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  #1   ^
Old Sat, Feb-21-04, 10:10
Meg_S Meg_S is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 2,276
 
Plan: lots of meat
Stats: 00/00/00 Female 5 10"
BF:goal: 17%
Progress: 41%
Location: Germany (Canadian abroad)
Default Ladies, reade b4 posting Questions re: legs and bum

With the upcoming season, I'm sure there will soon be an influx of questions about some of our most frequently scrutinized and enjoyed ASSets: butt and thighs!



Common problems and how to address them – WITHOUT needing a gym. If you go to a gym, you just have more options, which I won't write about here. If you find that something doesn’t apply to you – ignore it, I’m not doing a one size fits all info post.





1) saggy or flat butt(no butt) **how do I make it look good in jeans and shorts?

2) flabby lower body with no muscle tone

3) jiggly and or cellulite abundant thighs and or butt

4) ghetto booty with a small upper body



Please remember that nutrition is at least as important as exercise. You can have the sexiest and most beautifully shaped lower body.. but you won't see it if there is a large layer of fat covering it. You can't spot reduce this fat, get your fat loss diet in order and lose enough fat for your lower body will show through.



Saggy and or flat bum(no bum): In saggy bums there is actually a butt there….it’s just sitting lower than you’d like, for flat butts – sorry, it’s going to take a lot more work on your part, but it IS doable. Flat butts may seem a little big because of the amount of fat covering them, but the muscle is actually small underneath.



Solution: You have to harden and build the glutes, period. For saggy bums it’s merely a case of building the muscle a little and getting it to harden and lift. For flat bums you must actually build a sizeable gluteus maximus…big enough for it to be round, and lose enough fat covering it so that you can actually see the shape. Note for flatties: you will not build a shape like Jennifer Lopez or Shakira because shape is genetic, rather it will be (as my girlfriend described a certain bum last summer) like a little plum, with a nice round cheek on each side. I will list exercises to do this at the end of this post. This will take a lot of work.



3) Jiggle and Cellulite

Solution: cellulite and jiggle are fat…having soft legs under your fat isn’t going to help it’s appearance! So harden those legs… and lose the fat covering them. One thing that can really do a lot for your skin’s appearance is dry brushing your skin with a natural bristle brush. There are a lot of threads in this forum that deal with that topic so I won’t get into it here. Unfortunately due to genetics even very lean women can have cellulite, so get out the fake tanner, make your lower body as fit as possible and be proud of what you’ve accomplished…generally if your legs are fit, a little cellulite wont take away from the appearance.



4) Ghetto booty

Solution: ok so you’ve heard the reoccurring phrase.. lose fat…especially because you probably have a tendency to store fat on your butt, making it look larger.

On top of that what you can do is make your upper body more proportional. Ie: build your back and shoulders wider than they are now. What may help are exercises which squeeze more.. rather than ones which are pushing heavy weight and building more size. For example, lying on the ground with your feet flat and knees bent, pushing your pelvis up and squeezing at the top as hard as you can – this can also be done with one leg. What you need to do is minimize growth on the butt, and mazimize hardness and tightness. I have to apologize here and say that I don’t have a lot of knowledge about what to do for disproportionately large rears – mainly because it’s not my issue and I never paid attention to it. I will post again later with more info if it’s requested.







The Queen of bum exercises (imo) is the walking lunge. Lunges are a core butt exercise, and in my opinion, one of the most important. They also work your legs.

To shape your butt incorporate a routine where you regularly do as many of these as you can! If your house isn’t big enough, step onto the sidewalk, or a soccer field.. or a hallway… I won't get into specific routines for individual people and their lifestyles in this post... but they are very simple, and require absolutely no equipment.

Variations: do them up a slight incline, make sure to push off your heel.

- wear a weighted backpack, or hold dumbbells

-“explode” out of the stretched position really pushing with the glutes

-lunge across a field, and jog back to the beginning spot. Repeat.



Really serious about it? Start doing sprints up staircases, taking the stairs 2 at a time. Not only does this help your bum, it gives you great fitness as well as beautiful hamstrings and calves.

You don’t need a long staircase or stadium.

My workout includes 20-40 mins at the train station. The staircase is not terribly high and only takes 10 seconds to sprint up. I sprint up one staircase, walk across the overpass and down the other side, and sprint up the other side. Repeat until dead. Kidding..



sometimes I vary the workout by doing a circuit of:

1) Sprint up one staircase

2) lunge across the overpass

3) 20 calf raises

4) double step up the 2nd staircase.

Repeat for 20-40 minutes.





Advanced exercise: to supplement your lunges later on, you can stand on a chair, holding something lightly for support using one leg lower yourself as far as you can go – or until the other leg’s knee (bent knee) touches the ground. These are very difficult.



Other exercises which hit the rear:



Stiff leg deadlifts. You can do these with dumbbells, a barbell, or with a single leg and a light, or no weight.


Pelvic lifts: lie on your back, feel flat, knees bent, push your hips into the air. You can do this on an exercise ball, or using one leg to make it harder. You can also support yourself with your arms (don’t lock the elbow) keeping your butt off the ground, and use one leg to push your pelvis up.


Walking is not going to cut it…..If you want to really change your body..

If you’re sedentary please start off with walking, doing as many inclines as you can, and with only a few lunges. Increase intensity weekly (ie: pace, number of lunges etc) until you have a decent fitness level. Maybe start with walking up hills, progress to gently jogging intervals on them.. and gradually work your way to a sprint.



