The shape of your bum depends on the placement of your pelvis and hip bones, the distribution of fat, the size of your gluteal muscles, and the way your muscles are attached to the thigh bone. This can be genetic like any other body part. However, we can significantly enhance and change the shape of your “derriere” with clever training.
The most common mistake I see women making when it comes to toning the bum area?
- Not using exercises that give the glutes a varying range of movement. You need to mix it up.
- Not recruiting the glutes via a mind muscle activation. We need to activate the glute muscles with concentration and by using mind-muscle connection, rather than just “going through the motions”
- Avoiding isolation work
- Rushing through the repetitions
- Not enough resistance and load
- Avoiding single leg work
- Too much compound training
- No variation, same exercises every training session
What’s the one thing all women can be doing for stronger and more toned bums?
Train it! Get into the gym, studio or on your mat at home and start training it in isolation. If your goal is to change the shape of your bottom then you need to use it or you lose it.
What really works when it comes to toning the bum & what kinds of exercises should women be doing?
For a strong juicy toned booty you need to work the glutes with the use of different ranges of movements, rather than only using one or two dimensional movements like lunges and squats. Try doing lunges and squats with variations like squats to curtsey or lunges to squats. The use of single leg work (as we use in barre) is excellent for recruiting much deeper than what you see on the surface. Working both the “global muscles” and our deepest stabiliser muscles gives you a more rounded workout and bum! Working on isolating the bottom and not recruiting so many muscles at once (compound exercises) will allow the glutes to be singled out in all their glory! Try loaded hip thrusts, bridges with thigh bands and weights to load. Here you can use single leg work in your bridge to challenge not just the grounded leg but also the top leg that is weighted or banded up. Loaded donkey kicks with variations added like fire hydrants and single leg circles will get all the angles of
What kind of balance should you strike between cardio and strength when trying to tone?
In my opinion, we should obviously aim for the right balance between cardio and strength training, combining the two; however, we have to remember that all bodies respond differently to different types of training. The body builder may have the belief that doing cardio before or after strength training may inhibit or ruin the efforts of your training, to perhaps alternate strength training and cardio days. I have seen brilliant results combining the two, cardio and strength/toning exercises. It really depends on your goals and what you want to achieve. At PBB we use the PBB Method which combines low impact cardio with toning and strengthening exercises. We believe combining the right exercises performed with the correct technique and focus is key. Vary your workouts, if we always do the same, we won’t see change!
Here are some of my hero bum moves and how you can try them out:
I love single leg work on the barre! Not only are you working the standing leg rather intensely as you are recruiting deeper muscles, but also the working leg! For example, floating lunges to floating curtsey to fire hydrants. This combines three movements in one which targets all the “angles” of the glutes. You will feel a burn in both legs. Place a medium strength thigh band above the knees. Face the ballet barre with your hand in an underhand grip with the hands slightly wider than the shoulders. Feet start in parallel. Step the right foot back as if doing a lunge, draw the right knee towards the chest as you extend the standing leg and lift the heel, next rep drop back as if you are doing a lunge but don’t allow the right foot to touch the floor, rather push the leg back floating the foot and squeeze the glutes, next rep repeat the knee lift then send the right leg around to the left for a floating curtsey, repeat the knee lift and drop back lunge to fire hydrant, squeezing into the side of the glutes (glutes meds). Repeat these rounds 16 times. For extra burn add pulses of the working and standing leg. Perform on each side. Just remember, load is key to building muscle! In barre Pilates we use thigh bands, weights, ankle weights, steps and blocks.
How much time per week should one commit to toning their bum?
I believe it should be integrated within your workout. We work the bottom in every class! But if the booty is the main goal we would recommend classes that target the bottom specifically like our PBB Sculpt and Burn or the PBB Peach Class. My mantra to my women/PBB Angels is first and foremost technique and form is the winning path to results. I’ll often say “Do you want peaches or pancakes?”