Fitness Articles

Build Yourself a Better Butt

6 Booty-Sculpting Moves to Add to Your Routine

Page 1 of 2
Current economic conditions mean that money is tight; however, can the same be said for your rear end? Don’t let your sagging stock portfolio be an excuse for skipping workouts this year, especially those targeting your bum. Learn how to tighten your assets with a moderate investment of time—and no gym membership fees!

Anatomy of the Glutes
Arguably the strongest muscle in the body, the gluteus maximus is one of the most conspicuous parts of the muscular system, connected as it is with the power of keeping your trunk in an upright position. The gluteus maximus allows your leg to extend behind you and permits outward rotation of the femur (thigh bone). It is the primary gluteal muscle involved in cycling, jumping rope, squatting, climbing stairs and running. It is also the largest of the three gluteal muscles that make up our buttocks—the other two being the gluteus medius (located at the superior and outer portion of the buttocks) and gluteus minimus (located underneath the gluteus maximus), named so for their size.

Factors that Affect Size and Shape
Whether you want it to be larger, smaller or rounder, the overall shape of your butt depends on three primarily factors:
  1. The size of our gluteus maximus muscle. Remember that muscle mass is lean and doesn't take up a lot of space. Strengthening your glutes can improve muscle tone and result in a tighter, firmer appearance.
  2. How much fat lies on top of that muscle. As with any muscle group, it is not possible to selectively "spot reduce" this layer of fat from the buttocks. (That means all the donkey kicks in the world won't burn away butt fat.) However, all types of cardio exercise will help reduce your overall body fat.
  3. Genetic factors. Individuals are genetically predisposed to store fat in specific regions of their body—one of these regions is the buttocks. This is especially true for women, which is why women tend to have larger and rounder rear ends (often associated with femininity) than men. Genes also play a role in the shape of your butt. Genetics mostly determine whether your rear is heart-shaped, bubble, pear-shaped, or flat. While you can slightly change your overall composition of body fat and muscle mass, you'll probably always have the same shape, just larger or smaller depending on changes in your body fat and muscle tone. Continued ›
Page 1 of 2   Next Page ›
Got a story idea? Give us a shout!

About The Author

Glenn Kent Glenn Kent
Glenn is an ACE-certified personal trainer who motivates clients to perform their best, both physically and mentally. He earned his doctorate in health psychology and is the owner of Fitness Motive, a wellness consulting company located in Cincinnati. Glenn also works as an adjunct university instructor at the University of Cincinnati. He enjoys the outdoors, reading, and has developed an affinity for the taste of dark chocolate.

Member Comments

  • Love the title. Like everything in life, it reminded me that if I want something I'm the one that is responsible for doing the work. That whatever problem I have others have it too and that someone else has succeeded and figured out the steps and posted it online. And lastly that no matter what people say, you really can't have everything you want in life. From a smaller pear shape, but still, sadly, a pear. - 9/10/2015 3:17:44 PM
    This one comes on here about every ten days, lol, for all the 18 year old members, "looking"........
    ........sort of amusing to older people. wink wink - 11/29/2014 1:34:38 PM
    Someone asked about exercises for those of us with 'bum' knees. I do several of these at the pool.. - 11/15/2014 2:18:09 PM
    Even having a "Perfect Butt" won't find you a "perfect" friend, so just do the exercises because you think it's good for you. - 11/14/2014 1:47:54 PM
  • I work on a college campus and do "laps" on the stairs in one of the buildings 3 times a week. I really appreciate the tip to "push down with your heel while straightening your leg." Thank you! - 3/11/2013 1:11:58 PM
  • These are great ideals. When I take walks some of the areas are hilly and that is great! - 3/10/2013 6:04:07 PM
    I am little frustrated with part of the article. I am a black guy and have had big hips and a big behind my entire life and I can't figure out what works. Squats don't work, running doesn't and many of these articles are tilted toward women. - 3/10/2013 5:59:16 PM
    Sounds great but what about something someone with a bum knee can do? Stairs are killer and forget squats or lunges. OUCH!!! Maybe some mountain climbers? Those don't strain my knee too bad. - 10/15/2012 9:44:07 PM
  • Great moves! Another terrific one for glutes is split-squats. Especially with the rear foot elevated. - 10/14/2012 11:13:21 AM
  • I'm part of the heart shaped butt team... I love these tips and can't wait to use them :) - 10/14/2012 10:58:20 AM
  • Great article - I have more to work on than just my back side, but this was really informative and entertaining - 4/27/2010 3:27:42 PM
  • I am looking to round out my bottom too. I have found that the scissors side to side motion works well and so do toe lifts... Im welcome to more suggestions though. :) - 3/3/2010 6:35:27 PM
  • Ummm...I'm part of the round or bubble butt team. Anyone else with me? Great article!! - 1/7/2010 2:11:43 PM
    Flat butt team! I would be in! I suspect one could also call it the apple shaped people, (rather than pear shaped). I jus saw a great article about six exercised to strengthen the gluts! Sounds like we have the tools if we really want to change... : ) for now I an stick to emotional eaters and keep it, and I have faith my shape will chagne. I mean, face it we didn'tget this way over night and our problems won't be solved in that time eitherl

    - 7/26/2009 2:28:04 AM
    Another flat butt here..."buns of lead"... - 6/7/2009 10:19:17 AM

x Lose 10 Pounds by July 8! Sign up with Email Sign up with Facebook
By clicking one of the above buttons, you're indicating that you have read and agree to SparkPeople's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and that you're at least 18 years of age.