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The solution for a flat bottom

Die Lösung für einen flachen Po

Here's a quick summary:

  1. Big strong glutes are what most women want. But for women, heavy leg training doesn't automatically lead to a better developed butt.
  2. If your quadriceps are huge but your butt is flat, then you should dedicate one training day a week to your glutes.
  3. A "butt day" will not only improve your glutes, but will also improve your overall appearance, as well as your performance on heavy basic exercises.

The rise of a powerful female body

There is an uprising happening right now. Women are rebelling against the fashion magazines. "Scrawny" is no longer the goal - especially when it is associated with a weak, sick and fragile appearance. Thigh gaps and a barely there bottom? No thanks.

What modern female exercisers strive for are stronger, better developed glutes and muscular legs. But there is a problem.

Heavy leg training does not automatically lead to better glutes. For many women, performing the ever-popular multi-joint exercises (squats, deadlifts, lunges) only leads to more muscular legs, as they train the quadriceps, lower back and hamstrings without doing much for the glutes. The gluteus-leg ratio of these women is disproportionate because their quadriceps take over and hypertrophy through their lower body training. It's not muscular legs, but under-trained glutes that are the real problem.

We have learned this lesson. Some people can use excellent form and a lot of weight on squats, lunges and deadlifts without their glutes being maximally involved in these exercises the way they are with other exercises that receive less attention. Even the most disciplined strength athletes can give their all on the squat rack and still fail to maximally activate their glutes. As a result, they will continue to build up their legs while their glutes remain soft and thin. How can this happen?

When squats don't hit the spot

All the catchy motivational slogans about the so-called squat butt are misleading in a way. Why? Because our bodies - anatomically and biomechanically - are different. And these differences cause us to rely on different muscle groups - even when we use excellent exercise execution form.

Some women simply can't build an impressive squat butt. Instead, they build up their thighs. You could be one of these women if you...

  1. have the predisposition to build big thighs.
  2. don't feel much activation in your glutes during your lower body workouts.
  3. wonder why your butt looks flat despite all the squats and deadlifts.

This combination of under-trained glutes and very well-toned legs is common among women.

The butt to leg ratio: what you shouldn't do

I am a "quadzilla". In the past, this has bothered me. Back then, I thought muscular legs weren't attractive. But I learned an important lesson. To reduce the size of my muscular legs, I replaced my lower body training with weights with long-distance running. After a year, running took its toll, muscle loss and a couple of debilitating injuries brought me back to iron. I learned to like the muscular quadriceps that came with it, but my glutes were still lagging behind in their development.

Then when I signed up for a figure class competition, my coach made me stop lower body training completely because my legs were too muscular. So my legs had gone from big to small to big and everything in between. And even though my butt hadn't changed significantly, the experience taught me that thinner legs don't necessarily mean toned legs. Thinner legs can be flabby and prone to injury. Thin can still be flabby.

By going back and forth, I found my ideal point and this wasn't about making my legs shrink. It was more about balancing them out with a better butt. The solution wasn't to atrophy my large, metabolically costly quadriceps and leg flexors. The solution was to get my glutes to grow.

How to prevent a pancake butt

So if you're prone to building more muscular legs, the answer isn't to stop doing lower body workouts, or to only train with little pink lady dumbbells. The answer is to aggressively train your glutes. A butt day is in order: a glute-specific workout where your hamstrings and quadriceps are nowhere near as challenged as your glutes. Prioritize your glutes. As a result, they will grow - and getting them to grow will improve the look of your whole body - not just the part below the belt.

A plea for a butt day

People who train for aesthetic reasons usually focus on one or two muscle groups during a training session, but why aren't the glutes one of those muscle groups? Well-developed glutes are crucial for competitive athletes and they look phenomenal on non-competitive athletes too. Is it because the glutes are often difficult to isolate? Well, think about this: the lateral shoulder muscles are trained on shoulder day and the posterior shoulder muscles are trained on back day and yet many bodybuilders have a separate shoulder muscle day. Last time I checked, the glutes were bigger than the shoulders. This is another reason to train the glutes on their own - even if you will inevitably train other muscle groups as part of the process. You might be thinking, "Why should I isolate the glutes when I'll get more back metabolically from my workout if I train the entire lower body?"

Three reasons:

  1. If you train with weights 5 to 6 days a week, then a butt day is worth the investment because it will help activate your glutes when you train your entire lower body with multi-joint exercises.
  2. The larger the muscle group you train, the more challenging the training session will be. The muscles of your glutes are large and if your glutes are dormant, you're wasting a lot of time doing exercises that could be more effective if they worked your glutes as well.
  3. Your glutes are central to your overall appearance - quite literally. A butt day will help eliminate your gluteal fold by lifting your glutes.

If you're a figure class athlete, remember that glute development is often the difference between winning and losing in bikini and figure class competitions. The judges will notice a gluteal fold that looks like a double chin. Diet is part of this, but you'll also need dedicated glute training to bring home the win.


