much fat they have.

When I used to work in commercial gyms.

I would often encounter women who would approach me and ask:

“What’s the best way to tone up this area?”

Pointing to the back of their arm or butt.

I always knew the question was coming.

I had observed what they were doing whilst in the gym training.

They would throw a bunch of exercises at the muscle courtesy of Instagram.

Performed with too little intensity, for too long.

Under the illusion that this would help “tone” the muscle.

Known in the industry as the “Shotgun Approach” or “Spray and Pray”.

Sound familiar?

‘Tone’ Down These 2 Mistakes.

Get it… ‘Tone down’?

Moving on.

Mistake No 1.

Not understanding exactly what the deal is with the word: “Tone”.

The word “tone” is a misnomer.

It doesn’t mean anything in exercise.

It’s a by-product of marketing efforts by companies selling crappy products.

People understand it to mean:

“Making a body-part more defined by losing fat and building muscle”.

But you must understand that you cannot ‘tone’ a muscle.

You can increase muscle tone by making the muscle stronger.

But this is isn’t going to turn a jiggly, wiggly arm into a firm one alone.

The jiggles and wiggles are fat deposits. Fat can only be lost by entering into what is knows as a destructive metabolism.

A destructive metabolism will be engaged by creating an environment where the body needs to start eating fat reserves to continue normal body function.

Once you have lost sufficient fat in a particular area then you will uncover the beautiful strong muscle that you have been exercising as I have detailed below.

Mistake No 2.

Is not understanding how a muscle responds to the stress of exercise and the laws that you must follow.

We will dive into this exact topic in: “How to Train A Muscle?”

Wiggly to Peachy! In 6 Weeks

So, attempting to burn fat away from a body part/muscle is a bad strategy.

There is some debate over whether you can target fat loss from a specific area.

There is even more debate over whether it’s possible full stop.

My belief is that if it is possible, and I’m not convinced yet.

The degree to which you can implement it is so small.

It is not worth the time needed working that one area.

It may only be worthwhile for high-level physique/figure competitors. Maybe!

Ultimately.

Remember that the only strategy that will significantly impact the fat stores on an area of the body.

Is a dietary intervention that forces the body to use its fat stores for energy.

I remember one specific female client I worked with.

She knew exactly what she wanted and was willing to do what it took to get it.

She explained that the flab on her butt was driving her crazy.

I explained that it was a case of strict diet and resistance exercise as in most examples.

She agreed to follow a 6-week meal plan and 2 X 30-minute workouts a week.

6 weeks later she dropped 4% body fat and was thrilled with how her butt looked.

woman before and after photo resulting from a 6 week body transformation diet and exercise regime

What Does the Butt Do Anyway?

Before you choose exercises.

You must 1st understand the function of the muscle.

Then you can make the best decision when selecting the right exercise.

First, let’s run through how the butt works and what it does.

So you can grasp a fundamental understanding and see the big picture.

The 1st movement in the video is the primary movement.

It is the movement that can recruit the greatest numbers of muscle fibers. This is the primary muscle action you need to focus on.

The 2nd movement in the video is abduction. Is the 2nd function we are concerned with.

Butt Engagement.

Chances are the machines for hip extension (the primary muscle action) you have access to are cheap knock offs.

If this is the case then you will be better of sticking with free-weights or even better utilizing a good smith machine in an educated manner.

The main thing to remember here, and probably something you have encountered before.

But didn’t realize.

When you are performing hip extension exercises with free-weights

You must consciously ensure that your butt is lifting the weight.

Not your hip flexors (muscle on your thigh).

If you feel your thighs participating.

Then move your feet further behind you. Until you solely feel it on your butt.

Try slightly twisting your feet outwards, this may also help.

If you are using an abductor machine with no adjustable setting for the backrest.

You may need to lift yourself off the chair slightly and lean into the backrest more.

Relax your lower legs and feet.

All the pushing is done through the side of your knees.

I will cover this machine in greater depth in a future post.

There exist other muscle actions the gluteal muscles work and assist with.

These are the only two you need to be concerned with for now.

Never do this exercise! It may look creative. But it’s an exercise in futility. 

When you perform this abhorrent variation of a good exercise.

