By Erica Fuerst
Most of us girls are on an endless mission to have a nice round yet tight booty to look good in those scrunch butt bikinis whether it be for stage, beach or pool party. We do every exercise possible to build some density to the glutes but it’s just not good enough.
As I’m sure you already know, the gluteus consists of three muscles...Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Minimus, and Gluteus medius. Gluteus Maximus is the largest of the three and one of the strongest in the human body. So if it’s the largest and mine’s not round enough for me, what exercise can I do to make it bigger and stronger?? One of the best glute exercises you can do to build up the density and tighten your booty is SQUATS!!! Squats are one of the most beneficial exercises you can perform for your overall muscle development.
Not a lot people squat due to the fact that it is a tricky to learn, challenging exercise and can be intimidating. People claim they can’t do squats because it hurts their knees or back. This isn’t from the exercise rather improper form.
You’ve read squatting thickens your waist. I too believed this because that’s what I was told, but I’m learning with age don’t believe everything you’re told. DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! I started to do my research (while finding mixed reviews) but my conclusion is that if you are a heavy powerlifter or not “blocking” your core by properly inhaling through the negative (on the way down) and exhaling on the positive (way up) it might strengthen and thicken your obliques. Especially for us fitness, figure, bikini physiques, I don’t think we are pushing hundreds of pounds to even have to worry too much about this. If you are using perfect form and using your glutes when pushing up and if you are that concerned use a belt when doing your heaviest set. Again we are just looking to build and tighten our tush so focus on that form and you have nothing to worry about.
Make sure you have proper flat shoes on. I’ve learned that wearing my Nike Shox is difficult to train legs in and makes squatting unstable for me.
WARM UP & STRETCH! The squat stretch-go into a wide stance squat, lean forward and put your elbows on the inside of your legs closer to your knees and rest your weight there. Hold for 30 seconds. 5x
Feet should be shoulder width apart with your big toe in line with your heel.
Draw your belly button in.
Focus on something eye level in the mirror and stay on that spot through the entire exercise.
Begin the squat as if you are sitting back into a chair.
Your knee should NEVER go past your toes and should stay in line with your foot.
DO NOT round the spine! Scapular retraction will help prevent rounding the back.
The torso will lean forward from the flexion of your hip joint and NOT from bending at your low back.
Beginners lowest point in squat should be quads parallel to floor (if advanced with squats and maintaining perfect form, go lower than parallel to target the glutes the best).
As you press back up, the weight should be in your heels (I curl my toes to ensure I drive up through my heels) and drive hips up. And now you have successfully performed a proper squat. I recommend before adding weights, squat with a partner or record yourself, so that you get a feel for the form and position. This will help prevent injuries and eliminate the possibility of training yourself to squat improperly.
I highly suggest that you start a squat with a chair or bench behind you. Next squat down to the chair without letting your butt touch, then push up. Now you are ready to progress to a stability ball squat. Place the ball against a wall and back up to it at hip/low back height. Your feet should be 8” in front of you.
My knees are coming forward? The movement should come more from your hips. Your hips should go BACK when you are squatting down (remember squatting into chair). When you are coming up, the hips should come up, NOT FORWARD!
My heels come off the floor? This puts a lot of stress on your knees and impairs stability. Again curl your toes so your weight is in the heels. Also try putting a small 5-10lbs plate under your toes so your body can feel (although exaggerated) where your weight is supposed to be.
Now that you have adapted to this and it becomes easy to you, go down lower on the negative without sacrificing your form. Begin to squat using the squat rack where you can move some weight! The bar should be setup at chest height when racked, and sit on your traps while performing the exercise.
Vary up your squats
Single Leg Squat
Now that you can properly squat, take note of how you will transform your nice round firm glutes and be the envy of every girl…and guy. Kim Kardashian won’t have a leg to stand on next to you and yours will be tight! Good luck and be safe!