The mystery of a great butt is not mystery at all. They hype revolving around J. Lo’s derriere confirms what has been known throughout the ages: nothing beats a great backside! The butt is formally known as the following group of muscles: the gluteus maximus (the largest muscle), the gluteus medius (the two muscles extending from the outsides across the back of the hip to the bottom of what may or may not be your love handles), and the gluteus minimus (the fan shaped muscle extending from the top of your hamstrings to the middle of your gluteus maximus).
So, why is there all this hype about the junk in your trunk? Like almost everything else, it goes back to good old evolution. To keep the species growing and improving along the way, one must find and reproduce with a high-quality mate. High-quality meaning possessing good genes that will propel your offspring forward through the ages, and good genes meaning a genetic make up that breeds healthy and strong individuals.
If you’re a female, chances are that you are going to be attracted to a male who has a toned and tight tush as it is the sign of powerful sexual thrusting ability. And if you are a guy, you would probably be attracted to a female with a bountiful, soft, smooth backside as it is ideal for the carrier of your future offspring. The cradle rocks both ways here; an attractive butt is a sign of a physically fit and healthy person.
If you are not a descendant of Super-Butt Gods (99% of people are not decedents of this strain) what do you do to get you and your caboose back on track? It’s not easy, as for some, the glutes are the first to show signs of neglect and the last to really firm up, but don’t give up yet!! Getting a great butt and a strong streamlined physique is not only possible but going to improve the way you look and feel about yourself, from the bottom up.
The first rule of what you put into your mouth? “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips.” Sad but true, that little morsel of chocolate from the Christmas party, and the 50 thereafter, the cocktails at the bar on Saturday night, those greasy-good chicken wings…straight to the ass, so to speak. The unfortunate part of being human is that the majority of things that taste good are not good in the amount we eat them in.
Sure grandpa and grandma had four eggs, a pound of bacon, three slices of toast and a chocolate cake for breakfast, but that was after they were up for three hours working like Trojans on the farm and ready to go out for more. It seems that we have retained the appetite, but in a land of cars, elevators, remote controls, dishwashers and grocery stores we have lost a large part of our daily physical activity.
So, the first thing a person can do to halt the calorie train at the gates is put down the fork! All joking aside, the first step to changing your eating habits is to assess what you are eating. The most efficient method of doing this is the commonly advertised “write down every thing you eat” method. Yes, it is helpful and without a sense of what is happening, how are you supposed to change it?
Eat as you normally would for one week, and write down everything you eat, including how much of it. Do not cheat, write it down, and don’t worry about changing your eating habits for that first week. The purpose of this exercise is to build the foundation of what will become your good eating habits.
After the end of the first week, pull out a government approved food guide and weight the differences between what you’ve eaten and what the recommended daily intakes of food are. We’re willing to bet you’ve doubled, or even tripled the recommended portion size, which these days is not hard to do.
Curbing your eating habits may be the most difficult thing you do in this process. While you are being bombarded with junk food, sugar and other people’s bad eating habits, try to keep your goal in mind. Yes, you are what you eat, but you do have control of what you put into your mouth.
If you indulge in food when you’re upset, stressed out or in general distress you may want to consider seeking the help of a professional organization who specializes in such eating habits. Over eating may be a psychological response to a bigger issue.
So, that being said, you still have the junk in your trunk to deal with. Here is the most important piece of health information you’re ever going to receive: there is no magic solution, pill, drink, or chant you can do to get into shape!
You have to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight and you must monitor your eating habits after you lose the said amount of weight, or else it will all come back. Thus, changing your general eating habits (having half a piece of pie instead of the whole pie) in company with getting physically active will help you achieve that backside with pride.
A good series of cardio exercises that will target the glutes are running, speed walking, using the stair-master or glider, bike riding, step aerobics and kick boxing. Any cardio enhanced with resistance will speed up the butt building process.
For example, if you are already into running or cycling, try giving your workout that extra push and start doing hill repetitions. Whether outside or inside on the machines, pump up the resistance and work that butt. You’ll definitely feel the burn, in a good way!
Another method of building a great backside, along with cardio, is muscle training. By indulging in weight training you get the added benefit of working out the glutes while strengthening your back, legs and arm muscles as well. If you are new to weight training, seek out an information session at your gym and try working with a partner to maximize the benefit of your workouts.
A good series of weight training workouts include repetitions of squats (whether by machine or free weights), lunges (start by using your own body weight and later adding free weights) and dead lifts (light weights will do the trick). Proper form is critical when weight lifting. Without it you sky rocket your chance of injury and may counteract the purpose of the exercise.
Do it right, do it slow and start by using low weights and working your way up. The worst thing you can do is let your ego get in the way, try to lift weights that are too heavy with improper form and end up with a hernia lying on a hospital bed. Try working your glutes out from there, good luck!
All in all, there is no gain to be had without some effort. Keep in mind that the stellar butts you see in Hollywood and on the covers of fitness magazines require a good physique as part of their livelihoods. They get paid to look the way they do. At the same time, don’t use this as an excuse for not getting your butt off that sofa or chair. You too can have a great physique, including a tight tush. But like those in Hollywood or on the cover of your favorite fitness magazine, you’ll have to work at it, there’s no ifs, ands or butts about it!