A toned and lifted booty is so much more than a great accessory to a pair of jeans. It's integral to our overall health — and goes well beyond just our backside.
This is something Austin Lopez, BS, CSCS, and personal trainer at DIAKADI feels strongly about. "I could go all day on why it's important to strengthen the butt. Besides it being the biggest muscle on your body, it has one of the largest number of connection sites," he told POPSUGAR. "What that means is that it helps stabilize your pelvis in three different dimensions — across the joints, all the way down your leg, and it keeps your hips in line."
Having misaligned hips is a subtle shift that most people won't even know they suffer from, but the consequences are felt throughout the body, from how you walk to the way you use your shoulders and to that unexplained strain in your neck. It may also be the reason you suffer from joint issues or lower back pain. "Everything kind of comes from how your hips move in space," said Austin. It's for this reason that he spends a lot of time helping his clients strengthen their butts. A strong booty is key in helping balance and align the position of the pelvis and hips, he said.
As I've trained with Austin, we've done a lot of killer butt exercises, but if he had to pick his favorite three for getting the butt in strong-as-bricks shape? Deadlifts, squats, and split squats. And if there were only two in his arsenal of best butt moves? "I would pick deadlifts and squats any day of the week." I can say with authority that the man is a huge fan of deadlifts — just ask my hamstrings, which have a love-hate relationship with him. To be honest, I've never quite felt so many areas of my body until I started doing barbell deadlifts with him. It's pretty mind-blowing how much power and effect a single move has on the entire body.
All of these moves, as Austin explains, are full-body compound moves, allowing you to be efficient since they work several different areas at once. He advises to be cautious as you add weight, making sure you have correct form down and the core strength to keep building up. Let's get started!