Almost everyone wants to have firmer and more toned buttocks. Firming this region will make clothes fit their best and it will allow you to get back into those tight jeans. While some many consider surgery, this is not the best approach to a firmer butt because even the best plastic surgeons cannot really firm and shape the buttocks. Sure, they can lift the buttocks, reduce, or even enhance its size, but the best firming and shaping of the muscles that truly give shape to the buttocks must be done by exercise.
If you are someone with very little gluteal muscle and shape, you might have been toying with the idea of having surgical implants to enhance the appearance, size, and firmness of gluteal muscles in the buttocks area. But why go to the expense and the pain of recovery, when exercise and diet can achieve the same “look” and add more body curvature and firmness to those areas where they previously were deficient or shapeless?
The importance and effectiveness of gluteal exercise is well recognized by the home fitness industry, and this accounts for the multiple infomercials targeting the hips and buttocks. Why is the buttocks region so problematic? Well, of course, it’s a great place to store extra calories (fat), but often our society’s generally inactive lifestyles (a lot of sitting on the buttocks during the day) contribute to less-than-optimal activation of this very large muscle group. To firm the buttocks, one needs direct activation of the gluteal muscle group. The best activation exercises include some type of hip extension.
Exercises such as prone leg raises will tone the buttocks region, but these can be hard on the lower back. In addition, the resistance used is usually quite low and thus not adequate to quickly firm the gluteal muscles. The butt blaster is a wonderful exercise for toning and firming the gluteal muscles. It’s best to combine this exercise with a good diet and cardio (particularly treadmill and stair climbing or stepper work). It is not the best exercise for increasing the size of your buttocks unless you can lift superhuman loads.
Muscle Form and Function
The buttock or gluteal prominence is located on either side, and on the posterior portion, of the hip bones. The well-known gluteus maximus enjoys most of the fame because of its superficial location. However, other muscles also have important roles to play at the hip that are activated by the butt blaster.
The gluteus maximus is the largest and thickest of all the hip muscles. Its muscle fibers attach on the crest of the ilium, a major hip bone, the posterior surface of the sacrum and fascia of the lumbar area. It inserts on the posterior part of the femur bone of the thigh at a section referred to as the gluteal line. It also inserts on the iliotibial band of the facia lata, which is a tough band of connective tissue running from the hip down the lateral side of the thigh to the knee. The gluteus maximus extends the thigh (pushes the thigh backward). When the thigh is fixed (e.g., your lower legs are firmly planted on the floor) and the hip joint is free to move, the gluteus maximus muscle extends the lower back. The gluteus maximus is active when movement between the pelvis and femur goes beyond 15 degrees of extension. It is not used extensively in ordinary walking, but it is used strongly when powerful hip extensions are required (e.g., sprinting, squatting).
The gluteus medius is a fan-shaped muscle that’s deep to the gluteus maximus. It’s attached to the outer surface of the ilium bone of the hip and inserts on the posterior and middle surface near the head of the femur bone. This muscle abducts the femur at the hip joint (moves the femur laterally, away from the midline of the body). It also laterally rotates the hip during abduction (by moving the lateral part of the thigh toward the middle of the body). The gluteus medius has an important function in maintaining balance during walking.
As its name would imply, the gluteus minimus is the smallest of the gluteal muscles and it’s the deepest. It begins on the outer surface of the ilium bone below the origin of the gluteus medius. It anchors on the posterior and middle surfaces of the head region of the femur bone. It abducts the femur on the pelvis and rotates the femur medially.
Although you might not think of the hamstrings as having much to do with the buttocks, they provide part of the shape that accentuates a firm buttock. The butt blaster will activate both the posterior thigh and the gluteal muscles. The hamstring muscles consist of the long head of the biceps femoris, semimembranosus and semitendinosus muscles. The biceps femoris muscle has two (“bi”) heads on the posterior thigh (“femoris”; the femur is the thigh bone). The long head attaches to the ischial tuberosity. The ischial tuberosities are the bony parts you sit on when you’re in a chair. The fibers of the short head begin on the lower one-third of the femur bone just above the knee and because they do not attach to the ischial tuberosity, the short head is not considered a “hamstring” muscle. Both heads of the muscle fuse into a thick tendon, which crosses the lateral side of the knee joint to attach to the fibula bone (and some ligaments) on the knee.
The semitendinosus muscle is part (“semi”) tendon (“tendinous”) and part muscle. The muscle fibers of the semitendinosus muscles attach to the ischial tuberosity and insert into a cord-like tendon about two-thirds of the way down the posterior thigh. The semitendinosus crosses the knee joint posteriorly to attach to the medial side of the superior part of the tibia (the large medial bone of the leg). The semimembranosus muscle is partly (“semi”) membrane (“membranous”) and partly muscle. It begins on the ischial tuberosity of the hip, and attaches to the posterior part of the medial condyle of the tibia just below the knee joint. The biceps femoris, semitendinosus and semimembranosus muscles flex the knee. However, all these hamstring muscles help to extend the thigh at the hip joint, and this is the primary action involved in the butt buster.
1. Adjust the chest/abdominal board of the butt buster bench so that when you are lying (face down) on it, your elbows are bent to 90 degrees and the weight of your upper body is distributed across your forearms. Your pelvis and hips should not contact the board.
2. Position the kneeboard so you begin by kneeling on it with your right leg. Your left knee should be flexed, and your left foot planted firmly on the footplate.
3. Press backward and upward with your left leg (thigh extension). As you do this, your knee will be slightly extended. However, the majority of the movement should be at the left hip.
4. Continue pushing upward, until the left thigh is parallel to the floor and your thigh makes a straight line with your torso.
5. Hold the top position for three seconds, then slowly flex your hip and lower your left leg, so it moves back to the starting position.
6. Do not stop, but immediately proceed to push backward with the left leg. Complete 15 repetitions with the left leg before taking a short break. Adjust the kneepad so you can support your body with your left knee, then complete your next set with the right leg.
You do not need lift heavy weights unless you are after larger buttocks and enhanced muscle thickness. If, instead, you want to tone, firm, and reduce the size of your buttocks, a medium weight for a minimum of 15 repetitions on each leg will work great. You can work up to three sets on each leg, but you should not need more than that. Add more resistance when the 15 repetitions become easy.
Remember that training the buttocks is only one part of your overall training program. Simply put, do not neglect your thighs, upper body, and cardio. On the other hand, without some direct gluteal work, such as the butt blaster, you will not see adequate reshaping and tightening of the buttocks, because cardio alone does not stress the buttocks sufficiently to see marked improvement in muscle shape and firmness. (Still, cardio is needed to reduce body fat over your buttocks).
You may feel like you have gone through a “butt-kicking” workout after a few sets of butt blasters. Nevertheless, this extra effort will pay off. You will certainly see and feel the difference in the slimmer, firmer, and shapelier butt.
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Peace and happiness can be difficult to catch. Finding the right balance that lets us get to all of the different goals that we have in place is not always as easy as we would like.
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