by Shannon Clark Mar 29, 2012
Break out your beachwear, ladies: spring break is upon us! If you’ve been hibernating at home between quick trips to the gym, patiently sculpting your sun-ready physique, now is the time to showcase strategic pieces of your hard-earned bikini body!
Spring break also signals the approach of summer — 3 months of sun-drenched fun. If you don’t have one already, it’s time to go bikini shopping. Although there are plenty of cute designs, one factor remains the same for any bathing suit: your booty will be on display.
You may decide to disguise it with a wrap, but there’s no hiding a flat booty. Add some junk to your trunk with a properly-structured plan; it’s a great idea for some spring-time confidence. It will also ensure your summer bum is ready for sun.
Baby Got Back
Building a bikini booty doesn’t have to take long — provided you keep track of your diet and do the right exercises. To make your backside bumpin’ you need to incorporate strength training and cardio into your workout routine. Strength training will add curves and definition. Cardio will burn extra caloriesand reduce body fat. You do need some backside tissue to avoid “flat-butt syndrome,”
but you want that tissue to be lean muscle,not fat.
You don’t have to do cardio training if your diet is already perfect. But, most women find faster progress if they add cardio to their training regimen. Don’t overdo it by grinding away on the treadmill every day. Too much cardio can eat away at that great lean muscle mass.
You want to focus on compound lower-body movements, while adding glute-specific exercises to really target that backside. Many women have trouble activating their glutes because it’s incredibly easy to let the quads and/or hamstrings overpower the movement.
To activate your glutes, rely on these key moves:
Squats are fantastic for enhancing your booty shape, and for strengthening the quads and hamstrings. Go as low as your flexibility allows. As long as your knees don’t hurt, the lower you go, the better. Why? Deep squats provide the most glute activation.
Too many women make the mistake of not going all the way down through the movement. Go all the way down, pause, and then press all the way back up.
When done properly, this is a fantastic glutes strengthener. Because this exercise takes some balance, focus on the mind-muscle connection. If you aren’t actively thinking of relaxing the quads and hamstrings during this exercise, your glutes won’t activate. Use your butt to drive through the motion.
Use a barbell instead of dumbbells, which will help you maintain an upright position — a key for glute activation and good form. When you rise, think about pressing through your heels instead of through your quads.
This movement is a great butt-builder and will target the hamstrings and lower back, effectively hitting most links in your posterior chain. Performing it on a single leg helps activate the glutes and core.
Focus on squeezing through the glutes. If your lower back aches after performing this movement, you aren’t using the muscles as you should be.
If you do feel back pain, lighten the load. Using too much weight will force you to recruit additional muscles because your glutes aren’t strong enough to do the work.
Lunges target the quads, hamstrings, core and glutes. These booty-bombers will have you sore for days! You can further stimulate your butt by taking a slightly longer step forward. This increased distance will put more stress on the glutes and less on the quads.
The glute bridge is great because it isolates the bum. Your hammies and quads aren’t going to play a big part in this exercise.
Use a barbell to make this exercise more strenuous. Make sure you’re powerfully driving your hips directly upward, and then lowering them down slowly. Contract your glutes at the top, which will ensure that you move the load with your butt, not your lower back.
The best cardio exercises for booty building ask you to act against resistance:
Uphill walking, or using the elliptical trainer at an incline, is a better option than running on a flat surface. Flat running tends to decrease the booty musculature, and that’s definitely not going to make it in a rap video.
If your fitness level allows, perform interval training instead of steady-state training. Interval training increases fat oxidation, and will thus help uncover a curvy bum.
Booty Builder Workout
Two sample workouts will get you started. Perform each workout once per week, along with your own upper-body workouts for a complete program.
Note: You should lift enough weight to hit the point of fatigue/failure on the last rep.
4 sets of 8 reps
3 sets of 12 reps
3 sets of 15 reps
2 sets of 20 reps