What a wonderful learning experience we all enjoyed the other night. As Miley Cryus strutted her stuff across stage at the VMA’s, we were all spontaneously given a sobering glimpse of what life could easily be like for any one of us – a life of pancakes in your pants, of something 90-year-old women could look down upon, a life of….Miley Cyrus butt.
Yes, at no other point in modern history has there been a butt that has achieved the shock effect that Miley Cyrus’ butt achieved the other night. In all of its soft, squishy, jell-o-y glory, Miley’s butt showed us all the dangers of neglecting your fanny. In an effort to erase those ghastly images from your head, and calm your worries about one day owning a pair of Miley pancakes yourself, I put together this definitive list of the things you need to be doing to prevent your own personal lower body train wreck.
If biting of all of this at once seems a bit much, take on what you can. Slowly incorporate all of the following points into your life, and over time, you’ll see just how much your butt and lower body improves.
1. Squats. You think I’m kidding when I tell you squats need to be a vital part of your exercise routine? I don’t care if they’re barbell squats, smith machine squats, dumbbell squats, or a whole lot of body weight squats in your living room – the act of squatting is one of the best things you can do for your lower body, and hopefully NOW you’ve seen the ugly realities of what happens when you DON’T squat it out.
2. Squat….Differently. There are dozens of different types of squats out there, but some are just a cut above the rest. It’s time you not only did your squats, but you started mixing in a variation of squats into your routine. As you FitPlanner’s know all too well, there is no shortage of squats we can throw at you – if you’re doing things on your own, aim for Bulgarian squats to really target the hamstrings, close-footed squats to really hit the quads, and butt-to-floor squats to really kill your booty.
3. Eat. I’m willing to bet Miley is most likely on the cigarette and coffee diet. That skimpy, under-fed frame is not the result of a healthy diet – there’s just no way possible. As a result, she’s losing muscle tone in her butt, amongst other places. When you lose that muscle tone, nature speeds up its process, and things begin to drop. The problem so many people, but women in particular, face, is simply not consuming enough calories and/or protein to sustain or promote muscle growth. Muscle doesn’t grow out of thin air – all the squats in the world isn’t going to do much if your body can’t build new muscle tissue. You want a tight, round, and glorious butt? Eat as well as you’re working out.
4. More isn’t always better. This is especially true when talking about cardio. We all know cardio burns calories, right? Well, we you’re burning more calories than you’re taking in, your body isn’t able to build new muscle tissue (this point goes hand-in-hand with the one previous). Instead of obsessing about what the scale says, shift your focus to simply improving your physique. The scale is just a number that doesn’t indicate your muscle mass, body fat percentage, measurements, or self-worth. It’s the most overrated stat in all of fitness and it’s time you stop the endless cardio trying to lower that silly little number. Too much cardio is going to eat away at your valuable muscle tissue, leaving you with soft, loose, grandma body.
5. JUMP! Or in other words, do plyo. By combining plyometric training with your compound lower body lifts, you’re going to speed up your overall progress. In a 2005 study, exercise scientists looked at the effects of a strictly plyo fitness program, strictly weights, and a combination approach – perhaps surprisingly, the combination of plyometrics and weights resulted in FAR better gains than either of the other options. Exercises like weighted speed skaters, squat jumps, ground runners, and long jumps will prove especially effective in helping you build a nice, lean, and toned butt.
6. Sprint! You’ve heard it before, but apparently Miley never has – doing HIIT training, and/or sprint training, is going to really help you build explosively lean muscle in your lower body. Not only that, it’s going to give you a great calorie burn, in less time, thus sacrificing your hard-fought muscle gains and targeting your soft spots where you need it most. Depending on your specific goals, a couple of HIIT cardio sessions, plus an additional short sprint workout each week, could be just what you need to jump start that booty into growing, while tightening up your entire body from head to toe.
7. Full Range of Motion. It seems so simple, but for one reason or another, this is where so many people go wrong. Using a full range of motion on your exercises (this means 90 degrees on your squats for those of you with healthy joints) is going to bring on a world of soreness, and progress, like you’ve never seen before. Maybe you have to lift lighter weight or do fewer reps, but don’t let yourself get sucked into the mentality that more weight/reps is better – great form always wins. With great form, you’ll experience better, faster results and have more effective workouts. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and really practice good body awareness by keeping all parts of your body in proper alignment and always perform complete repetitions.
The key to a good butt that doesn’t have the potential to shock the world in the worst way imaginable is all about following these seven points. None of this stuff is hard – it’s all easy to follow advice that has been proven effective time and time again. Eat a healthy diet, get enough protein, sprint, cut back on the cardio, and perform a wide range of squats and plyometric exercises, always using great form. Simple as that. You do those things and you’ll have the butt and lower body you’ve always wanted.
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