A round booty is on-trend, and it doesn't look like it's going anywhere! If your pancake butt has you feeling out of the loop, it's time to put your glutes to work.
Ashley Hoffmann is a Neon-sponsored athlete, WBFF pro, and proud owner of one of the best butts in the industry. She's put in the time and knows just the formula to help you build your own pair of gorgeous glutes.
So stop wishing for a better butt and start working toward building it. Follow Hoffman's tips and incorporate her glute workout into your regimen, and your milkshake will bring everybody to the yard.
It's Booty Time...Under Tension
Your glutes are just like any other muscle group: They respond to the stress of resistance training by growing. However, to get the best growth out of your glutes, they need to be challenged by heavy weight and plenty of time under tension.
"No matter which glute exercise you're doing, it's important to keep constant tension on the muscle and make sure you hold the contraction at the peak of the movement," explains Hoffmann. "Typically, I hold a contraction for 2-3 seconds."
In other words, if you rush through the movements, you're never going to reap the full benefits of your time in the gym. Use weight that's challenging, and squeeze your butt through the entire movement. Take your time through each exercise. Booty building is not a race; it's a steady climb.
Your glutes are just like any other muscle group: they respond to the stress of resistance training by growing.
Wide Stance, Round Glutes
Big-butt-building exercises like the deadlift, squat, or leg press can be even more effective when you take a wider stance. "A narrow stance typically targets your quads," says Hoffmann, "but using a wider stance will help utilize your glutes."
Taking a wider stance allows your hips to move back more, which in turn activates your posterior chain (lower back, glutes, adductors, and hamstrings) to a greater degree. Along with the ability to move your hips back more, a wide stance will allow you to get your hips lower as you squat. So if you've been having trouble reaching that below-parallel position, wider feet may be the answer.
You don't have to do wide-stance movements with your feet so wide you feel like you're doing the splits. Instead, start by positioning your feet so they're a little outside your hips. From there, move them out 1-2 inches until you feel strong and you can feel your glutes and hamstrings working harder than your quads.
Double Your Fun
Even if you want to prioritize your glutes, it's not a great idea to spend your entire leg day doing booty-only exercises. Your legs are an important part of your physique—you can't let your quads and hamstrings fall by the wayside just because you want a rounder butt.
Instead, Hoffmann suggests scheduling two leg days per week. "Spend a day focused on your quads, and then another day focused strictly on the hamstrings and glutes," she says. That extra leg day will give you plenty of time to give your whole lower body the attention it deserves.
If you decide to train legs twice per week, take at least one rest day (if not two or three) between leg days. That way, your legs will be fresh and ready for another awesome gym session.
The Right Weight For The Right Gains
Women who strength train often find themselves caught between two conflicting pieces of advice. Once camp suggests you should only do light weight and lots of reps for "toning." The other side says heavier weight is alwaysbest if you really want to build and shape your glutes.
For physique building, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. For example, some lifts just don't translate well to super heavy weight. "With an exercise like Romanian deadlifts, for example, you'll want to select a weight that's challenging, but not so heavy you begin lifting with your lower back muscles instead of your glutes and hamstrings," Hoffmann advises.
If a weight gets so heavy you can no longer do it with the right muscle group, it's time to lighten the load. Focus strictly on using the glutes to drive the movement and you'll more easily pinpoint what weight level will be most effective.
Hoffmann recommend sticking with the 12-15 rep range for most glute and hamstrings exercises, with occasional forays into higher rep ranges like 15-20. This allows you to use enough weight to build a stronger backside, but not so heavy that you comprise form. Just make sure you're challenging yourself with the weight. Those last few reps should be tough!
Warm-Up Sets Work Wonders
"Never just jump right into your working sets," says Hoffmann. "Warm up first with 5-10 minutes on a piece of cardio equipment, and then do a few lighter sets of your first exercise. Only then should you get into your heavy working sets."
Spending time on a warm-up gives you time to practice the mind-muscle connection with your glutes. As you're moving the weight, concentrate on making your glutes do most of the work and practice squeezing for a second or two at the top of the movement. When the weight gets heavier, you'll be able to keep the right muscles firing.
Eat For Your Goals
Workouts that hit your glutes and hamstrings are difficult. Because you're going to be working so hard, it's important to nail your pre- and post-workout nutrition. "I like to have a pre-workout meal that's quick and easy to digest," says Hoffmann. "My favorite is a protein shake mixed with some oats and peanut butter."
After she hits a tough workout, Hoffmann eats a bigger meal to restore her glycogen levels so her muscles have enough energy to repair and grow. Her favorite post-workout meal might surprise you, but it's about as perfect a combination of protein and carbs as you can find: sushi!
The meals you eat around your workouts should be part of a specific nutrition plan that's tailored to your goals. Building rounder, fuller glutes takes calories, so don't drop your intake so low that your muscles don't have enough energy to grow. And if you're in a caloric deficit, it's especially important that you eat enough protein to build and maintain your muscle mass. Aim for at least 20-30 grams of protein per meal.
Ashley Hoffmann's Booty-Building Workout
Implement this workout into your routine once per week. Don't forget to train your quads on your other leg day!