Even though butt fat is healthier than belly fat, every woman I know doesn’t want either one. It's not right to talk about one without mentioning the other.
The primary way to burn dangerous belly fat is to eat whole, natural foods. Severely limiting sugars, food in a bag or box, unhealthy saturated fats, trans fats and processed foods will definitely burn belly fat (and make you healthier). Also, drink mainly water and unsweetened drinks like tea. Finally, adjust your calorie intake to reach your fat loss goals.
Here's how to burn your butt fat: Maximize your time exercising. Do the right exercises at the right intensities. Exercising at higher intensities will burn fat faster. Although cardio plays a part in the fat burning process, it’s the strength exercises that primarily build muscle and transform your body. Commit to full body strength training at least three days a week.
So, which strength exercises will shape and tone your butt faster?
In an American Council on Exercise research report, “Glutes to the Max,” it talks about the most effective glutes exercises. The study was led by John Porcari, Blake Ristvedt, and a team of researchers from the La Crosse Exercise and Health Program. They used electromyographic (EMG) analysis to compare the muscle recruitment patterns of eight common gluteal exercises. Twelve subjects, six men and six women, participated in the study. They all regularly used strength training.
Researchers compared muscle activation for each exercise and compared it with the traditional favorite — the two-legged squat. The other exercises tested were horizontal and vertical leg press, step ups, lunges, single-legged squats, four-way hip extensions and quadruped hip extensions.
The results were as follows:
1. Two machine exercises, horizontal and vertical leg presses ranked lowest in muscle activation for the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius (hips) and hamstrings.
2. For the gluteus maximus, squats had no significant muscle activation advantage over the non-leg press exercises.
3. For the gluteus medius, the quadruped hip extensions, step ups and lunges showed significantly more muscle activation than squats.
4. For the hamstrings, quadruped hip extensions, step-ups, lunges and four-way hip extensions all had significantly more activation than squats.
“Our study showed that there are several exercises that work equally as
well as the traditional squat at targeting the gluteal muscles,” says Ristvedt.
Here are my recommendations for your glutes and leg strength workouts:
1. Do minimal machine weight exercises. Machines stabilize your body for you and limit your range of motion. Your core muscles are also minimally activated with machine exercises. Machine weight exercises are best for beginners or those doing rehabilitation.
2. Stand up exercises are more intense than sit down exercises.
3. One-leg exercises are more intense than two-legged exercises.
4.Do leg strength circuits on a regular basis using the exercises above as well as other leg exercises.
5. Incorporate bodyweight, dumbbell, medicine ball and barbell glutes and leg strength exercises in your routines.
6. There are many squat exercises available for your use. Some others not mentioned above are plie squats, sissy squats, split squats, prisoner squats, y squats, Bulgarian split squats, side squats and sumo squats. Work them all into your program.
7. Don’t underestimate bodyweight exercises. Many people think that you must lift heavy weights to grow and shape your leg muscles. That is simply not true. Your body weight provides adequate resistance to help you build muscle and burn fat on your lower body. Plus, lifting heavy weights will take a toll on your joints.
Go and work your butt off!
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES, CPT is a Certified Personal Trainer and former NCAA Division I athlete. Mark is the owner of My Fitness Hut, Her Fitness Hut and Sports Fitness Hut. Mark’s Fat Blaster Athletic Training System has been proven to give his clients the fit, sculpted and athletic-type bodies they want. Visit Mark’s main site here.