PT Monthly Magazine


Reasons it’s good to have a firm and shapely Butt………….

It’s not just about looking like a Kardashian – toning your glutes provides a myriad of health benefits from bone health to back pain

For most women in their 40s and 50s there has been a lifetime of wishing their bottom was smaller. “Does my bum look big in this?” became the butt of a joke for years in the late 1990s. 
Roll forward 20 years and the Kardashian influence has made bigger curves sought after, and what was once despised became adored. It must be frustrating for women who spent their youth chasing a smaller behind, only to realise that trend now demands curves whilst their butt has become a pancake. 
What to do? Well, the great news is that according to the latest research muscle loss is not actually inevitable in midlife and is much more likely to have been caused by, well, being under-active and not kicking your butt. So, there are a few things you should do and some good reasons why you need to do them.

Strong glutes help to strengthen all your muscles

Besides all of the health benefits, straight aesthetic shape gain is a primary goal for working the butt. Muscle requires overload to grow so add weights or bands. Use glute bridges with a weight on your hips, do weighted lunges, and try “donkey kicks” with a band around your knees as examples to add direct loading to the glute muscle. Overload promotes micro-trauma, promotes blood flow to the area, and provides short-term lift and long-term growth in those muscles, giving you shape in your derrière where you want it. You need to do sets that are hard enough to be straining at 12-20 reps and so four to five sets per area, three to four days each week. 

They also bolster bone health

Poor bone health is incredibly common but highly preventable in women in their 40s, 50s and beyond. Hip bone health is particularly important and a high workload in the glute muscles produces the stress needed to create strong bone in that area. This must not be overlooked and is a vital part of your long-term health – one third of people over 50 die within 12 months of a hip fracture. Working the area appropriately will make your bones 12-15 per cent stronger within nine months; that’s not to be sniffed at. 

You’ll burn more calories

The glute is the single biggest muscle in your body and the muscles you work in and around it doing exercises, such as squats, step-ups and lunges which recruit a large number of muscles, will have you burning energy super fast and make becoming leaner significantly easier. One pound of muscle burns around 6-13 calories extra at rest, more when you are moving, so focus on the big muscles to add to your metabolic rate. 

Improve posture: you’ll look taller and younger

Our core is not exclusively our stomach, it extends all around the middle section of our body and includes our glutes. These muscles are key postural muscles and good posture will make you look not just taller, but also younger.  Every move you make will probably integrate your glutes and when they are weak our movement changes, our posture alters, we stoop a little and our walk becomes that of an “older” person. Strong core and glutes keep you upright. 

Prevents back pain

Off the back of the point on posture, it’s worth understanding that the strength of your glutes has a direct impact on the likelihood of suffering back pain. Yes, your flexibility and mobility will also impact back pain for sure but loss of muscle strength in your butt leads to a change in your movement patterns, which can increase wear and tear, eventually leading to back pain.