How to Get a Tight Butt

Posted by FiscusFitness, LLC on January 9, 2017

"How do I tighten, firm, strengthen my butt/glutes?" Trainers get variations of this question all the time, and I don't see a thorough answer online yet (beyond the obvious, "Do Squats," "Do Lunges," etc.). So, here are my top 5 simple tips guaranteed to help:

TIP 1. Practice “Glute Squatting”

You don't need a gym for this one just a sturdy chair.  You are going to actually squat down in the chair, so your butt touches and then come right back up to standing.  You want your legs wider than shoulder width apart, toes and knees facing outward. Sit your butt way back so all your weight is on your heels. You want your knees to be over your ankles, not the balls of your feet. An analogy that never fails for women, as graphic as it may be, is to pretend you are in a public restroom and have to pee, but don't want to touch the seat.

Here are 2 pictures of squats. The first is a standard squat that works the thighs and glutes pretty evenly. The second is a more glute-centric squat. Notice her hips are back more and her back, though straight, is angled more forward than the first. That’s the squat you want to practice if your butt/glutes are your first priority.



TIP 2.  Take Your Squat Skills to the Gym 

Once you have the squat down, go to the gym and practice doing it with a bench.  Find one that is in an upright position (so it looks like a chair).  Grab two dumbbells (start light and move up as you get comfortable) on either side of your body. As you come up, push out through your heels. And at the top, lock your hips and squeeze your butt. It’s okay if your toes come off the ground, but eventually you want a completely flat foot on the ground and you should master this before moving on.  You should feel the contraction up your hamstrings and finally your butt as you do that. If you feel that contraction as you come up, you know you are targeting the right muscles.  If you don't feel it, sit back farther and push through your heels even more.

TIP 3. Make Friends with the Squat Rack

There are two kinds of equipment to do squats on: the power rack and the smith machine. The smith already has the bar attached. It allows you to keep good form because it gives you something to lean against and keeps you in the right range of motion as you move up and down. The squat rack looks like an empty box with a bar you have to rack up yourself.  Start with the smith machine. The bar itself weighs about 15 pounds, depending on the manufacturer.  Practice doing squats with that.  Make sure you stay light to protect your back. You will be in front of the bar.... letting it rest between your mid shoulder blades and back of your neck.  Your hands will be up under the bar...almost like the beginning of a shoulder press.  Or if you aren't sure what a shoulder press is like, imagine you are about to lift a box from your chest level to up high with your hands underneath it, palms up.   Un-rack the bar and sit back, just like the body weight squat.  It is going to be weird and will take some practice.  Do not go deep at first just worry about the motion.

TIP 4. Squat Without Assistance 

Once you can do 10 smith squats with a total of 45lbs on your back, you are ready for the power rack.  The bar itself weights 45 lbs.  So, start with that.  You get in the same position.... but this time... you don't have assistance.  You are going to be using more of your accessory muscles and have to stabilize the bar on your back without the assistance of the machine.  For this reason, make sure the safety catches are up, so you can drop the bar if you need to.  When you squat with this bar, start with very small movements until you get used to stabilizing that bar.  Slowly add weight after you can do 10 reps of 45 lbs.  There are plates you can use that range from 2.5lbs to 45lbs.  

TIP 5. Do Squatting Accessories

Because squatting uses the posterior chain (calves, hamstring, erector spinae, and back muscles).... it's REALLY important that while you practice squats you are strengthening that area.   The more you strengthen everything else, the better your form will be, the deeper you will be able to go, and heavier weight you will be able to handle.  Let's say you have three days to workout.  You can do the posterior chain on Monday. Make sure to do lower back and hamstring exercises; don't forget your upper back strong with lateral pulls and rows.  On Wednesday, you can do upper push muscles which include your chest, shoulders, triceps, and abs.  Then on Friday do legs and anything else you want to get in, like biceps.  Your leg day focus should be on squats and deadlifts: just really big movements.  You can do biceps (and maybe abs) in between, while your legs take a rest from each set.  

Also remember that diet plays a big role in the look and shape of your glutes. So, if that’s your goal, make sure you focus on diet. After all, what good is a great pair of glutes if they’re covered in a layer of fat?

Questions or comments?  We would also love to hear from you!