A Personal Trainer Reveals the Crucial Dos and Don’ts for Sculpting the Butt You Want
When it comes to training your glutes, the rule of “the more, the better” doesn’t really apply. Instead, there are certain things you can do that have a better impact and long-lasting effect on these muscles. Bret Contreras, who has a Ph.D. in sports science, is giving his recommendations on how to activate the glutes and get the results that will inspire you to keep going.
Bright Side carefully put together the best advice from a professional so you can keep training while having a vivid and clear picture of what you’re doing to help achieve your goal.
You can lunge and squat every day, but still not progress: “It’s absolutely a common problem,” says Bret Contreras. Genetics play a huge role in your glute size, but he also says that “even people who don’t have strongest glutes are able to dramatically transform those muscles once they start exercising right.”
There are some pieces of advice that can help you increase your butt shape.
1. Master the mind-muscle connection.
No matter how hard you work out, the real result will come after you create a mind-muscle connection. This is crucial when it comes to training the glutes because many women don’t actually “feel” this muscle.
For better performance, a series of 3 to 5 maximal glute contractions lasting 10 seconds at a time should be implemented. Over time, our brains get used to activating the glutes and eventually, it becomes automatic.
2. Work your muscles to fatigue.
Using light weights for 20-25 repetitions is not very effective at sculpting muscles compared to lifting heavier weights for fewer reps. “Working your muscles should be challenging for you,” says Contreras.
Performing each exercise 8 to 10 times for 4 to 5 sets is way more effective — especially when you gradually increase the weight until you reach muscle fatigue at the end of the exercise session.
3. Target different gluteal regions.
Deadlifting, squatting, and lunging are all great but these exercises mostly influence our lower glutes, leaving the upper glutes unengaged. So if you want to get better results, you should start targeting different gluteal regions of the gluteus maximus.
For example, the barbell hip thrust does a much better job at activating the gluteus maximus rather than the squat, especially in the upper region.
4. Start doing barbell hip thrusts.
Many people think that squatting is all you need when it comes to building your dream glutes. However, this move is boring and unlikely to give you the results you want.
5. Don’t neglect your legs.
Working your hamstrings and quads gives your legs a better shape, including the glutes as well. Weighted squats to work the quads and hamstrings can be very helpful.
Also, any variation on deadlifts can work the hamstrings along with jump squats, jump lunges, and box jumps. Together this will lead to an increase in overall muscle power.
6. Do more than “just squat”.
Well, life would definitely be a lot easier if we just had to do one kind of exercise to solve our problems and grow a bigger butt. That being said, if something sounds too good to be true, it generally is. So, if you want your glutes to thrive, do more than just squat. Numerous testimonials have proven that incorporating more variety has helped their glutes get into the kind of shape they’ve always wanted.
7. Don’t train your glutes 3-5 days a week.
There’s a common myth that training more frequently will make your muscles grow faster and let you achieve better results. But in reality, overtraining can only lead to unnecessary pain and further discomfort.
Moreover, our muscles need to recover which is very important for gaining glute strength.
8. Don’t expect the results too fast.
It may seem pretty obvious but a lot of people ignore this advice and give up early before achieving what they’d hoped for. Our muscles need time to get used to lifting, squatting, and lunging.
Some might see massive changes in a month but most people require 2 months to start noticing results and only after 3 months do they see a big change. It all depends on the person.
9. Don’t think of yoga as a good butt workout.
The same applies to kickboxing, pilates, and long-distance running. According to Contreras, none of these forms of exercise will develop the glutes the same way that heavy strength workouts can.
“Your glutes are incredibly strong to begin with, so to really work them, you have to go hard,” he explains. The best way to do this is by lifting weights.
10. Have a plan.
If your goal is to strengthen your glutes and you take it seriously, then you definitely need a plan. The key to strengthening and shaping the glutes is being able to challenge the muscles, adding more and more weight over time.
So when you walk into the gym knowing exactly what exercises you are going to perform and how many reps and sets, it will become easier for you to concentrate and will lead to better results.
11. Dial down the cardio.
Though cardio workouts are a great way to improve your overall body shape, at a certain point it can work against your muscle gains. As Contreras says, “If you’re training for a marathon, you’re not going to be able to simultaneously build your glutes to a high degree.”
Would you add anything else to these helpful tips? Or maybe you have some useful recommendations that weren’t listed above? Don’t hesitate to let us know!
Illustrated by Daniil Shubin for BrightSide.me