Strong Is The New Skinny and 5 Best Butt Exercises to Shape Your Booty

strong is the new skinnyWe’ve heard this phrase gaining momentum for a while now but it was the singer Pink who shot back at her critics who said that she gained weight with a tweet declaring that she felt beautiful and strong.

That’s right. Strong. Forget skinny. That is so yesterday. Strong is what you want. It’s so much more powerful and empowering. For men, women, teenagers, seniors.

But how do you achieve the strength? Do you continue to do cardio day in and day out? Do you lift 2 lb weights in hope of achieving more toned arms?

The answer: you train hard. Forget what you thought you knew, here is what you have to do.

How To Get Strong

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1. Prioritize building muscle. The more protein your muscles maintain, the stronger and more shapely they get. But since your body is constantly burning protein for other purposes, you need to eat more protein than your body can burn.

2. Eat more. You can’t rely on small meals anymore. Your body needs fuel to be strong. Five meals per day, every three hours is what you need to keep the energy and develop strength.

3. Eat more protein. I suggest one gram of protein per lb of bodyweight. This is conventional wisdom in the physique training world.  According to a new study in the Journal of Applied Physiology this is about all you can assimilate daily.

4. Eat more carbs.  Carbs are protein sparing.  That mean your body will burn carbohydrates before it starts burning muscle for energy.

5. Focus on the largest muscle groups first. Your goal is to increase muscle strength, shape and density.  These lifts include overhead press, pull-ups, bent rows,  chest presses, deadlifts, squats and other compound lifts. Do 3 sets of 15-20 reps with about a minute break between sets.

6. Allow for recovery time. All your gains happen in the recovery period after the workouts, not during the workout.  The workout is the catalyst.  It’s best to have at least 3 days between training the same muscle groups.  You can train abs every other day but no more than that.

But the most important thing you can do to get stronger is to hire a professional personal trainer near you who can help you to finally create the body you desire and make you stronger.

5 Best Butt Exercises to Shape Your Booty

Heather M afterWanting a better and more sculpted behind is one of the top requests I get from my clients. But coveting a rounder derriere is not just about vanity. A rock solid backside is your ticket to a faster, stronger and more resilient you. Your glutes, (the gluteus maximus) are responsible for most of your lower body strength and stability.

Here are my top 5 Glute exercises to building a stronger and rounder backside.

1. Squats with wide stance and toes out

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Stand with a wider than shoulder width stance with your feet pointed about between 45 and 75 degrees. Don’t go for 90, humans don’t usually bend that way. Keep your back as straight as possible while pushing your butt back behind you as if you’re going to sit in an invisible chair. Get to about a 90 degree angle between your upper and lower legs. Press back up through the heels. I like to have clients squeeze their glutes at the top.

2. Barbell hip lift on a ball

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This glute exercise will create noticeable shape and roundness to the glutes all by itself..
Start holding your padded barbell at arms length with your exercise ball behind you. Sit down on the ball with the barbell on your lap. Lie back on the ball and walk your feet out at the same time until only your upper back is on the ball and the barbell is across your lap.
Lower your hips towards the floor but not so far you slip off the ball. Push your hips back up through your heels. Do about 15-20 of these per set and use as much weight as possible while maintaining control.

3. Glute extension machine

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This exercise works the gluteus maximus and hamstrings.
Not every gym has this machine. Bend over the stomach support and place the working leg or foot in the apparatus. Extend your leg to near straight by originating the movement from the hip and glute. Extend the working leg to near straight and intentionally contract the gluteal muscle.

4. Glute Hyperextention

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This exercise stretches the middle and lower back on the way down and isolates and contracts the lower glutes and upper hamstrings on the way up.
Lean forward on a hyperextension bench, with your ankles under the footpads – not on top! (you’ll flip over then). position yourself Adjust the upper pad if possible so your quadriceps are flat on the pad allowing you to bend at the waist without any restriction.
Cross your arms across your chest, behind your head or just let them hang down. (or you can hold a weight plate for extra resistance in front of you.) Round your back and let your upper body point straight down to the floor to a near dead-hang. Reverse motion by contracting the lower glutes together (squeezing your butt) until you fully contact the buttocks muscle. after a set of 15-20 of these performed correctly, your butt should be on fire.

5. Abduction machine

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The use of this machine is self evident. Use a weight that challenges you to complete your target reps of 15-20 while enabling you a full range of motion. To increase isolation of the glutes you can try leaning forward at the hips, or hover or squat up and down with the rep.

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