One snowy day last winter I took the kids to the mall to let them run out some energy and relieve some cabin fever. As we were walking around and looking in the windows, I happened to catch a glimpse of my reflection in a mirror and noticed something horrible. I had a Mom Butt. What is a Mom Butt, you ask? A Mom Butt is the product of too much cardio and not enough muscle, resulting in no shape. This infliction has also been referred to as Pancake Buns and Flat Hiney Syndrome. It is usually covered by a long sweater and high waisted Old Navy jeans. The worst part? I had no idea I had been inflicted by it.
As I strolled by The Gap and noticed my lack of badonkadonk, I stopped dead in my tracks. Is that really my flat bum in the mirror? How did I let this happen? I thought I was doing all the right things. I squat. I run. How much more time do I need to spend in the gym to have a nice, round, bubbly butt?
Well, it turns out that I did not need to be spending more time in the gym, I just needed to be spending my time doing the right exercises. Squats and running are great. Truly, they are two of most favorite ways to spend my time. But as far as gluteal activation (utilizing your actual butt muscles), they come in behind (get it, behind?) a few other movements. Want to build your money maker? Try these movements next time you hit the gym:
1. Lunges. There are so many different varieties of lunges. Stationary, walking, lateral, alternating, elevated, weighted, and many varieties thereof. Lunges can hit both the upper and lower, and inner and outer areas of your tuckus. Try some, see what you think. I know that you are going to hate them so much you love them.
2. Glute Bridges. Sure they may look funny, but glute bridges are great for building up a nice, round shaped booty. They key here is to drive through the heels while laying on your back putting the pressure on your posterior chain.
3. Deadlifts. I lied. Squats are not my favorite lift. Deadlifts are because they are so much fun. Why? Because there is something about picking up something heavy. As far as efficacy, the movement and finish of a deadlift are wonderful for activating that junk in the trunk. Deadlifts have gotten a bad rap because too many people do them with lousy form. If you start light, focus on form, and squeeze all the right places, then you will (literally) lift yourself from squishy to solid.
4. Supermans. Laying face first on the floor may not sound like your idea of fun, but believe me, it is worth it. The Superman exercise targets and isolates the gluteal muscles creating a smooth transition from the hamstring to butt and a nice, round cheek shape.
5. Banded abductor extensions. This movement is simple and can be done anywhere that you can attach bands (the leg of the kitchen table works well as an anchor.) Just a few sets of these on each side will shape the outer part of your booty finishing off development of your perfectly rounded backside.
Bonus: Love squats? Try Sumo squats. OK, I know I said that squats are not optimal for curing Pancake Buns, but this variation of the classic works well for just that. Keep the weight light and rep it out and, I promise, your butt will feel it.
If you suffer from Mom Butt, worry not, there is hope and it is easier than you think. Just two to three days a week, hit these movements for four sets of eight to ten reps. Before you know it, your rear end will be a supple and round highlight of your body. There will be no need to cover it with a long, faded sweater from last season. In fact, you may even be inclined to rock some yoga pants to your next PTA meeting!
About the Author:
Mandy Skinner is the author of the Soccer Mom with Muscles blog. She is the proud mom of two, Sean and Sarah, as well as a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach devoted to living healthy and happy. She has competed in CrossFit, Powerlifting, and is currently preparing for several Figure competitions in 2015. In addition to her athletic endeavors, Mandy is a constant advocate of healthy and active living.
Cascia Talbert is a devout Catholic, mother of five children, health and fitness enthusiast and positive parenting supporter. She is also the founder of the award winning online health, fitness, parenting and Christian faith magazine for moms, the Healthy Moms Magazine. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, five children and one spoiled cat. Her hobbies include gardening, country music, running, and playing her flute.
Check out her first book, "Taking Care of your Family's Health and Well-being, Saints to Turn to and the Catholic Faith," available anywhere books are sold.