A glute day is not for every woman

If you're a beginner or your training with weights is limited to three days a week, then spending time in the gym on a glute-specific training day isn't ideal. You'll achieve more with full body workouts that challenge multiple muscle groups. Even if you are a competitive level strength and power athlete, a butt day may not be a good investment. However, you should remember that even male powerlifters use glute-specific exercises if their glutes are the weak link in the chain.

7 tips and techniques for building your glutes

1 - Make your butt day instinctive

The goal is to maximize your glutes - not your entire lower body. So if you're doing a glute-intensive exercise, pumping a ton of blood to that area, and then can no longer build a mind-muscle connection with your glutes, then stop the workout or move on to a finishing exercise, HIIT or ab workout.

If you were to continue training your lower body in this situation, then you would simply go through the motions of your leg exercises and rely on your quadriceps or hamstrings.

2 - Feeling the muscles working is key

Start your butt day with several sets of hip thrusts (back on bench) or glute bridges (performed without a bench). Pause at the highest point of the movement until you feel a very strong contraction in your glutes. Play with the speed. A slow eccentric movement (negative repetition) can help you to feel your muscles working. Foot placement plays a role, so adjust the position of your feet until you feel your muscles at their best. Make sure no repetition is wasted. Your goal is to pump blood into your butt so that it feels numb, tight and pumped up after the workout. If you feel the tension primarily in your hamstrings, then adjust your form.

3 - Pretend the numbers don't matter

The purpose of your butt day is not to set personal bests. Think of butt day as bodybuilding - not powerlifting. Remember that hypertrophy training is about feeling your muscles work - not about moving a certain weight from point A to point B. Control the weight. Try to feel every second you spend with your hips under the bar. The weight on the bar is only there to make the work harder. It's not there to show off.

4 - Pretend the volume doesn't matter

Women tend to think that if you don't have 15 exercises on your agenda, you won't accomplish anything. Forget that attitude. Effective workouts don't mean breathlessly moving from one exercise to the next. When it comes to the glutes, simple workouts can work wonders. One or two extremely effective glute exercises might be all you need.

Note: If your glutes aren't numb and tight after the first exercise and you can still build a good mind-muscle connection with them, then do a few more glute-specific exercises. But if you've worked your glutes so hard during the first exercise that they'll be useless for all other exercises, then stop there. An effective glute-focused workout can be as short as 15 to 20 minutes and consist of just one killer exercise.

5 - Recruit your glutes first on leg day

On your other lower body day (the leg-focused day), start with something glute-intensive. Bodybuilders often use this technique when they are trying to build a specific muscle group. They train what they want to build the most first. However, don't try to completely destroy your glutes - just pump some blood into those muscles. Remind your body how it feels to activate these muscles before you start the other multi-joint exercises.

6 - Control your gluteal fold

You'll be surprised how quickly the shape of your glutes and the area directly underneath will change. By building up your gluteal muscles, this area will be better supplied with blood, making fat mobilization possible. Your trainer has probably told you that targeted fat loss in a specific area is a myth, right? Well, it won't seem that way if you learn to activate your glutes and really challenge them on butt day.

7 - Throw away your scales

If you're trying to change the shape of your body by building muscle in key areas, then mirrors, pictures and trainers are far better than scales when it comes to measuring your progress. You're trying to build your butt - not lose it.

Butt Day Basics

Hip thrusts ( and/or glute bridges

Perform 4 to 8 sets of 6 to 20 repetitions. Start with a lighter, more manageable weight and then increase as you decrease reps if necessary. Move your brain to your butt. Spend some time doing these exercises. Don't think about what other exercises you will do afterwards. Getting the most out of your first glute exercises may leave you unable to do more afterwards.

Play with your set and repetition scheme to find out what works best to activate your glutes. You could start with a lighter weight with 10 to 15 reps and then reduce the reps as you increase the weight. Or you could do 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions. This is your opportunity to really feel the activation of your glutes and feel the burn in those muscles Light sets and bodyweight only sets are not a waste of time. You can use these to warm up and then move on to heavier stuff.

Butt day options

Skip these if your glutes already feel tight and pumped up after performing the essential exercises.

  • Butt blaster machine ( - or any other glute-focused exercise
  • Deadlift - any version that increases the time under tension on your glutes
  • Hyperextensions
  • Cable Pull Through (

Butt Day HIIT Options

  • Kettlebell swings
  • Stepper
  • Working with the weight sled
  • Sprints

Perform these exercises depending on what your overall goal is. A short HIIT training session can easily be done at the end of the butt day.

Organize your week

There should be two or three non lower body days between your butt day and your leg day.

For example, my butt day is Tuesday and my leg day is Friday. Here's a rough example of what my training looks like:

  • Monday: HIIT
  • Tuesday: butt day
  • Wednesday: Chest, shoulders (light)
  • Thursday: Back HIIT
  • Friday: legs
  • Saturday: Shoulders (heavy)
  • Sunday: back

If I need a training-free day, I go for a walk instead of following the plan. I don't plan my training-free days, but take them spontaneously when I feel I need them.

The benefits of a butt day last all week long. And nothing says "she's working out" like a well-toned butt.

By Dani Shugart


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