You’re wasting your time doing squats and not getting the results you want.
Look in the mirror. Do you see the hot booty you want? Why not?
- Squats, like most other gym-based exercises, are repetitive, linear, mid-range, isolation movements. They target the fibers of the gluteus maximus responsible for thigh extension from the flexed position. This type of move was designed for power-lifters who spend hours at the gym preparing for body-building competitions. The goal is to exhaust the fibers in a particular region and dimension to induce muscle hypertrophy, or bulk.
- Squats are concentric (shortening) and eccentric (lengthening) contractions of those gluteal fibers, so they ignore that lean, toned, precise, sculpted look you can define in specific areas using the various types of isometric contractions.
- Squat repetitions exhaust the fibers in one dimension and thus exhaust you, causing you to stop before you’ve stimulated all the fibers that will give you the maximum aesthetic benefit. The truth is that with the same effort you can get much better results with respect to sculpting the aesthetic areas in the diagram above – the upper convexity (shelf), lower convexity (cheek), infra-gluteal fold, and lateral concavity (dimple), with a lot less time and effort.
- Squats are linear – ignoring the circumferential sculpting of the externally rotating gluteal fibers and the abducting fibers which wrap around the hip joint in other axes and are essential in defining the upper convexity and infra-gluteal fold.
Biomechanical Booty Hacks
Efficiency and Beauty
This set of biomechanical hot booty hacks is targeted. Targeted not only at stimulating the maximum number of muscle fibers in the least amount of time but also targeted at those fibers that give you the maximum aesthetic benefit. The goal is efficiency, and beauty. To stimulate the fibers that define each convexity, concavity, fold, and shelf, without exhausting you or wasting your time trying to fatigue muscle fibers. The goal is not bulk but lean, defined muscle with that exactly right mix of firmness and jiggle that makes a beautiful booty.
Abduction – Define The Dimple
The fibers that curl around the top of the hip spread the legs, moving one thigh away from the other. This movement is called abduction and it is key in defining the lateral concavity that gives the hot booty its attractive dimple or shadow just outside the cheek area. This move combines isometric abduction movements in both gluteal muscles. The right hip gluteal stimulation is an isometric intention of shortening against variable resistance (gravity pulling the weight of the leg down as it moves up). The left hip is holding the gluteal fibers in an isometric intention of shortening against the force of the body weight collapsing the hip and lengthening the fibers, as well as an isometric push toward the arm against the fixed resistance of the ground. Pressing the side of the foot into the ground and elevating the sky foot higher while thrusting the pubic bone forward will accentuate the isometric muscle tension on both sides. Try holding on each side for 30 seconds.
Notice in the diagram how the direction of the stimulated fibers and the direction of movement form a depression or trough between them. This is the lateral concavity or dimple that forms the shadow just on the side of each cheek. These isometric moves are intense and laser-focused on that particular aesthetic hot spot. Along with the infragluteal fold (see External Rotation below), that lateral concavity, shadow or dimple is pleasing to the eye and helps give the butt cheek its plump fullness. As you practice these maneuvers you can literally watch these aesthetic landmarks deepen, firm, and tone before your eyes. You can also use kinesthetic cues to tell when you are stimulating the muscle fibers that give you the maximal aesthetic benefit, so you can focus all of your exercise effort on the results you want.
External Rotation – Adjust The Jiggle
Envision the booty you want. The plump firmness of the cheek is defined not only by the dimple or depression on the side but also by a nice tight tuck underneath. This is called the infragluteal fold and it’s formed by the lower fibers which wrap around the side of the hip joint. When you “clench your butt cheeks together” you’re really activating these lower gluteal fibers and spinning both thigh bones outward in a move called external rotation. This move is laser-focused on isometric external rotation to hyper-define your infragluteal fold. A soft surface like sand is great, or if you’re indoors fold a yoga mat into quarters under your knees. The closer together your thighs, the more difficult, so start with them about shoulder distance. As you drop back (see diagram) spin both knees outward against the resistance of the ground – you will immediately feel your lower gluteal fibers tighten. This is a fascinating move because you can dial the intensity up and down simply by dropping your arms behind you or dropping your body weight back further. The isometric squeeze of the lower gluteal fibers is further intensified by thrusting your pubic bone forward and bellybutton up. This is because the gluteal isometric contraction is working not only against gravity (holding the upper body weight suspended in the air with the rotated thighs working against the fixed resistance of your knees on the ground), but also against the pelvis which is pulling forward on the medial fibers (remember the gluteal fibers start on the pelvis). That’s why this move is so awesome. It defines the whole infragluteal fold, from the tailbone to the thigh bone, and it allows you to dial up the jiggle. When you see your own infragluteal fold tighten into a nice firm overhang with just the right amount of jiggle you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Extension – Pop the plump
Now that we’ve laser focused and hyper-defined the shadow, dimple, and fold that make the cheek stand out, let’s focus on the main muscle mass in the center of the glute with an intense dynamic extension move that is much more intense than a squat – a full pop up from the ground using only your glutes. The advantage over regular squats is one of both range and intensity. You start in a full tuck, so the gluteal fibers are maximally lengthened (eccentrically contracted) around the hip joint. The initial phase of standing up involves a terminal concentric contraction which quickly and dynamically traverses the entire length of muscle fibers. Start using your hands to assist you as needed, then progress to using only your glutes only as you gain strength and confidence. When you get really good you can start doing one foot pop-ups. One of these is worth dozens of squats on a machine at the gym because of all the muscle fibers you have to activate just to stabilize yourself in the air. Watch your booty plump and firm as you do just a few of these moves every day.