Health & Fitness
Dec 14, 2015

How to get your best butt ever in 2016

By: Carli Whitwell

Author: Elle Canada

Health & Fitness
Dec 14, 2015

How to get your best butt ever in 2016

By: Carli Whitwell

When Amy Schumer wound us up about our obsession with oversized tushes in the 2015 parody track “Milk Milk Lemonade,” she wasn’t (entirely) kidding. Last year in Canada, Google searches that included the word “butt” (and similar descriptors) outpaced those of 2004 by 89 percent.

Along with #belfie (butt selfie), #sidebutt and #underbutt are the newest hashtags to go along with showing off your sculpted rear — that rear you probably achieved in your gym’s glute-specific workout class (or from which you smoothed away some cellulite in a bum facial at the spa). And let’s be real: Can you remember the last time you saw a pop star perform in anything but a derrière-emphasizing bodysuit?

READ MORE: Why your 20s is the best time to commit to a fitness routine


Experts agree that we can thank Jennifer Lopez for this rise in fascination with the behind. Research shows that the more media you take in, the more likely you are to want to emulate that “I haven’t eaten carbs in years” beauty standard. So when Lopez wore THAT Versace dress to the 2000 Grammys, the masses—who were used to the ’90s reign of the waif—had a new, curvier muse. Fifteen years later, such inspo is everywhere: See Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj et al.

Of course, celebrating our rear ends isn’t entirely new­­—just ask rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot. Many cultures have long bowed down to the fuller figure, crowning a big booty as the ultim­ate in femininity. “In black and Hispanic cultures, having a tiny waist, large hips and a large butt is seen as attractive,” says Dionne Stephens, an associate professor of psychology at Florida International University who specializes in sex in pop culture. “But it was really framed [by society] as highly sexualized and problematic. JLo was the first to make it okay.”

READ MORE: 8 Instagram accounts that inspire us to eat better


Personal trainer Lyzabeth Lopez can relate. Lopez, who is part Latino, used to go hungry in order to get lean. “Before, there was this one ideal,” she says. Now, she teaches women how to make the most of their figures. Stephens agrees that pop culture’s acceptance of a hyper-curvy bottom has helped us feel better about this part of our bodies. “But until we start accepting different sizes and being realistic with proportions,” she says – for example, someone with a bigger bum may be bigger all over and that’s okay – “we haven’t hit a place of acceptability.” The first step: loving every part of our bodies — no ifs, ands or butts.

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How to build your best butt no matter what your shape

How to build your best butt: If you’re pear shaped

Hit the gym on the reg, but skip the squats. Even though these are good for building glute muscles, they also target the quads. And that’s a no-no for pear-shaped girls. “If thick thighs are in your genes and then you add muscle all over the thigh, you’re going to make them bigger,” says Lyzabeth Lopez, creator of the Hourglass Workout.   READ MORE: 10 celebrities who are giving us major fitspo

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

How to build your best butt no matter what your shape

How to build your best butt: If you don’t have a bum

Try a booty-building workout class, such as the Best Butt Ever class at Equinox in Toronto, which includes both strength training and plyometrics. The latter is a must for a firm posterior. “It raises the heart rate and helps burn fat, which will enable you to see the beautiful muscles you have been working,” says area group fitness manager Mark Hendricks.   READ MORE: 12 immune-boosting superfoods you need to add to your diet this winter

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

How to build your best butt no matter what your shape

How to build your best butt: If you want to make it bigger Part 1

You’ll need to put the time in. It can take an athlete up to a year to put on 10 to 20 pounds of muscle. Beginners should consider hiring a trainer for five sessions to craft a sculpting strategy that works with their shape. “A trainer will ensure that you’re spending your time the best you possibly can, activating the muscles, doing the [amount of] weights that are going to make a difference and having the nutrition that’s going to maintain it,” says Lopez. Hold a weight in each hand while doing any lower-body exercise. Start with five- to eight-pound dumbbells and work up to 20 to 30 pounds.   READ MORE: Fat water is now a thing

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

How to build your best butt no matter what your shape

How to build your best butt: If you want to make it bigger Part 2

A beautiful bottom is not built on lunges alone. As part of a balanced diet, you’ll need a healthy dose of protein. When you lift weights, you’re creating tiny tears in the muscle fibres; protein helps to repair them. Try 0.8 to 1 gram of protein a day per pound of body weight. (One chicken breast has about 30 grams of protein.)   READ MORE: Can your daily coffee hit save your life?

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

How to build your best butt no matter what your shape

How to build your best butt: If you’re super lazy…

Is your idea of exercise scrolling through the Insta feeds of your fave trainers? We feel you. But if you want less junk in your trunk, watch what you eat. (You know the drill: lean protein, fruits and veggies, good fats.) There are also apps that calculate your ideal caloric intake. (This figure is based on basal metabolic rate—the energy you burn in a day when at rest—plus the energy you burn through activity.) To reduce your bum, consume fewer calories or work out more.   READ MORE: 8 Instagram accounts that inspire us to eat better

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

How to build your best butt no matter what your shape

How to build your best butt: If you’re a gym rat and like your butt as is

Love working out? Try high-intensity interval training: fast-paced circuits. It’s a great fat burner, and it won’t make your behind bigger. Note: hunky trainer not guaranteed.   READ MORE: Is there an exercise pill in our future?

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

How to build your best butt no matter what your shape

How to build your best butt: Wait, I have my best butt!

Coolio. We’ll see you in Drake’s next video. Since your gluteus is at its maximus, emphasize the areas around the butt – the hamstrings, lower back and abs. Lopez bases the abs portion of her Hourglass Workout on Pilates. “We have a natural corset called the ‘transverse abdominis.’ If you learn to breathe properly and hold your core in (belly button to spine), this will assist in creating a smaller, stronger core.”   READ MORE: Why your 20s is the best time to commit to a fitness routine

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada



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How to get your best butt ever in 2016