Perky. It’s the word that I hear often when clients first describe what their fitness goals are all about. Admittedly, it might not always be top of the list, but when we’re breaking the overall ‘getting fitter and improving body tone’ objective down to specifics, achieving and maintaining a perky butt is on the list for many.
Here’s the science bit
First, let’s take a mini-dive into the science. When we are talking about butt exercises we’re actually working the gluteal muscles which are the 3 sets of muscles originating in the pelvis and carrying down into the femur. These 3 sets are the gluteus minimus, gluteus medius and gluteus maximus.
Latin lesson alert…
‘Gluteus’ effectively translates as ‘buttock’ and the second part in the nomenclature of each of these muscle sets is, as you may have guessed, to do with their relative size – small, medium and large respectively. Each of them plays their part in allowing you to do a whole lot of things, including walking, running and jumping and much of the movement you have in your hips and legs would be impossible without the work they collectively do.
So, what is the secret to achieving the ‘celebrity-worthy’ perky butt?
Squats and lunges are perhaps the best-known exercises to work the butt. These tend not to be everyone’s favourite and may even be enough to turn off hardened keep-fit enthusiasts. The truth is you get the burn because they actually work and that’s why they come highly recommended by most Personal Trainers.
Thankfully there are other, very effective options too, and I like to include a selection within my programmes to keep things interesting and work the whole area. Down on the mat, we can add donkey kicks, lateral kicks, side lifts, fire hydrants (yes, imagine a dog lifting its leg against a fire hydrant!!) and, of course, the glute bridge is a must.
Depending on your ultimate goals, you may want to try weights as part of your programme but that is a question of personal preference, accessibility and, of course, ability. Whether you want to utilise kettlebells, barbells, dumbbells – or even the weights machines in the gym – it’s essential that you carefully consider your posture, your progress through the weight categories and your repetitions, taking professional advice wherever possible.
J- Lo and Beyonce didn’t do it alone
Consulting a Personal Trainer before you embark upon your ‘butt-sculpting journey’ will not only ensure that you can exercise safely, but it will also ensure that you target the areas which will give you the results you seek and the visible progress which will make you want to keep going!
Whilst I cannot make promises about achieving a Kardashian-esque butt, I can wholeheartedly say that the perky-ness you seek can be within your grasp with the right programme and professional support (and by that I don’t just mean support underwear!).