- If your fitness goals include having a bigger, stronger butt, work on growing muscle.
- To tone the glutes, it’s reccomended that you eat enough calories to support muscle gains.
- Train your glutes two to three times a week with weighted exercises, a personal trainer said.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Sun’s out, buns out — with summer around the corner, getting a strong, athletic tush is a top priority for many gymgoers.
If you want to see major progress in a few months, you also need to keep an eye on your nutrition, work on all the right muscle groups, and have a smart exercise plan, he told Insider.
“It’s about understanding where we are today, and how much time we have,” Hyppolite said. “You want to create something that’s manageable that you can carry on into the summer.”
Decide whether to focus on losing fat or gaining muscle
If you want a rounder, stronger butt (like Law and Order star Christopher Meloni), you’ll want to prioritize growing muscle. That means eating in a calorie surplus — or consuming more energy in the form of food than you burn off with exercise.
However, other common summer goals, like getting more defined abs, require you to eat in a calorie deficit, which means consuming less than your burn through exercise.
Most people won’t be able to lose significant body fat and gain significant amounts of muscle at once, particularly in a short period of time.
“I think people fall into the trap of trying to do too much. You can’t do it all,” personal trainer Bryan Goldberg previously told Insider.
For best results, pick a focus for your summer fitness goals before you plan your routine, and work towards that goal consistently for a few months, he recommends.
Aim for at least two to three targeted workouts each week
Now that you’ve recommitted to your aspirations, the next step is to carve out dedicated time to work out, Hyppolite said.
For most people, you’ll want to have two to three workouts a week that focus on your legs and glutes, with time in between to rest and recover.
“Once a week isn’t enough if you’re a hard gainer [someone who puts on muscle slowly] or don’t have a lot back there,” Hyppolite said.
Each session should be about 45 minutes to an hour long, he said, and always include a warm-up and some resistance training.
Work on a variety of exercises for balanced strength and muscle growth
As you’re planning your workout sessions, Hyppolite recommends including exercises that hit your legs and glutes from every angle.
Key movements include glute bridges, squats, and deadlifts — which work the whole posterior chain, including the glutes, hamstrings, and even your back.
To target different parts of your glutes, try a different stance for these exercises by changing the position of your feet. For instance, you might squat with a narrow stance (feet closer than shoulder width apart) or with a sumo stance (feet wider than shoulder width and turned out at a 45 degree angle)
Exercise variations have the added benefit of helping you stay balanced to perform better and avoid injury, celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson previously told Insider.
One of the most underrated exercises for strong, powerful glutes is also one of the least popular — sprints. After the strength portion of your workout, incorporating a few rounds of sprints can help maximize your gains and cultivate explosive power in your lower body, Hyppolite said.
You can run sprints, or do them on another type of cardio machine too, such as a bike or row. For an extra challenge, try a Tabata-style format with periods of intense work with short rest in between.
If you want to grow muscle, the most efficient way to spend your workout time is lifting, whether that’s kettlebells, dumbbells, or a barbell, Hyppolite said.
Adding weight to squats, lunges, and glute bridges helps increase the amount of tension the muscle is under, which stimulates muscle growth.
“Weight training is the key component. Loading the exercise with weight helps us achieve the look we want for almost any muscle,” Hyppolite said.
If you don’t have access to big weights, don’t stress: you can increase the tension of light weights or even body weight movements by doing them with one leg at a time. It’s easiest to try with glute bridges, since most of your body is already on the ground — keep your hips square and extend one leg straight up as you plant your other heel into the ground to lift your butt.
Other variations are more challenging. For instance, try a single-leg deadlift, lifting the other leg straight out behind you with your hips square. For a single-leg squat (or pistol squat), extend one leg straight out in front of you as you bend your other leg to lower your hips parallel to the ground.
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