Long celebrated by many the world over, 2014 has been championed as the “Year of the Booty”. And it’s not over yet! The queen of pop booty – Jennifer Lopez – has assets that again have a reason to be rejoiced with her latest “Booty” video featuring fellow butt-beauty – Iggy Azalea.
That’s all well and good but, what about the rest of us who would love to have an ass like Jennifer Lopez? Naturally, the first thing to take heed to is genetics. It might seem unfair but glute genetics aren’t spread evenly across the board. That’s not to say it’s not impossible to get a bountiful booty, but some of us are going to have to work more diligently in our workouts and diet to reap the rewards.
Genetics aside, of course the main thing to getting a bubble butt is focusing on glute development and reign in a good diet. If you’re not familiar with the word “glute” (an abbreviation for Gluteal Muscles) they are a group of muscles located in the region between your lower back and upper rear thigh area – usually referred to as your “ass” “arse” “butt” “buttocks” “bottom” “seat” “tush” and the rest.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
They are responsible for moving the lower limbs via the hip joint. There are a great deal other muscles that help in movement however we’re focusing on the “superficial” muscles:
1. Gluteus Maximus:
The largest muscle and the most visible (and one of the strongest in the body!). It’s most responsible for the shaping of your butt. It mainly
comes into its own when we’re running or climbing.
2. Gluteus Minimus:
The smallest muscle and teams up with the Gluteus Medius in holding the pelvis level whilst doing any locomotive movements like walking and running. It also helps in the rotation of lower limbs.
3. Gluteus Medius:
The “middle” sized muscle that spreads out like a fan under the span of the iliac crest (the curved ridge of the hip bone) and connects into the thigh bone (femur). It has a similar job to the Gluteus Minimus.
Crash-course introduction to butt anatomy 101 done let’s move on to some key movements that will help you shape up that badonky-donk.
These are a few main movements required for a natural butt lift. To follow is a good starting workout, and ways to level up through the levels for brilliant butt aesthetics.
Key movements to get Jennifer Lopes’z ass:
1. The Squat
Starting off these can be bodyweight squats, but the real magic happens when you add weight to proper form. Your typical bodyweight squat will have you setting your feet comfortably at shoulder width and to ensure you’re in a proper upright position have your hands placed to the side of your head.
This sets you up in a better position to transition to a barbell squat. Two things to take note here: Don’t let your heels lift up as you reach the bottom of your squat and watch your knees don’t “buckle” inwards as you drive up to standing (a mirror is super handy to watch for this).
If you find you lean too far forward a lot, try facing a wall and work on bringing your feet closer to the wall whilst not touching the wall with any part of your person (lovingly known as a prisoner squat).
Once you’ve got the bodyweight squat down, it’s a good idea to get some coaching on how to do a barbell or dumbbell box squat properly. The mechanics are the same however, you’ll need to get used to the added weight.
2. The Lunge
Whilst it can be quite a knee heavy movement there are ways to reduce this problem whilst still getting the butt benefits of this versatile unilateral movement. Typically a lunge starts with feet hip-width a part and is the alternating movement of bringing one leg forwards and bending down via the knees whilst keeping your upper body upright.
A front lunge has this movement going forwards, likewise a rear lunge has your leading leg searching for a place to be put down behind you.
3. Glute Kickbacks (aka donkey kicks)
Get your Jane Fonda on! Your start position is on all fours with a variation being on your elbows (this puts less pressure on your lower back). The end position has you pushing your heel to the ceiling keeping that 90º angle in your knee throughout the movement and really focus on squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement.
These are great on their own as a high-rep movement. You can also add ankle weights or bands to increase resistance.
4. The Glute Bridge
A movement that’s seen a resurgence recently thanks to the likes of Bret Contreras. The glute bridge is something you can do as a body weight movement, bring in a single leg bridge or step up your butt-game by incorporating a barbell and weights.
You start on your back with your feet flat on the floor (you can elevate your feet on a step if you wish) and raise your hips towards the ceiling again getting that major squeeze at the top of the movement. Lifting your toes up and driving your heels into the ground will help increase the intensity too.
5. The Hip Thrust
Closely related to the Glute Bridge, the hip thrust focuses more on the hinging movement in your hip region. The thrusting movement of the glute bridge is the same but your shoulders are elevated on a bench/box and more commonly has a band/barbell/plate as a form of resistance to start off and carry on with. The all important squeeze is what makes this a great movement.
6. Stiff Legged Deadlifts
Back to familiar grounds, the stiff legged deadlift is geared towards your hamstring development, but they’re that really important next door neighbour you could never do without. These are typically done with dumbbells or barbells and can also be used with a resistance band.
Image by Cathe Friedrich
With your feet about hip width apart and a straight back, proceed to bend over making sure you hinge only at your hips and keep your legs
straight (don’t lock out your knees) throughout the movement. Once you’ve reached a point where you can feel a mild stretch, squeeze your butt and still focus on keeping your back straight on the way up to your start position.
You can hone in with single leg stiff leg deadlifts to really dig into developing your posterior!
An intense blast styled workout to achieve an ass like Jennifer Lopez Quick Warm up (3 rounds):
30 Second Stations
1. Jogging on the spot (alternate between high knees, and lightly kicking your butt)
2. Wall sit with alternatively lifting your heels off the floor
3. Squat thrusts (jump in, then step back if jumping forwards and back is excessive)
4. Side lunges
Main Work (60 seconds rest between supersets)
1. 4 x 20 repetitions – Bodyweight squats (can step up to barbell back squats and 12-15 reps)
2. 4x 20 repetitions – Alternating Bodyweight Rear Lunges
3. 3×20 repetitions – Bodyweight Glute Bridges (can step up to weighted hip thrusts and 10-12 reps)
4. 3×10 repetitions – Squat Thrusts
5. 4×15 (per side) – Body Weight Donkey Kicks/Glute Kickbacks
6. 4×12 – Barbell/Dumbbell Stiff Legged Deadlifts.
Dynamic stretching within a walk or very light cardio (run, bike, elliptical etc) for 10 minutes mainly focusing on the back of your legs and bringing your heart rate down is your main goal here. You can do this workout two to three times a week but feel it out first!
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is likely when you do moves you’ve not done before and active recovery is your best friend as your body gets used to the workout. The thing about a JLO ass, is you need to stay consistent for at least 6-8 weeks and continue challenging yourself by way of safely upping the weights – you will NOT get bulky from this I promise!
You will have a booty that will look banging in a pair of jeans or add shape to your favourite dress.
What about diet?
There’s no way to move fat around or spot reduce fat. Of course we’re targeting specific muscles to help them grow, increase tonality and encourage an ever shapely figure. Muscles need protein to grow so your best bet is to eat clean and eat natural sources of protein from meats, eggs, fish, dairy, pulses, legumes, seeds, nuts and a healthy protein powder source (as a last resort) if you’re really lacking in food variation.
Keep processed foods to a minimum and especially avoid Trans Fats (what helps keep processed food on the shelves for longer). You can never really eat too many vegetables so don’t skimp during meals! Drinking enough water daily is key even if the weather is cooling off. Have a water
bottle with you during the day and regularly drink from it to stay hydrated.
You WILL get that butt lift!
The Jennifer Lopez lead image is by Ana Carolina Kley Vita