I’ve got a few tips today for your buns….
Buns, glutes, booty, butt, behind, caboose – whatever you call it, it’s an important part of your posterior chain!
Strengthening your booty is always a good idea – it can improve your posture, and make everyday things like sitting down, standing up, lifting heavy objects, and even climbing the stairs easier.
Not only that, strong glutes can also protect you from injury, improve your athletic performance, and they look nice.
There’s more to sculpting a butt than squats, so let’s talk about the important elements that go into the glutes!
1. Get to know your muscles
The muscles that form the shape of your glutes are the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus.
There are also a deep layer of muscles (called the “deep 6”) that stabilize and support us while walking – but aren’t apparent on the surface.
But it’s not just your BUTT muscles that give you that defined and lifted shape….
It’s also the muscles and connective tissue that attach to your pelvis that affect the shape of your butt. Like the erector spinae column (the skinny muscles that run up and down next to your spine), your lower back muscles, and your hamstrings.
So in addition to doing all the obvious booty builders like bridge lifts and squats, you also want to add in workout moves that activate the back and hamstrings, like deadlifts, superwoman lifts, and hamstring curls.
The body always seeks balance.
For example, to get truly strong abs we can’t just do front ab exercises alone. We also have to focus on strengthening the lower back muscles.
That’s because without the support of your back, your core won’t function as well – and your body will actually resist excessive imbalanced muscle growth.
Apply that same principle to developing truly well-defined glutes, and focus your sessions on the surrounding muscles as well as targeting the glutes themselves.
Speaking of balance…muscle grows when we rest it, NOT when we train it.
I worked with a woman a few years ago who was really frustrated with how flat her butt was…and she worked out all the time.
It turned out she was overly focused on moves that just targeted her glutes – and not only that, she trained them almost 5 times a week!
We have to give our muscles a break – or they won’t develop. So be sure to intersperse your booty sculpting with other workouts, and take rest days.
2. Try these Posterior Chain Workouts
The posterior chain refers to the muscles along the backside (posterior) of your body. Doing workouts that focus on strengthening these muscles will support your glutes tremendously.
I recommend doing one of these each week in the mix with your other workouts.
3. Eat Smart
I’m a woman, and trust me I’ve seen the ripples in my skin on the back of my legs and around my hips. For starters, that’s a tough area for us ladies, as we’re genetically designed to store fat in those areas. It’s also perfectly natural to have some fat there, so don’t beat yourself up because your body doesn’t look airbrushed – that’s so unrealistic!
A balanced diet made of whole foods with all the nutrients you need goes a LONG way.
The refined sugar and flour, processed foods and their additives and the excessive amounts of them we consume will absolutely give you the look you don’t want.
Those foods create inflammation in your cells and tissue, cause bloating (as your body retains water trying to process them out of your system) and get stored as fat.
Try filling up your grocery cart with veggies, greens, proteins, complex carbs (quinoa and steel cut oatmeal) and fruits. I do a green smoothie daily.
These resources will help guide you on what I put on my grocery list.
1: Start with PROTEIN
When creating any meal (from breakfast to smoothies to snacks and everything in between), protein is at the top of my list!
Protein is a major player when it comes to the way your body looks on the outside AND how it functions on the inside. It’s found in every cell, and plays a part in thousands of essential chemical reactions.
It’s needed for everything from hormone regulation and enzyme production to the regulation of muscle mass and body fat levels.
Eating a variety of protein-rich foods can help to support your ability to metabolize fat while supporting structural tissue (AKA muscle) production that can help sculpt a lean, fit physique.
You can definitely supplement your whole food eating with a quality organic whole food based protein powder like I ❤️ Vanilla Protein, made by my brand Whole Betty.
Protein is also important for healthy and vibrant skin, hair, and nails, as well as a healthy immune system and metabolism that can efficiently burn fat and keep you energized!
2: Add Fiber-Rich Carbs
Carbohydrates, when they come from whole food sources and are prepared as close to the way they came from Mother Nature as possible, are an excellent energy source that will support your healthy, fit body goals – not take away from them.
The best way to get into optimal “fat burn” mode is actually to have enough energy to show up to your workouts, think clearly and power through your day. Fiber is essential to a healthy gut and digestive flow, and carbs are your brain’s preferred energy source for focus and concentration.
Some examples of fiber-rich, nutrient dense whole food carbohydrates are….
- Grains*: Quinoa, rice (all varieties, but especially wild, long-grain, and brown) and oats.
- Legumes*: Beans (all kinds), lentils and peas.
- Starchy Vegetables: Sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, pumpkin, squash and yams.
I would limit processed and pre-made carbohydrates. If you opt instead for the whole food sources, you’ll be more full and satisfied and not reaching for the other stuff.
*I recommend traditional grain and legume preparation, like soaking, sprouting and fermenting to ensure you’re getting the benefits of these nourishing and fiber-rich energy sources without irritation. There are many savvy brands these days that have done that work for you, so look for “sprouted quinoa” “germinated rice” etc. to save time.
3. Include Healthy Fats
When it comes to fat, we want to eat nutrient-dense whole food sources of it in order to reap the benefits. Here are some of my favorites:
- Gives you long lasting energy – so you can think better, work harder and live life to the fullest!
- Stabilizes blood sugar – which can prevent insulin spikes that trigger fat storage.
- Feel full longer – which promotes satiety and reduces cravings.
- Reduces inflammation – Omega 3 fats are especially beneficial in this regard.
- Produces and regulates hormones – for example eating healthy fat stimulates the production and secretion of leptin, the hormone that helps regulate food intake, maintain a healthy body weight, and ensure your metabolism is in working order.
The amount you take in daily is really dependent on the dietary strategy you follow, just be sure you’re making your choices from whole food sources.
For the best fat sources, how much fat you should eat, and how fat keeps you lean,
read Healthy Fat 101!
4: Focus on Greens and Veggies
Greens and veggies play an important role in supporting our health. They include vital micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that aid your body in many processes and enhance the actions of your protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats – plus often contain digestive-healthy fiber.
Eating more of them – and a VARIETY of them can support your immune system, help you thrive, and protect against heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes and much more.
Even with so many great options out there, it can still be tough to find creative ways to include enough of them each and every day which is why I cover my protein AND green bases with Berry Green Protein like I mentioned before.
It’s just so convenient – and you get 18 grams of plant protein, plus 15 total organic greens, veggies and fruits
You can shake it up in water alone, you can blend it in a smoothie, or you can even bake with it.
I mentioned how important it is to have variety in your greens – making a smoothie is a great way to vary the greens you get, and adding a bonus scoop of Berry Green Protein can help boost the overall nutrient content to get the full spectrum.
Here are 2 of my favorite easy smoothie recipes (and you’ll find many more recipes on the blog as well to make things that represent ALL of these nutrients):
Best greens and veggies, how they boost your immune system, make your skin glow and help beat body fat – read Greens 101
I don’t eat like this every day – I take an NSA approach to my eating at least once a week…that’s “no strings attached” – so be sure to let yourself have dessert, a treat, cocktails or something outside of the norm – balance is important!
So to recap, we are going to target our glutes and the surrounding muscles to strengthen and sculpt their shape with the right workouts. We are going to eat the right foods that support lean muscle and help us naturally burn fat. And finally, we are going to say nice things to OURSELVES about our bodies, and our booties during the entire process.