The World's Best Butt Workout! By Raphael Calzadilla, BA, CPT, ACE, RTS1 As a personal trainer, I hate to see anyone feeling awful about their body. However, that's what it sometimes takes for people to make changes. Looking in the mirror and being honest with yourself, becoming annoyed with how tight your clothes fit, going to the doctor and hearing about your very real health issues. Many times a wake-up call is exactly what we need. Time for a little more harsh reality... As much as you hate to admit it, everyone looks at your butt. It's sort of like a universal unspoken rule. And as much as you hate to admit it -- you are always aware of the size of your butt. You receive a daily reminder every time you squeeze into a pair of jeans, a dress, a suit or even just glance sideways into a mirror. Do you know what solution most people use for the big-butt syndrome? Do they lose body fat? Nope! Do they workout? Wrong again. What they do is buy clothes with the goal of covering up their butt. This is not my idea of a solution. Mother Nature has blessed women with a variety of shapes and sizes. Some women have high butts, then there are bubble butts, flat butts, round butts, low butts, square butts and on and on we go. However, a perfect looking butt, no matter what the shape or size is very much related to a lean and healthy body. Strive for a lean and healthy body and you'll achieve your perfect butt. A calorie-reduced nutrition and exercise program will do wonders to create a tight booty, and the formula that works for a healthy body is the same one that works for a great looking butt -- nutrition, exercise (resistance and cardio) and loads of consistency. Your glutes won't get tighter and smaller unless your overall body fat is reduced. Let's be honest here -- you can do all the butt movements on the planet for hours a day, but it won't make one bit of difference unless you lose body fat. Spot reduction is simply not possible. This doesn't mean we can't place an exercise focus on the butt; it just means we have to be smart in our approach. You'll need to perform cardiovascular exercise 3-5 days per week for 30-40 minutes and strength train 2-3 days per week with brisk and challenging whole body workouts. Along with the above approach, I've had great success developing "specialty routines" for problem areas. I'm pleased to provide one of my classic specialized butt routines. The specialty routine will work your legs as well, but the main focus is on tightening my all-time favorite muscle group -- the glutes. If your goal is to get the butt you've always desired , then you've come to the right place. Perform your standard workouts each week, but add my specialty butt workout on two alternate days per week. If you're following the formula, you'll begin to see and feel changes within four to five weeks. My method stimulates tremendous amounts of muscle fibers and almost forces the body to make changes by burning a load of calories. There are only 4 exercises in this routine, but you never stop moving. Perform the recommended reps for each movement and keep moving from exercise to exercise. 1. Dumbbell Lunges Starting Position: Stand straight with your feet together. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms down at your sides Movement: Step forward with the right leg and lower the left leg until the knee almost touches the floor. Contracting the quadriceps muscles, push off your right foot slowly returning to the starting position. Alternate the motion with the left leg to complete the set. Key Points: Inhale while stepping forward. Exhale while returning to the starting position. The step should be big enough that your left leg is nearly straight. Do not let your knee touch the floor. Make sure your head is up and your back is straight. Your chest should be lifted and your front leg should form a 90- degree angle at the bottom of the movement. Your right knee should not pass your right foot. You should be able to see your toes at all times. If you have one leg that is more dominant than the other, start out with the less dominant leg first. Discontinue this exercise if you feel any discomfort in your knees Perform 15 repetitions on each leg. Do one leg first and then switch sides. Then immediately go to the next exercise. 2. Barbell or Broom Stick Rear Squat Starting Position: Place the barbell or broom stick across the back of your shoulders. Be sure it is not resting on your neck. Place feet flat on the floor, shoulder distance apart Movement: Concentrating on the butt, lower your body by bending from your hips and knees stopping when your thighs are parallel with the floor. Slowly return to the starting position Key Points: Inhale as you lower your body. Exhale while returning to the starting position. Do not let your knees ride over your toes (you should be able to see your feet at all times). It helps to find a marker on the wall to keep your eye on as you lift and lower, otherwise your head may tend to fall forward and your body will follow. Think about sitting back in a chair as you are lowering down. Push off with your heels as you return to the starting position. You may want to try this exercise without weights until you master the movement. It is a very effective exercise that involves most of the muscle groups of the lower body, but if done improperly can lead to injuries. Perform 20 repetitions and immediately go to the next exercise. 3. Lying Gluteus Lift Starting Position: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Place your arms at your sides for support Movement: Contracting the glutes, project your hips up toward the ceiling as you lift your glutes off the floor. Slowly return to the starting position stopping just short of your buttocks touching the floor Key Points: Exhale while lifting your glutes. Inhale while returning to the starting position. Perform 20 very tight contractions and go directly to the treadmill exercise which follows. 4. Treadmill Incline Power Walk Starting Position: Stand tall with your legs straddling the belt. Choose the manual program. Step carefully on the belt. Movement: Perform a 5-minute warm-up and then adjust the incline setting to 10 percent (10.0). Increase your speed to 3.2mph - 3.8mph based on your fitness level. Incline Power walk for 6 minutes and then cool down for 1 minute. Beginners should perform one cycle (all 4 exercises), intermediates 2 cycles and advanced exercisers 3 total cycles. Wait 60 seconds after each cycle before starting again. For the advanced group, please be prepared for a very challenging workout. Note: After 2 weeks, beginners may attempt the intermediate workout and intermediates may attempt the advanced workout. Perform this routine for 6 consecutive weeks on 2 alternate days of the week, continue your circuit workout and be prepared to reap some great changes. Note: As always, please check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. A drug-free competitive bodybuilder and winner of the prestigious WNBF (World Natural Bodybuilding Federation) Pro Card, Raphael Calzadilla is a veteran of the health-and- fitness industry. He specializes in a holistic approach to body transformation, nutrition programs and personal training. He earned his B.A. in communications from Southern Connecticut State University and is certified as a personal trainer with ACE and APEX. In addition, he successfully completed the RTS1 program based on biomechanics.