If you do cardio now, like treadmill or jogging, replacing one or two of your sessions per week with stair sprinting will help with lower body shape.
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  #2   ^
Old Sat, Feb-21-04, 10:34
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
Posts: 26,716
 
Plan: Muscle Centric
Stats: 238/153/160 Female 5'10"
BF:
Progress: 109%
Location: UK
Default

Thanks for these

My butt is a 'big' problem area, so I plan to incorporate these into my routine.
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  #3   ^
Old Sat, Feb-21-04, 11:09
2MuchPizza's Avatar
2MuchPizza 2MuchPizza is offline
Contributing Member
Posts: 51
 
Plan: Atkins (Induction)
Stats: 301/260/130 Female 5'7"
BF:
Progress: 24%
Location: Johnson City, TN
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Thanks for the info! I love to find things that I can do at home since I'm too embarrassed to go to a gym.. Maybe some day I'll get the courage!
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  #4   ^
Old Sat, Feb-21-04, 11:38
LisaS LisaS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 568
 
Plan: PPLP
Stats: 235/179/125 Female 5' 5"
BF:lots/less/<20%
Progress: 51%
Location: So Calif
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how could you leave out squats and deadlifts ???
the best exercises for legs & butt (IMNSHO)
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  #5   ^
Old Sat, Feb-21-04, 12:32
Meg_S Meg_S is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 2,276
 
Plan: lots of meat
Stats: 00/00/00 Female 5 10"
BF:goal: 17%
Progress: 41%
Location: Germany (Canadian abroad)
Default

Squats and deadlifts are less isolating for the butt...they're less "handy" to do at home, and if you don't know how to do them, when you use any kind of useful weight it's easy to hurt yourself. Plus you require a certain degree of flexibility to do deadlifts esp fo lifitng a bar off the ground - assuming you even have a barbell at home.

I think they're awesome exercises, but less relevant than lunges for the point of this post.
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  #6   ^
Old Sat, Feb-21-04, 13:07
LisaS LisaS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 568
 
Plan: PPLP
Stats: 235/179/125 Female 5' 5"
BF:lots/less/<20%
Progress: 51%
Location: So Calif
Default

I disagree, squats and especially deads hit your glutes very well.
as far as safety goes, you pick up heavy things off the ground all the time- dog food bags, water bottles, moving boxes, small children, etc. so I say, practice this motion and get stronger at it.
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  #7   ^
Old Sun, Feb-22-04, 14:19
RoseTattoo's Avatar
RoseTattoo RoseTattoo is offline
Kid R
Posts: 1,168
 
Plan: Maintenance
Stats: // Female 5"1'
BF:Too darn much!
Progress: 90%
Location: PA
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Thanks to you both, Meg and Lisa. I incorporated both squats and lunges today into my workout. We'll see what they can do for the major sag, lol.
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  #8   ^
Old Sun, Feb-22-04, 14:49
FrecklFluf's Avatar
FrecklFluf FrecklFluf is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 1,125
 
Plan: SB (formerly Atkins)
Stats: 196.5/167/140 Female 5' 4
BF:
Progress: 52%
Location: Kansas City, MO USA
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Quote:
I have to apologize here and say that I don’t have a lot of knowledge about what to do for disproportionately large rears – mainly because it’s not my issue and I never paid attention to it.
I have to point something out for my pear-shaped sisters. All these exercises that Meg and Lisa have suggested for those with no butt should be avoided by those of us with, ahem, excess baggage down there. Lunges and squats will only make that area bigger, and you should avoid weight-bearing exercises on your lower body; no ankle weights or anything with resistance down there. As Meg said, balancing your appearance with upper body weight-bearing exercise is a great idea (and great for reducing the risk of upper-body osteoporosis). Personally, I recommend the [i]Escape Your Shape[/b] book/program.
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  #9   ^
Old Mon, Feb-23-04, 08:31
Meg_S Meg_S is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 2,276
 
Plan: lots of meat
Stats: 00/00/00 Female 5 10"
BF:goal: 17%
Progress: 41%
Location: Germany (Canadian abroad)
Default

Thanks for contributing to the pear point of view!
I believe it IS necessary to work a muscle in order to tighten it, and yes - the right type of exercise will even decrease the size of it if you are not currently working it out - as fat will develop intramuscularly as well as under your skin (think of a steak being marbled with fat, compared to a lean piece of meat), but your point in not working the muscle to the point of making it grow a lot is correct.

It's a tricky situation. Hit it too hard and it will get bigger, leave it alone and it will be soft and flabby. However, nutrition is a contributing factor as well. When you're at a caloric deficit, you get smaller. At a caloric surplus, your muscles get bigger. I'm getting stronger right now, but everything is shrinking.

I think lot of people fall in the "in between" catoegory though, and while they may feel like their butt is huge, it's not actually, genetically, the type of bum that's size and shape will benefit from not working it out.

Another thing - having shapely legs WILL improve the overall appearance of your lower body, no matter how large or small your rear is. Mine always looks better when my hamstrings are properly and propotionately developed. And when my quads are larger, the butt/hip area appears smaller. So even if you're trying to avoid getting bigger in your rear because you're truly one of those people who have a butt that just grows like crazy - don't avoid lower body exercise...even if you decide to stay away from the heavy squats and weighted lunges.

When your bodyfat is lower, body shape tends to even out and look better, even when you have a bodypart which may be disproportionate - like a large waist, or a large rear. It just looks better with less fat on it. Fat exaggerates everything, especially the things you don't want it to.
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