Sun’s Out, Bun’s Out: Navigating the Biggest Booty Builders
Buns, butt, buttocks, glutes, peach, tush, rear, caboose, keister, behind… whatever you call them, showing off a tight, toned booty is the name of the game. But, most people aren’t just born with the goods: it takes some work. And we have the plan. Check out the biggest booty builders you need to add to your workout regimen immediately.
What Muscles Make Up the “Buns”?
You might think of your butt as simply just another muscle, but it’s actually quite complex. When someone is talking about their buns, most people are referring to the largest of the butt muscles:, the gluteus maximus. But, the butt also has two other main players; the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus.
While the gluteus maximus is the largest of the muscles and wraps your hip from your sacrum to the top of your femur, the gluteus medius is no slouch either. It starts up a little higher than the gluteus maximus, at the top of the pelvis, and also comes down to attach to the femur. Lastly, the gluteus minimus sits underneath the gluteus maximus. It’s the smallest of the three muscles and is somewhat triangular in shape. It helps mainly with stabilization and abduction while the bigger muscles are responsible for power and strength.
How Often Should You Train Your Buns?
Your buns are a combination of both fast- and slow- twitch muscle and can handle a higher volume of training. As long as you’re not feeling overly sore, you can train your booty several times a week. What is ideal? You can train glutes anywhere from two to six times a week, depending on your goals and your ability to recover. But for the most part, training them two to three times a week is plenty.
What goes into your ability to recover quickly? Well, of course, genetics play a part in recovery in terms of muscle damage and repair. Some people don’t get that sore or fatigued from intense training. Exercise selection, repetitions, weight, and cadence is also going to dictate how quickly you can snap back from your training. Generally speaking, you can let soreness be your guide. That is, if you’re still sore, give your buns another day to rest and recover.
Use These Booty-Building Exercises to Build Your Buns
Always start with a good warmup like walking on a slight incline for 10 minutes or so. You want to ensure your muscles, tendons, and ligaments are ready to power through these game-changing booty builders.
Weighted Hip Thrusts—this might be one of the best booty- building exercises you can do. It directly targets the glutes as you will quickly find out when performing this exercise. If your fitness facility has a hip thrust machine, great! If not, try this move with a barbell, a pad, and a weight bench.
Start by sitting on the floor with the (padded) barbell across your lap, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Your back should be against a weight bench. Hold the bar with both hands as you press your hips upward by squeezing your glutes and pressing your back into the weight bench.
Keep going until your upper body and knees are parallel. (Your upper back will roll along the edge of the weight bench as you do this.). Hold for a count of three and then allow the weight to come back to the start. Repeat 10 times.
Note: You can also hold a dumbbell on your lap instead of using the barbell.
Lunges in All Varieties—lunges are another of nature’s top booty builders. For a regular lunge, start by standing with your feet about hip-width apart. With your hands on your hips (or clasped in front of you), take a giant step forward with your right foot. Bend your right leg until your leg is fully bent and your left leg is mostly straightened behind you. Using your right heel (and your glutes), push yourself forward and back up to standing. Repeat with the opposite leg.
You can do forward lunges, side-to-side lunges, reverse lunges, walking lunges, and more. You can also try lunging up onto a platform or even stepping up onto the platform as you lunge forward. Or, try placing your rear foot on a raised surface (like a weight bench) and then simply doing a static (in place) lunge with the opposite leg. The sky’s really the limit.
Squats in All Varieties—squats are going to reign if you want to work your buns from all angles. Like lunges, there are many different ways to squat, both with and without weights. Start with a normal body weight squat until you get the movement pattern mastered.
Three things to remember when doing your squats. To best activate and work the glutes, aim for a wide stance. The wider the stance, the better you’ll hit the glutes since your hips will be externally rotated. Next, go deep. The deeper you can go into your squat (without pain), the more you’ll have to engage that booty to move out of the squat position. And third, remember to “hinge.” Hinging means that you push your butt back as you squat down while keeping your upper body relatively straight. Think of the movement you make when you go to sit down in a chair. Replicate this without the chair.
And it’s important to remember, no matter how hard you train your glutes, all your work is not going to make them sun-ready unless you also monitor your calorie intake. You will naturally hold some fat on the glutes, but getting plenty of cardio, hard weightlifting sessions, and a smart, mostly whole-food diet will help you reveal that beautiful muscle tone.