Q: I’m preparing for my first figure show, but my glutes are a little flat and not tight enough. What are the best exercises for rounding and tightening the butt?
A: There are a number of methods that can help mold a round, shapely butt. For starters, be sure you are eating correctly. If you have some “saddlebags” or other flab, you have to avoid adding to that through a poor diet. If, however, you’re on course calorie-wise, here are some good methods for building championship-level glutes:
Stair climbing is an intense exercise that quickly increases the heart rate while sculpting your calves, thighs and buttocks. It is considered a prime weight-bearing exercise, so it builds bone density while promoting cardiovascular fitness. If you’re pumping hard, you’ll definitely feel it in your glutes.
Cycling is a low-impact cardiovascular activity that works the muscles in your legs and backside quite well. Whether you’re riding through your neighborhood or exercising on a recumbent bicycle, you engage your glutes, calves, knee flexors, hamstrings and quadriceps every time you push down and pull up on the pedal. Just make sure that you have a comfortable seat for long rides, or the pain you feel won’t be the muscle-tightening effect you had in mind!
The stepper and bike are great for toning muscle and increasing your metabolism, but your butt is literally a mass of muscle surrounded by some bodyfat. For that reason, you absolutely will need to incorporate weight-training workouts into your fitness program.
Barbell squats are considered the king of all leg exercises, and they’re an excellent choice for targeting your glutes to achieve a tight, sculpted butt. Because barbell squats require your largest muscles—the gluteals, hamstrings and quadriceps—to work hard, they stimulate growth factors that help add overall size and strength to your physique and are a great addition to any workout.
Editor’s note: Ben White won his first IFBB professional bodybuilding contest, the Tampa Pro, in 2010. He is also a champion powerlifter and frequently competes in the World’s Strongest Bodybuilder contest at the Olympia. His best competition bench press is 711 pounds. He is an MHP athlete, www.MHPStrong.com. IM
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