Booty gains are a hot topic right now, but Jason Walsh, a celebrity trainer who has worked with Jessica Biel, Emma Stone, and Alison Brie, says working on your glutes is about so much more than looking good in skinny jeans.
Although it's a nice bonus to have a plump butt, working on your glutes can keep you pain- and injury-free in the long run. Jason told POPSUGAR that when he brings in a new client, the first thing he asks is, "So what hurts?" He says many people talk primarily about lower-back pain.
"Ass has been kind of the rage all of a sudden."
"The lower-back pain is coming from dysfunctional hips and usually that means that you've got really weak glutes," Jason said. "The glutes are big, and they've got a huge job, and if the hips aren't stable, all that extra movement and friction travels up that kinetic chain into the lower back."
Physiologically speaking, Jason also says that the lower back has a lot of white tissue, which is connective tissue, "meaning there's not a lot of blood flow, not a lot of dense muscle, not a lot to support that lower back — and it gets overworked really easily."
Therefore, eight out of 10 people who come to Jason with lower-back pain have "dysfunctional or weak glutes." And that's why you don't work on the lower back itself — you target the booty! "[This] stabilizes the hips and it takes all the extra work out of the lower back, and suddenly you don't have any lower-back pain."
"The glutes are big, and they've got a huge job."
"[Having an] ass has been kind of the rage all of a sudden," Jason pointed out. "I worked with Jessica Biel before [it] became a cool trend. I've been doing this stuff with people for a long time, and we've been working on glutes as the primary focus for over a decade. It's funny how things are glute-centric now."
That's why he does so much functional strength training with his clients, whether they're A-list celebrities or everyday folks who need some help with their fitness game. The more often you do functional movement and strengthen your body, "there's less room for error, pain, dysfunction, injuries."
Training your glutes is especially important these days because many of us have "bad functionality" from sitting at our desks all day and not moving enough. Jason's favorite exercises to fire up your bum? Hip thrusts and Bulgarian split squats. He and Jessica also work on a lot of single-leg movements, like single-leg deadlifts and hip thrusts.
Set aside two or three days a week to work on your lower body, and make it a point to target your glutes. You'll likely experience less lower-back pain because of it — and having a bodacious ass certainly doesn't hurt!