It’s true that you can’t spot reduce any area of your body by working out. I think I see people trying to do this most often by overdoing ab-work in an attempt to reduce the size of their midsections. The problem with that approach is (and I’m thinking more and more people do know this nowadays) that fat and muscle are two different things—you can build and break down muscle, and you can burn and store fat…but doing one of those things (re: building muscle) does not cause a change in the other (re: a reduction in fat) in that same area of the body.
Building muscle does, however, raise a person’s metabolism in general (ounce for ounce, muscle burns more calories than fat…so if you build more muscle, you burn more calories throughout the day). You just can’t choose where your extra calories are coming from (honestly, you can choose a little bit with certain supplements and ways of eating, but for the sake of simplicity, you can’t really choose). Your genetics generally determine where you gain weight and lose weight from, and other factors, like hormones, prior health issues, or pregnancy, can also impact where your body stores fat. The great thing about building muscle is that even though it won’t spot reduce, it will improve the body’s shape!
Healthy eating will make you look good in clothes, but working out will make you look good naked (or in a bikini)!
The second most popular body shaping question clients ask me about is how to get a great butt. (The most common question I get is about how to get a flat stomach, but that’s a topic for another day).
The great thing about butt training is that you get to work with the largest muscle group in your body–this means that when you work the glutes in the right way consistently, you see results in a reasonable amount of time. The catch is (see above) that if you don’t lose fat from the area, the nice shapely muscles you’re sculpting won’t give you all of what you’re looking for. That said, shaping your glutes will make a big difference in how you look. (Read: your butt will look good in jeans and in a bikini)
I talk pretty candidly with my clients about how to get results — and I’m inspired when they actually put in effort. Because you know what? It takes effort!
I’m a fan of finding the ways you can do the least work for the best results, but there is always effort involved.
In order to improve the shape of your butt, you should focus on gluteus maximus and gluteus medius. Gluteus minimus is a smaller muscle in the group, deep to the other two, and the good thing about it is that if you work the maximus/medius, you’re workin’ the minimus enough! (Plus, focusing on the minimus is not going to significantly alter your butt’s appearance)
There are many exercises that will help you get your butt ready for bikini season—but, I did some research to find the most effective ones, and my perspective is that it’s best if we just keep it simple so it’s easy to follow and stick to.
By the way, I’m not saying everyone should want to look great in a bikini or that it matters. But I know a lot of people do want to. And I think that’s ok too when the approach is healthy. A little bit of vanity is ok—like most things, balance is key. Not many of us are going to look awesome in a bikini by Victoria’s Secret Standards, but we can all try to look our best!
Back on Topic.
My goals with all workouts: Keep it Simple, Work Smarter (not always harder). You can get creative if you want to, or you can just be consistent and get results!
Have you ever done a workout plan for specific results? Do you work on one part of your body more than others?
Have you ever followed a plan for specific event (prom, wedding, spring break, bikini season…)?
There are many many exercises you can do to work your butt—what I’ve found with myself and my clients is that if we keep it straightforward and simple, it’s easier to stick to and to follow through and get results!
Notes and News:
It’s only Monday!
I visited with two of my favorite little people yesterday (actually, with four of my favorites, but only two are in the pic I took). Remember when you were little and you just played all day? I like to encourage people to take that approach with exercising too—it’s not always easy, but being playful about it instead of tortured is always better. Sounds obvious, but if you keep that in mind, it helps!