I am all for science. I love to critically think, ask questions, and test and experiment my own theories and logic. I love reading research (if it makes sense to me or a topic I care to learn more about) from researchers. If a hypothesis can be proven or disproven is a way we grow to learn and become more critical in the way we think, approach situations or our training, and other facets in the conundrum of science.
At the same time, letâ€™s not get it twisted. Iâ€™m a 26 year old male, I love women, and I love assâ€¦uh-uhm, sorry, to be more P.C., I mean butts. Câ€™mon, lets be real fellas, while growing up with your boys or out on a date with a curious and/or insecure girl, you were ALWAYS asked, â€œAre you a boob guy or an ass guy.â€ Similarly, ladies, how many times were you asked, â€œif you could have big boobs or a big butt, what would you choose?â€ In my experience, most men want it all (duh) with a slight edge going to dudes who love butts and most women Iâ€™ve come across would tend to agree (with reasoning being big boobs hurt their back, ruins their posture, etc.). This isnâ€™t to say EVERYONE likes this but hey, I would think Sir Mix-A-Lot spoke for a generation with his song.
Now for the first time in what might be a LONG time, Iâ€™ve actually had a few members and a client send me the same link to this news article about how big butt woman are essentially healthier and have more intelligent children. It was an Oxford study of 16,000 women. I donâ€™t have the entire abstract but if youâ€™re interested in the articles Iâ€™m speaking on, it was brought up by ABC News then this EliteDaily post is what seemed to have gone viral.
Now Iâ€™m not here to make you believe one thing or the other. I am not part of the research team and at first I thought this was satire. If it is in fact true, more power to all you luscious big booty beauties. Live a long, prosperous, and intelligent life with that ass your momma gave ya. I am also not able to make you smarter with the information you are about to receive, well except in the context of the gym, so donâ€™t expect your I.Q. to increase either.
*Note: Study did not include women with fake asses so to my boos in the strip club with ass shotsâ€¦to Nicki Minajâ€¦to Kim Kâ€¦this doesnâ€™t include you. Sorry.
What I will do is equip you with some knowledge so you, with the itty-bitty-booty or no-booty-at-all, can start to grow that derriere and at least look more healthy and intelligent. Too soon?
One fact you need to know is this:
Those meme of girls with incredibly tight, round, perky butts followed up with, â€œOh, She Squatsâ€
(although very nice indeed)Â is what you all have been made to believe is how you get the butt you desire but in fact, squats are a quad-dominant exercise and yes, although it takes glutes (and hamstrings) to get your from the bottom (end position) of a squat back to standing, the glute activation is not as high as you think. Yes, the â€œburnâ€ may be there but we need to look at direct emphasis on the glutes. Bret Contreras is known as the “Glute Guy” and Iâ€™ve studied his work since I started training. He uses an EMG (Electromyography) to test activation in the glutes during squats (and their variations). Youâ€™ll see, glute activation isnâ€™t what you think it is.
So What The Heck Do You Do???
Â Simple. Squats are just one very small piece of the puzzle when it comes to building a butt you can be proud of. To get the butt you desire, you have to train it. There are two immediate exercises I go to, as well as my clients, that has not only strengthened the butt, they have:
- Strengthened my dead lift to a 405lbs max at a bodyweight of 165lbs
- Strengthened my clients dead lifts to more than bodyweight
- Made their butts much more firm
- Strengthened my own squat and my clients squats
- Given me the local gym name as â€œAssmasterâ€ (Swear Bret, it just happened!)
- Satisfied my clients husbands/boyfriends likes
Â Iâ€™m talking about the Hip Thrust and Romanian Dead Lift
Â These are my go-to movements for getting the backside I want and my clients want because they are:
- HIGHLY EFFECTIVE
- Low learning Curve = Low Risk/High Reward
- Strengthen all lower body movements
Letâ€™s Talk Romanian Dead Lift (RDL)
Â I love the RDL for the one reason, as itâ€™s the easiest of the deadlift variation to teach. Whether using a straight bar (barbell), kettle bells, or dumbbells, thereâ€™s really nothing more to focus on except the hinge at the hips or in other words, slightly bending the knee, pushing the butt back behind you, keeping your back straight. This will get the hamstrings highly activated, eccentrically, as well as the glutes. To stand back up, you have to actively squeeze the glutes and bring the hip through. Doing this for reps with moderately heavy weight is going to make your hamstrings and butt feel it.
A variation Iâ€™m using to perform the RDL is the Landmine RDL. You can without a doubt use a barbell, kettle bells, or dumbbells. The movement doesnâ€™t change.
Letâ€™s Talk Hip Thrusts
Â Proven as the best glute builder (via EMG) as well as the easiest movement to perform, in my opinion. Itâ€™s still hip extension but isnâ€™t a hard move to learn like traditional deadlifts, doesnâ€™t require timing like kettle bell swings, and doesnâ€™t take even the slightest of coordination like RDLâ€™s. This is the beauty of it. You can build the butt you want at a very low cost to your bodyâ€™s ability.Â Just focus on getting more efficient by locking out the hips at the top of the movement and youâ€™ll get stronger, rounder, perkier butt cheeks.
Â Letâ€™s Wrap This Up
Iâ€™m not going to refute the study. I LOVE IT. I feel that if you were blessed with a beautiful bottom, work on keeping it as such. If you werenâ€™t bless with a plump booty; rather, a flapjack booty, no syrup, then I think itâ€™s time to incorporate these movements in to your training. I mean letâ€™s be real, it may not make you smarter but it sure as hell will make you look betterâ€¦in those jeansâ€¦or yoga pantsâ€¦itâ€™s fall timeâ€¦wear those yoga pants, girl.