Your Butt (And Why It’s Not Special)

Maybe when you were growing up, your mom told you that you were special and unique, and that there’s “no one else like you”. That might be true, but the same can’t be said for your butt.

Stay with me here.

Every once in a while I skim through the health/fitness board on Pinterest just to see what’s out there (it’s usually not good). Yesterday was no different. I came across a post that was tagged as being a “workout for your butt type”. I wish I were kidding.

A workout for your butt type? Really? Let’s look at this from a strictly anatomical standpoint. We all have butts. Some are flat, some are round, some are perky, and some are a bit.. um.. jiggly. No matter what “type” of butt you have, or what shape you think it is, the fact remains the same that your butt is made up of the following: your posterior pelvis covered by glute and hip musculature, all underneath layers of adipose tissue (fat) and finally your skin. There are no butt “types”, there are simply different shapes based on your proportions of each of those tissue types, and your genetics of course.  Wide set pelvis? Wider hips, and thus, wider butt. Strong, built gluteal muscles? More than likely you have a full, rounded butt. Small, weak glutes with a substantial layer of body fat? Well, that’ll run the spectrum from flat to round (with or without jiggle).

My point is, your butt is not unique. You do not have a butt-type. You do not need specific “toning” exercises that will fit your type and make your special butt look better than the girl next door. You know what will make your butt look better than the next girl (or guy)? Squats, hip thrusters, barbell glute bridges, barbell lunges, deadlifts, etc. etc. The list goes on and on, but the basic premise is this: strengthening and building your glutes using the basic compound exercises is what is going to change the look of your butt. You know what’s going to happen in the process of strengthening your glutes? You’ll lose some of that body fat that’s covering your backside (if that’s your goal). Heck, maybe you want that thing bigger than the moon. Or Nicki Minaj’s derriere.

The article that the pin linked to was just as ridiculous as you think it sounds. I’m not kidding when I say that they suggest sumo squats for “saggy” butts, prone leg circles for “double butt” (really? That’s a type? I just thought that meant your undies were too tight), curtsy lunges for “big” butts, some sort of strange jump squats for “flat” butts, and so on.

After I face palmed myself into next Tuesday, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. What made it worse though, was knowing that many women will believe articles like this when they read them. “Ooh, I’ve got a big butt! I MUST do these curtsy lunges, the internet says it will help with my big-butted problem!”  My first issue with this are the ridiculous butt types. Can’t we come up with a better adjective than big? Say, I don’t know, luxurious? And who was it that decided that a big butt is a problem that needs to be fixed? Heck, my girl Tara just facebook-bragged a couple of days ago about splitting her jeans because she has built up her glutes so much. (Go girl!!) My other issue with this is the shear hilarity of one specific body weight move helping to fix your “problematic” butt type.

Here’s what women need to understand: fitness does not need to be complicated at all. Yes, we all have different body types, limb lengths, body fat percentages, and so on, but on a basic level we’re all the same. We all have a bone structure that is the basis of the human form. We all have a very similar musculoskeletal system that moves our bones on a system of levers and pulleys, helping us to perform every day tasks. Yes, we all have very unique genetics, but those genetics don’t mean that you need to be doing plie squats or curtsy lunges while your best friend needs to be climbing stairs. Your genetics may determine how fast you build muscle mass or where on your body you hold most of your body fat, but it won’t determine which body weight exercises will be the magical cure to getting you the shape you so desperately want.

The truth is, all of this genetic detail matters very little in the overall fitness world. Use the tried and true exercises that have been around for ages (squat, deadlift, bench, row, and all of their variations). Add in some other accessory exercises to support the compound lifts. Whether your butt is flat, round, or somewhere in between, a barbell hip thrust will do you wonders. Your butt is not special, not when it comes to training. As long as you have all of the anatomical building blocks, you can build a better backside, if that’s what you really want to do. Your “type” does not determine which exercises will work. Science does. 

4 thoughts on “Your Butt (And Why It’s Not Special)

  1. Good call! Love the giraffe meme too, super cute 🙂

  2. Hands down one of the best blog post titles ever! – and thanks for once again de-bunking pinterest workouts. I love when you do this!

  3. LMAO! Leave it to me to take what most women would consider to be an embarrassing situation and celebrate!

    This post made me laugh, but also made me sad when I think of all the poor women following this rubbish advice. In my experiencing training clients, no body part responds as quickly as the butt – if you have a flat butt or a wobbly butt, you’re just training wrong! As soon as people start incorporating proper exercises like heavy squats, deads and bridges… hello booty! I actually started a Pinterest board devoted to all of these craptacular workouts because they drive me crazy.

  4. Oh Pinterest. I’m scared to even go onto the health/fitness section anymore! The worst is when my friends come to me saying they are trying this new thing they found on pinterest, then I’m just scared to ask.

    Hilarious post! Love it!

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