Make your butt your greatest ass-et with these top tips from previous Fitness Mag cover girls.
In our quest to help you achieve your best bum, we spoke to Fitness cover girls who shared their leg day routines, go-to glute moves and best-kept secrets to help you sculpt a bootylicious butt.
Cover girl, competitive fitness athlete, and mom of two, Meaghan Terzis says: “I believe some people are blessed with good genetics and therefore may not have to do much to create shapely glutes, besides staying lean by watching their diet. As for the rest, hard work and consistency is key to building that butt! However, I absolutely believe that anyone can develop shapely glutes, no matter what you were born with. All it takes is hard work, intelligent training, and consistency.”
In shaping her derriere, Meaghan says she has targeted her glutes with a dedicated session each week for the past seven years. “My glutes didn’t grow overnight. Dedication, the right exercises, and diet consistency have allowed me to get my butt to where it is today.”
During this session, she pairs certain exercises together to deliver the results she’s after. “Most often I pair glutes with hamstrings and superset these two muscle groups. When you superset two exercises that hit the same or connected muscle groups, you’re technically performing a ‘compound set’ which induces a higher level of muscle fatigue because you’re forcing the same muscle to perform more work in less time.”
After a five-minute warm-up and some dynamic stretching, Meaghan performs the following routine:
- Kettlebell swings
- Superset 1 – Single leg deadlift with scissor hip extensions
- Superset 2 – Donkey kickbacks with Swiss-ball curl into hip bridge
- Superset 3 – Hip thrusts
- Superset 4 – Side-lying adduction with side-lying clams
- Finish with 5-15 minutes of step mill intervals.
“I find that pairing these moves and muscle groups together in this way dramatically changes the size and shape of my glutes. The large compound movements focus mainly on the posterior chain, where glutes and hamstrings work together. It can, therefore, be difficult to isolate either your glutes or your hamstrings without activating the other group.”
While this approach works for creating an aesthetically-pleasing bum, Meaghan never loses sight of the importance of strong glutes for functional strength and everyday movement. “My number one priority with training has always been to be fit and healthy. When I feel good and feel strong, I’m a better mother and wife. I also feel like I’m more productive and am able to be a woman of action.”
Meaghan’s top tip for shapely, happy glutes:
“If you work an office job and are sitting for most the day, make a point to get up and walk around and stretch. Always keep moving and engage those glutes as much as you can.”
If you watch weight loss challenges on TV you may have come across the show, Extreme Makeover and Extreme Weight Loss on eTV, which is hosted by international author, transformation specialist, and fitness trainer, Heidi Powell, and her husband, Chris. In the ABC-produced series, Heidi and Chris take overweight participants through a life-changing transformation by educating them on proper nutrition and exercise. They have also appeared on ‘Dr. Oz’. If you see Heidi today, you may be surprised to hear that she once had small and flat buttocks.
“I’ve been obsessed with shedding my pancake booty in favour of bigger and more toned buns! Through months of training, trial and error, and advice from the best coaches in the industry, I’ve put together what I believe is the ultimate butt-building workout,” says Heidi.
Her 11-week programme includes moves like:
- Hip thrust
- Sumo squat
- Rainbow kickback
- Princess lunge
Weeks 1-3 – Do the workout two days a week as follows:
3 sets x 15 reps of each exercise, starting with a lighter weight for set one, increasing weight for each set, if possible. Weight should be heavy enough so the final three reps are very difficult to complete. Rest 90 seconds between each set.
Weeks 4-7 – Progress to three days a week as follows:
3 sets x 12-15 reps of each exercise starting with a lighter weight for the first set and increasing each set as you continue. Weight should once again be heavy enough so the final three reps are difficult to complete. Rest 90 seconds between each set.
Weeks 8-11 – Do the workout three times from weeks eight to eleven:
4 sets x 10 reps. You should now increase your weight to compensate for the lower rep range. Rest for 90 seconds between sets.
For more information on Heidi’s 11-week butt workout, visit heidipowell.net.
Lara Ann Bester
Bikini model and winner of the 2014 USN Face of fitness cover model search competition, Lara Ann Bester, says: “I always break up my leg sessions into two days.”
On day one, her workout focuses on the hamstrings. The routine includes:
- Lying leg curls: 2 sets x 30 reps and 4 sets x 8-10 reps
- Seated leg curls: 2 sets x 15 reps, pausing for 2 seconds and 3 sets x 40 pulses
- Deadlifts: 4 sets x 12 reps
- Single leg deadlifts with a bosu ball: 4 sets x 15 reps per leg
On day two, she focuses on quads:
- Leg extensions: 12 reps and then 10 reps pausing in the middle, then 6 sets x 25 pulses (no rest)
- Leg press: 4 sets x 15 reps and 2 sets x 8 reps (superset with split squats 12 per leg)
- Step ups on a bench: 4 sets x 25 reps per leg
- Crab walks: 25 reps on each side with a barbell
- Leg extension: 5 sets x 8 reps (10 sec rest between sets)
- Walking lunges (no weights): 3 sets of 50 per leg
Needless to say, the bikini model says that she is exhausted after her lower body workout. Your routine doesn’t have to be as tough though. She suggests you implement hip thrusts, lunges, kickbacks and leg presses into your leg day to add some effective glute work. Make sure you contract the glutes throughout the exercise and try to do every repetition slowly so that you can really feel the burn. “Don’t forget to stretch and foam roll your glutes after each session”, she adds.
Lara’s top tip:
“Get a spray tan. It really helps make those muscles pop!’’
WBFF Bikini Diva Pro and cover model, Jenadine Havenga, says: “My leg workout consists of heavy weight training, but not too heavy because posture is important to target and isolate the correct areas.”
Jenadine’s workout normally consists of the leg press, weighted walking lunges uphill and downhill, calve exercises, leg curls and leg extensions. When squatting, Jenadine usually uses a lightweight and then progresses to heavier ones, until failure – when you simply cannot do another rep.
Jenadine uses the following moves, which she recommends you add to your booty workouts:
- Barbell hip thrust
- Bulgarian split squat
- Goblet squat
- Good morning
- Cable quadruped extension
- Single leg hip thrust with pause
“As for cardio, I use the stepper every day for my booty,” says Jenadine.
In terms of diet, Jenadine advises that you get enough protein, good carbs and good fats (such as avocado and nuts), broken up into small meals about fives times a day. She says starving yourself will definitely not give you a great, round bum. “I see a difference in my booty when I cut out carbs – good carbs are good for your booty,” she notes.”I would say not eating enough will give you ‘hanging bum’, or so I’ve noticed.”
Personal trainer and WBFF Pro Diva Bikini athlete, Ashleigh Frost, says: “I believe in sticking to a programme for at least 12 weeks to see results. You cannot expect to get stronger in a squat if you’re not doing it every week.” Ashleigh focuses on a lot of posterior chain work such as jumping sumo squats, hip thrusts, leg curls, stiff leg deadlifts with feet together, and a variety of other squats.
When it comes to tackling cellulite and stretch marks – the scourge of gorgeous glutes – Ashleigh believes that molecules in creams are not small or strong enough to penetrate deep into the fat layers under the skin. She says you should rather focus on your nutrition and training. “The best way to alleviate the look of cellulite is to stay hydrated, stay away from refined sugars as much as possible, and keep alcohol intake to a minimum.”