Featured Image: Ladies of Seattle Mist - Legends Football League
(dress that booty here)
Have you noticed that the derriere is having an extraordinary moment? Our collective booty obsession, in fact, is the new normal. And the coveted ass is more celebrated now than ever and our infatuation with it is still evolving.
When did all the enthusiasm begin? In the 1960s, the fashion trend, hot pants, the shortest of all shorts, clearly contributed to our admiration of the derriere and begged our attention turn to the body part that had in the past been largely ignored. Fashion dictated what was desirable - a thin and lithe body with a tiny tush. This was the ideal body type of the time and it was splashed across the covers of every high end fashion rag. My how things change.
In 1976 KC and The Sunshine Band commenced sensationalizing the booty in their catchy little tune called “Shake Your Booty.” The song was captivating and very popular - and quickly became a Top 40 song and just like that, the celebration continued. The booty instantly became part of our culture and bum patrol was born. The 1990s further promoted our obsession when a very tiny piece of lingerie, the thong, made its mainstream debut with stars like Britney Spears who shocked the world as she frolicked on stage. (Rihanna and Miley Cyrus were not that far behind). And the gluteus maximus mania marched on. However, our most modern and pop culture obsession with it was inspired by the renowned bootylicious larger celeb tushies of Hollywood and one in particular actually launched her entire career because of it. You know who you are, Kim Kardashian. Other booty A-listers, Nicki Minaj, and the original booty celeb Jennifer Lopez solidified the coming out party. Ms. Lopez’s rear end, in fact, was so special that she was obliged to insure it for millions! Crazy, right? And yet there are future booty stars on the rise that you should know about. Does Jen Selter’s name ring a bell? If not, then listen up. This social media celebrity goddess who has eight million Instagram followers has, in fact, earned herself some serious butt recognition - her ass has been touted as the penultimate of all asses.
So now suddenly we have a measurable tushy economy that is dedicated to exploiting the regaled rear end and booty “experts” have popped up everywhere. There are exercise programs, systems, machines, gyms, trainers, food, and supplements dedicated to enhancing and strengthening the gluteus maximus. The fashion industry has exploded with its many options to dress your junk in the trunk - including a plethora of gorgeous yoga pants which have become a fashion staple - you can either hide it or enhance it. And if neither design nor hocus pocus can satisfy your desire, there is always pricey buttocks implant surgery which, by the way, happens to be on the rise in the U.S. So for those who want to achieve a curvier derriere now, going under the knife is an option. But, I’ve got some good news for you and probably a more sensible alternative…. If you are patient and willing to work hard, exciting results are still in your future.
Ok, so what’s a girl to do? The answer, my friends, is in a well-known exercise called “the squat.” Here to tell you all about it is trainer and powerlifting expert, Mike Sarni of Strength Design. www.strengthdesign.org.
Whether you are on a mission to build your booty, just starting to research workout programs or you are an elite lifter the one exercise you will continue to hear about is the barbell squat. The Squat is the best exercise in the gym, especially if you are looking to add size to the glutes. It’s not a complex exercise and seems fairly straight forward but paying attention to some of the details will aid to getting the full benefit of the movement.
Let’s start with bar placement on your back. You may have heard of people speaking about low bar or high bar squats. Pros and cons can be discussed for either however I usually base my decision, on the individual, on whatever feels most comfortable and safe.
When putting the bar on your back you should try to pull your shoulder blades back and together, flexing the upper back. I like to refer to this as creating a shelf for the bar to sit. Your hand placement should be comfortable but close to your shoulders, this helps to keep you shoulders back and your chest up.
Once you have established a shelf for the bar to sit we can begin the setup of your stance. Finding a perfect stance should be fairly easy, it should be comfortable. If you are a (brachiomorph) someone that has shorter legs and longer torso you may want a narrower stance. If you are a (dolicomorph) someone that has longer legs and shorter torso you may choose a wider stance.
I normally suggest that you turn your toes slightly outward, this allows for a little more hip mobility, helps to fire the hamstring and glute muscles and makes balancing much easier. The stance must allow for you to squat low enough that the crease at your hip is below the top of the knee cap (below parallel).
No matter if it is a front squat, high bar squat or low bar squat establishing the bar path while squatting (as seen with the dotted lines in the diagram) there should be in a straight line from the bar on your back to your mid foot.
Great posture during the squat is extremely important. Keeping the chest up and lower back tight is going to help you keep your form together and your back arched. This also will help prevent injury to your back. Keeping core tight throughout the lift is best achieved by taking in a big breath before squatting, holding it in on the way down and exhaling on the way up. Bracing your abs and obliques (abdominal bracing) is the same as you would do if you were protecting yourself while someone was punching you in the gut. Taking in and holding a big breath prior to squatting increases your intra-abdominal pressure (IAP). This aids in spine stabilization and eventually allows to handle more weight while squatting.
Now that we have gone over setup, bar placement, foot placement, bar path and the significance of being tight throughout the movement let’s talk about what 90% of people, who already are squatting, are doing wrong, I can’t tell you how many people tell me that they squat and their glutes never grow just their legs get bigger. This is usually because people are doing a few things wrong. They are not sitting back. When squatting the first movement should be to sit back and down. Sitting back will help to activate the glutes and not allow the quadriceps to handle the majority of the movement. Depth of the squat also plays a big role in glute activation. During a quarter squat or half squat you could easily use 70% to 90% all quadricep. A full squat to parallel or below parallel you have a better chance of activating 50% to 65% glutes. Another key to hip and glute activation is proper knee alignment. Often hearing people say push your knees out, instead think of your knees pointing in the same direction as your toes. This is keeping the femur, knee and ankle in proper alignment while flexing the thigh abductors.
Just like in anything you do, practice makes perfect. Your form and technique will continue to evolve and get better. You will also continue to get stronger as long you continue to push yourself past your comfort zone. Be prepared to continue to add more weight to the bar as your strength increases. Increased weight on the bar means you are getting stronger and if you have been following along that means you have learned to activate your glutes. If you are stronger in the squat, your glutes have been activating, then there is a great probability that your glutes ( booty ) is bigger. Mission is complete.
Here are some cool links to browse:
Tattoos Without the Ink.
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