The desire for women to have a dare I say, "big", round butt is definitely in vogue at this time andit doesn't look like it's going to change any time soon! This article is for you ladies with a flat ass, it's time to put your glutes to work!
It's Ass Training time – 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 results from your glute training, they need to be worked with heavy weight and plenty time under tension.
For all glute excercises it's important to keep constant tension on the muscle and make sure you hold the contraction, you only need to hold it for a few seconds at the point of peak contraction, just the same as you do with biceps.
The Glutes are the biggest individual muscle in the human body, they need a decent weight to make them respond. You must try to squeeze your ass all the way through the entire movement, you also nned to take your time through each exercise, ass building is not a race; it's a sustained climb.
Your glutes are just like any other muscle group, they respond to the stress of resistance training by growing and stress being the amount of resistance and time under stress.
Wide Stance = Round Glutes
Ass building exercises like the deadlift, squat, or leg press can be even more effective when you take a wider stance, a narrower stance typically targets the outer sweep of your quads, whereas a wider stance will help ensure your glutes are getting hit.
Taking a wider stance allows your hips to move back further, 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 adopt stance so wide you feel like you're doing the splits. Instead, start by positioning your feet so they're a little wider than your hips, once you are comfortable with this keep moving them out 1-2 inches until you feel can feel your glutes and hamstrings working harder than your quads.
Double Your Results
If you really want to prioritise your glutes design a workout that will allow this. Don't make glutes an afterthought like many people do with calfs or abs by tagging them on at the end of a "main" bodypart.
I would suggest you schedule glutes to be part of your back workout. I know glutes are a major player in squats, deadlifts and hamstring work too but due to your glutes tie into your lower back and spinal erectors as well as hamstrings. I do not believe you have enough in the tank to complete a REAL quad session followed by Glutes and Hamstrings, especially because planning to work the quads, lower back AND glutes is trying to work the 3 biggest muscles in the body.
If you decide to split legs and Glute/Hamstring training into 2 sessions per week, take at least 2 rest days between these sessions, if you're training intensely enough you will need the recovery time if you are to be fresh and ready for another productive session.
You can't let your quads and hamstrings fall by the wayside just because you want a rounder butt, so plan ahead!
What is The Right Weight?
Women who strength train often find themselves caught between two conflicting pieces of advice, one camp suggests you should do light weight and lots of reps for "toning." The other side says heavier weight is best if you really want to build and shape your glutes.
I would say the truth lies somewhere in the middle. All muscles have 2 types of muscle fibres, "Fast Twitch" and "Slow Twitch", the difference is easily explained, "fast twitch" is found on marathon runners, "slow twitch" is found more predominantly on sprinters and strength athletes.
That example is the 2 ends of the scale, everyone has a mixture of both kinds of tissue, the 2 examples are the extremes I guess. For the most women you want to do a combination of different excercises and principles to really work all the muscle fibres you can.
If a weight gets so heavy you can no longer do it with the muscle group you are trying to train, it's time to lighten the load. Focus strictly on using the glutes and you should be able to work out what kind of weight and rep range you need to be most effective.
I recommend sticking within ac12-15 rep range for 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.
I would also suggest incorporating drop sets so you hit both types of muscle fibres in 1 set. When you think you're about done, reduce the weight and go again! Do this twice, it's like 3 sets in 1 and will ensure you will not be sitting comfortable the following day!
I would suggest you use the following exercises (not all at the same time though!);
Squats – front or traditional
Reverse leg raises
There are designated glute training machines but if your gym doesn't have one of them you cannot help but build a booty with the exercises mentioned.
Never jump right in to your working sets and make sure you warm up first with 5-10 minutes on a piece of cardio equipment, a bit of stretching and then do a few lighter sets prior to your first working set, 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, you're trying to push a decent weight and also perform enough reps to stimulate growth too. Because of the energy needed to allow you to perform optimally it's important to nail your pre and post workout nutrition. A whey shake and some creatine, we'd recommend Krevolution-X which we believe to be the best creatine available.
We all know it is of the utmost importance to keep our protein intake high but we also need to ensure our ATP levels are high enough because, remember, we DO NOT burn carbs during anaerobic training. Our muscles need ATP, think about it, no matter how many carbs you take in prior to training your muscles still run out of energy.
After a tough workout, a bigger meal with protein and carbohydrates to restore glycogen levels so the trained muscles have enough energy to repair and grow. That initial period of time after training, the famous "post workout window" is when your body is responding to the workout and trying to get as many nutrients as possible to speed recovery.
The meals you eat around your workouts should be part of a specific nutrition plan that's tailored to you and 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 (dieting), it's especially important that you eat enough protein to build and maintain your muscle mass. Aim for at least 30 grams of protein per meal and make sure you are taking creatine, it is one of the the first buffers to protect you from becoming catabolic.
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