Take your butt to the next level — like J Lo's and Beyoncé's — by incorporating strength training into your current workout regiment. Weightlifting is the holy grail style of training when it comes to booty gains because your muscles are working against a load, causing microtears in the muscle, which then repair and adapt to handle the stimulus, leading to a bigger booty. POPSUGAR spoke with personal trainer and WNBA strength and conditioning coach Sarah Walls and New York Giants director of performance nutrition and assistant strength and conditioning coach Pratik Patel about how to best train your butt to achieve a bodacious, bootylicious ass.
According to Coach Walls, "The glutes are an often-underused and undertrained muscle group that can (and should) be trained during every training opportunity, especially if you have weak core muscles and balance in general." One of the most common causes for an undertrained and underused butt is sitting, as it tightens your hip flexors and essentially turns off your glute muscles. By spending more time targeting these muscles you'll not only enhance your booty, but you'll be preventing pain in areas like your knees and lower back too.
The amount of time spent training the lower body, specifically the glutes, should be determined by the following factors, according to Coach Pratik: the goals and fitness level of each person. For beginners, he recommended starting with one to two strength-training sessions spaced out in a week to ensure your muscles have enough time to recover. As tempting as it may be to do as many exercises and reps as you can in one session, if your body isn't accustomed to weightlifting, you'll find yourself sore and unable to move for a couple of days. Once you're comfortable with the movements and get past the initial soreness, gradually begin to transition to more advanced programs. "A more advanced person who works out most days of the week for the majority of the year will be able to train specific muscle groups two to three times per week with adequate rest and have no major issues," Pratik told POPSUGAR.
To prevent overtraining and injury, Coach Walls said not to train your glutes in the same exact way every day, but instead recommended a variation of both the load and exercises. "Two to three days a week can be fairly heavy, but the other days should be either light warmup focus or higher repetition work (with lighter weight)," said Walls. If a J Lo booty is what you're after, implement hip thrusts, deadlifts, hamstring curls (for that instant butt-lift effect), and sumo squats on your heavy days. Corrective exercises like glute bridges (both single leg and double leg), banded monster walks, and lateral band walks are all great exercises to implement into your warmup to activate your booty before any workout.
Pratik explained that recovery also plays an important role in achieving your booty goals, sharing that replenishing your body with nutrients and getting a minimum of seven hours of sleep will help your body produce the hormones that are responsible for helping repair damaged tissues and muscles. Stay on top of your recovery game by staying hydrated, foam rolling before (this helps increase range of motion) and after workouts, stretching after workouts, and doing hot and cold therapy to keep your body operating at its best.
Kick off your booty gains with these workouts: