There are many misconceptions in the fitness world associated with training female clients. One of the more common misconceptions that I hear from my female personal training clients is that women shouldn’t lift heavy weights. You walk into any gym and can often find all the men near the free weights and all the women on the cardio equipment. Of course there are some exceptions, but this is a very common reality.
I can’t really blame most of my female clients. They’re constantly fed the wrong information and think they are going to have muscles popping out of their eyelids if they touch anything heavier than 10 pounds. I couldn’t disagree more. All of my female personal training clients lift weights. But, don’t worry, you aren’t going to look like a body builder if you do this the right way!
Build a Better Butt
When we talk about building a better butt, we are really talking about building more muscle in certain areas. Our butt is made up of several muscles. The gluteus maximus is our money maker along with the gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. When these muscles are underdeveloped, the butt appears flat. Together the glute muscles can be trained in a way to build a better butt.
In order to build the glute muscles, we have to provide a stimulus that results in a change. In this case, that change is increased muscle size and tone to the glute max.
Here are three of my favorite exercises to work the glute max muscle and help build a better butt
The Squat is a staple of so many programs and for good reason. It provides us with total body strength by using the biggest muscles in our body, which in turn release more growth hormone and provide us with that stimulus to change our body.
The squat is a great exercise to develop the glutes, as well as the quadriceps and hamstring muscles of your thigh.
For the Goblet Squat grab a dumbbell or kettlebell and hold it in the palms of your hands right up against your chest. Imagine that the weight you are holding is a big goblet that you are going to take a drink from, hence the name! Stand with your feet hip width apart and toes pointed out slightly. Take a deep breath through the nose and filly the belly with air. Squeeze the abs tight and begin to descend into the squat by bending at the hips and knees simultaneously. Squat to a depth where your thighs are parallel to the ground. Your chest should be facing up and not hunched over facing the ground. When you ascend from the bottom of the squat, do not let your knees collapse inward. Try to push them outward to the side. This will also help in recruiting the glutes to a greater extent.
Barbell Hip Thrust
The hip thrust is an excellent exercise for building the glutes and hamstrings (and it’s a lot of fun, in my opinion at least!). Start sitting on the ground with your back up against a bench and your legs straight. Place a pad across your hips. Ideally load up your bar with bumper plates so that you are able to slide the bar over your body. Bring the bar to rest across your hip bones. Curl your knees up and place your feet flat on the floor. The bar should now be over your hip bones just below your abdomen.. Take a deep breath in through your nose and fill your belly up with air. Squeeze your abs tight. Begin to thrust up buy pushing your heels through the ground. Press your back into the bench and lift yourself up onto the bench so that only your upper/middle back are on the bench. Squeeze the glutes tight at the top position. Now bend at the hips and lower the bar to the ground. Tap the weights and repeat.
As opposed to a forward lunge or walking lunge, the reverse lunge is a bit more hip dominant which means it is easier on the knees and places more emphasis on our hip musculature. And that means…you guessed it, those glutes are working. Begin standing with your feet together and holding a dumbbell in each hand. Squeeze your abs tight and take a step back with one leg, tap your knee to the ground and return to the standing position. Try to concentrate on pushing your weight through the middle of your foot when standing back up.
How to Add These Exercises to Your Program
These exercises can be performed 2-3 times per weeks for most people. If you are performing all these exercises in one session, perform them in the order above. Perform 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise.
When selecting weight, you want to challenge yourself. Challenging your muscles is what is going to get you results. You should pick a weight that you can do for the prescribed number of reps with one or two reps left in the tank. We do not need to perform every set to failure.
Most of the female clients that I train find that they are a lot stronger than they thought!! You will be able to use more weight as you get better at these movements. There is no set end point with how much weight you can use. Don’t say “oh 100 pounds, that’s probably good, ill stay there.” If you can lift more, lift more!
You are strong, that’s a good thing. Remember, you have to challenge your muscles to build a better butt.