You are placing the butt muscles in active insufficiency because you are leaning forward and stretching them.

Which means you cannot contract the muscle anywhere close to maximal. 

Which means its a dumb exercise.

But How Do I Make it Sexier?

As I mentioned above.

The butt is just another muscle and we treat it accordingly.

Like any muscle, we want to strengthen (yes you are seeking to strengthen the muscle).

We must follow the physiological laws that apply.

Remove emotion from the equation.

Genetics:

The determining factor for the shape of the bum is pre-determined by your genetics.

A predisposition towards storing fat in this area.

The muscle belly length and the potential for muscle mass in this area.

Will influence the subjective ‘sexiness’ of this muscle.

Stop comparing yourself to another woman.

Just train your butt off (no pun intended).

You will be able to radically transform your butt over a year of correct and efficient exercise.

As is common in the fitness industry you will always see videos or photos of people who are genetically gifted. Click To Tweet

Ironically these people have and will never have to work hard on their gifted body part.

Yet they are the ones giving advice to non genetically gifted individuals.

Stress

The 1st principle to understand when training. Is that a muscle will not respond with super-compensation (increase in strength/muscle). Unless the training stress is sufficiently high enough. Click To Tweet

How high?

Good question.

There is no exact way to measure the direct intensity and thus no way to measure your body’s response directly.

The body needs a high-intensity training stress to adapt. Science has shown us this.

The best way to ensure that you are creating sufficient, consistent intensity.

Is to train to 100% (Momentary Muscular Failure).

It is far easier said than done, believe me.

However, with some knowledge, practice and time.

You will soon be able to push your muscles to complete and utter Momentary Muscular Failure (MMF).

The other elephant in the room in terms of training this way.

Is efficiency in time.

By seeking out MMF and the most direct route there i.e the path of most resistance.

You will drastically reduce the time you spend training.

Not only because 1 set intense training has been shown.

Scientifically and empirically to produce results in line with higher volumes of work.

But because you won’t feel the need to do another set.

Your butt will be on fire, Exhausted.

I can guarantee you would have never felt such a high stimulus in such a short time.

Recovery – Let your Butt Heal

This is where it gets both interesting and a little complicated.

Your body has its own time frame for how long it needs to recover from a bout of stress (exercise).

It also has it’s own time frame for how long it takes to build muscle. 

This time for recovery (TFR) is also dependent on other factors in your life that can elicit stress.

Sleep off course, is crucial in recovery.

Diet plays a role.

Also to what extent, toxic substances are entering your body and how sick you are.

Remember.

Before your body can adapt to earlier workout.

It must first fully recover.

TFR is dependant on many variables.

Most people seem oblivious to the fact that recovery and adaptation.

Are separate events and recovery comes before adaptation (super-compensation).

To recover fully.

You must focus on high-quality sleep.

Not just 8 hours of sleep.

If you sleep for 8 hours and are tossing and turning because of a late night meal you are still digesting.

What good is that?

You need to organize your pre-sleep habits so you can increase sleep quality. Click To Tweet

What you put in your body and the actual condition of your gut (intestinal tract) is also very important.

Modern science has barely scratched the surface.

In relation to the role, the gut microbiome plays in our health.

If you are inflamed and your hormones are out whack.

How will you recover properly?

What condition is your body in at this moment from potential years of abuse?

Modern day diets abuse our bodies, yet we think it is normal because everyone else is eating the same way.

If you are serious about reaping the benefits of the workout.

Then recovery is an area you need to take seriously.

Adaptation – Grow That Butt!

The final phase triggered by your initial high stress, highly productive workout.

Is the adaptive phase or the growth phase.

This is the reason we exercise in the 1st place (psychological reasons aside).

This process for adaptation also takes time.

How much time? Is, of course, the other half of the holy grail question we are all searching for.

The 1st half being recovery.

But, in all honesty, you need not to worry yourself about this question.

It will vary from one individual to another and it can also vary from one week to another.

If your stress levels are higher due to anxiety, for example.

Your precious energy will be used at a greater rate and your adaptive capabilities will suffer in turn.

The question you need to answer is: “How long does my body need to adapt?”

The only way to answer this question.

Is to accurately document your workout progress records.

Every workout you should be accurately recording your progress. Click To Tweet

If you have honestly and correctly done this.

Then you can measure whether or not you have improved from one workout to the next?

Remember the improvement can be tiny, no more than 5% to 10% for an advanced trainee per workout.

That‘s the reason you should be meticulous with your workout records.

No improvement means no adaptation.

If all other variables are controlled for I.E. Stress and sleep.

A decrease in strength could mean recovery wasn’t full allowed.

Consistent decreases in strength will mean you are overtrained and chronically inflamed.

Take a 7-day break from any vigorous exercise.

Good Butt Exercise Vs Bad Butt Exercise

woman performing an exercise for the butt

You can target the glutes with hundreds of different exercises.

But how do you know which ones are good and which ones are bad?

If you follow the below rules, you will be able to determine which exercises are worth your time.

Involve the largest effective ROM (Range of Motion) possible.

Some exercises will allow for greater or lesser ranges of motion.

Within these two groups, you must also be able to understand where the effective range of motion is.

A greater ROM doesn’t necessarily equate to a better exercise.

TIP: Ensure the tension stays on the butt. If you feel tension dissipate away. Then you know the ROM is too great. Click To Tweet

Target your Butt with Multiple Muscle Actions 

If an exercise involves multiple muscle actions in one movement.

It will be superior to an exercise involving only one action.

So long as it does not detract away from the other rules.

But in reality, this point is a rarity. Free weight exercises will only target 1 muscle action fully.

Unless you add a 2nd uni-directional resistance such as a resistance band.

So, for example, adding a band around the knees when squatting and really pushing against the band will bring in resistance from two directions.

image showing male physique with arrows pointing laterally to hip and vertically from above head to the floor. Depicting the bi-directional resistance available when using bands around the knee's in a squat

Allow for Progressive Loading.

Progressive loading is an essential component of building a muscle.

As a muscle strengthens.

You must have an effective and accurate way of increasing load in small increments.

The smaller the increment possible the more effective.

I.e. The ability to increase by 250 grams is better than the ability to increase by 5 kg.

Match Muscle Strength Curve as Closely as Possible where Possible.

You want the mechanics of the exercise.

To match the muscles strength curve as closely as possible.

E.G. Adding bands to a squat dramatically improves the efficiency of the muscle strength curve.

Direct Resistance. Stimulate Your Butt Properly. 

If you want to strengthen and develop a strong, sexy, healthy, peachy, shapely, curved butt.

Then you want the resistance, your energy, and concentration.

Diverted to that area to the greatest degree possible.

Performing an exercise on an unstable platform like a bosu or swiss ball.

Does not add to the exercise by increasing muscle activity from other muscles.

It reduces the efficiency of the exercise.

By diluting the stimulus away from the primary target muscles. Filtering intensity away.

Such balance exercises may be useful for determining muscle imbalances. If there is a lack of advanced testing equipment.

Avoid them when the goal is a maximal stimulus.

Then the onus should be on creating a stable platform to exercise the muscle action.

Choose Rotational Resistance. If You Can.

The below video will demonstrate rotational resistance far better than words alone.

In the video, the man Casey Viator is performing the pullover, an exercise for the latissimus dorsi or ‘lats’

It provides the resistance around a ‘cam profile’ that is in alignment with the working joint.

This is far superior, say compared to, the lat-pulldown. Which is uni-directional (one directional) resistance.

If you are able to find a machine that has the axis aligned with the hip joint then try it out, if it feels intense.

It may be a good machine and would be superior to any other free weight version.

For example, the gluteator is a machine that follows the above rules.

The Take Home:

Effective exercise is not about throwing a dozen exercises and their cousins at the glutes.

Instead, you should approach the workout better informed.

It doesn’t matter how many exercises and how long you spend training your butt.

It’s all about sending the right signal.

This comes in the shape of a high-intensity exercise stress.

Less and nothing will happen.

More and you will eat up your valuable recovery ability.

Every exercise you do has a cost to your valuable energy reserves.

You need to spend your energy on the exercises and approach that delivers the most bang for your back.

Exercise efficiency is the name of the game.

Until next time

David Klein