How often do you think about your butt shape?
Humans come in all shapes in sizes, and that includes our derrieres. You might be intimately familiar with your own booty (at least, we hope so!), but do you have a working knowledge of the different forms human buttocks can take on?
This glute guide will provide a comprehensive look into why your tush looks the way it does. Plus, explore targeted workouts for each butt shape.
Find out how to build the best butt to suit your anatomy and get the lowdown on how the gluteal muscles operate your body.
Here, we’ll go into more detail about the different shapes your butt can take on.
First, what makes the butt healthy?
You may prefer the look of a butt made of solid muscle. We all have our own personal preferences on size, shape, and firmness when it comes to our butts. But did you know that certain types of butts may actually be better to have for your health?
It can be healthier to hold fat in the gluteofemoral area (butt and thighs). Fat here, rather than the abdominal area may put you at lower cardiovascular risk.
Women generally carry more fat than men overall, and this can vary with body estrogen levels and age. Women of childbearing age usually have more fat around the hips that can help the process of childbirth. Female butt shapes are often larger and more rounded.
It’s important to make a distinction between subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. We store subcutaenous fat as stored as a layer just beneath the skin. On the other hand, our bodies distribute visceral fat is between our organs. This fat sits more deeply inside the body.
Now that you’re familiar with how fat distribution works in regards to the glute area, here’s an overview of the main butt shapes. Get to know the traits of these butt types and consider which one you identify as being most similar to your own body.
It’s more of an upside-down heart, but the heart-shaped booty is one of the most coveted butt shapes in the world.
The heart-shaped butt is widest at the base, where it attaches to your legs and tapers in as it rises to meet your waist.
Especially for women, the heart-shaped butt is a popular goal. Think of Kim Kardashian’s notorious assets and you’ll see someone with an example of a heart-shaped butt.
Although you may not be Kim, you can certainly optimize your workouts with great exercise to try to work towards a similar butt shape.
A round butt, aka bubble butt, is the most proportionate overall. This butt has even fat distribution along the top, bottom, and sides of the hips, as well as on the butt cheeks. A round butt is something many strive for.
Although men may not have as much booty fixation as women when it comes to workouts, it’s still a good idea to tone up. A rounded butt can look great on anyone!
After all, it’s more visually pleasing than a pancake butt, right? What’s more, it feels great to have strong butt muscles, so a round butt is one both men and women may want to work towards in the gym.
We sometimes call a square butt an H-shaped butt and it looks like how it sounds. Square butts have more linear sides and don’t round out through the sides.
A square butt has more volume up top but flattens at the base.
If you’ve ever experienced the “muffin top,” aka, spilling out of your low-cut jeans, you may have a square butt.
The gluteus medius and gluteus minimus are the main glute muscles you’ll need to work on to improve this shape.
Strengthening this areas and maintaining a healthy body weight will help keep your butt lifted and perky.
Inverted butts, like squares, carry a lot of volume up top. These butts, though, have even less fat and muscle distribution around the base of the butt, resulting in smaller or flatter cheeks.
Although all booties are beauties, you may need to focus a bit more on powering the biggest butt muscle— the gluteus maximus. This will give you more development through your rear and lower butt to round out that shape.
Everyone’s booty is unique. Your butt might have a combination of different ASStributes and fall into more than one category.
For instance, you could be mainly a square. But by developing the gluteus maximus, your butt can take on a round appearance, even if you have narrow hips.
What Are the Butt Muscles?
Now that you understand the different shapes your booty can take on, let’s have a look at which muscles are hard at work when you focus on the glutes.
The “butt muscles,” aka gluteal muscles are composed of three parts:
- Gluteus Maximus: We often say “gluteus maximus” and “butt” interchangeably, but this muscle is only one part of the equation. The gluteus maximus is the biggest of your three gluteal muscles.
This muscle extends your hips (moving the thigh backward in space). It is also partially responsible for the external rotation of your hip joints. When you turn your feet and hips out, the gluteus maximus helps power this movement.
Located at the back and center of your butt, your gluteus maximus helps give your buttocks a rounded shape. For a heart-shaped butt, working the gluteus maximus is key to developing butt volume.
- Gluteus Medius: This muscle is located on the outer side of your pelvis, along the back hip. The gluteus medius muscle helps with hip abduction (moving your thighs away from the midline of your body). It is also a key player in pelvic stability.
- Gluteus Minimus: The smallest muscle of the trio, this gluteal muscle lives under the gluteus medius. Your gluteus minimus helps with hip abduction. It also stabilizes your joints.
Glute Muscle Function
All of the gluteal muscles help drive power, strength, and stability in your body. Think about it: many of the key moves humans perform in the gym or functionally in everyday life are driven from the seat.
For example, you’ve probably heard “lift with your legs” to avoid back injuries. Maybe you’ve oh, you know, left your house and gone for a walk?
Even many of the simplest movements that we do without thinking. Therefore, it’s important to keep strong gluteal muscles for total lower body strength. You’ll improve your balance and posture and diminish injury risk.
Glute-focused workouts like hip thrusts and glute bridges) can be great in strengthening the gluteal muscles. Big compound lifts like your squats and deadlifts are also mega glute strengtheners. These help your posterior chain.
Additionally, activities like running, cycling, and climbing stairs also engage the glutes. All of these can influence the different butt shapes.
Butt Workout— Improve Your Shape
Okay, so hopefully you’re familiar with which type of butt shape coincides the most with your own.
But regardless of shape, how can we make those buttocks bigger, bouncier and better?
Here’s a glute guide to get your muscles firing. It’s a simple one, so if you’re looking for something beginner-friendly, this is a good place to start.
Each exercise targets the glutes and can be performed by beginners. Aim to complete the circuit, and repeat it 2-3 times with a short break between each exercise.
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your body by bending your knees and pushing your hips back as if you are sitting in a chair.
- Keep your chest up, and make sure your knees don’t go beyond your toes.
- Stand back up, squeezing your glutes at the top.
- Repeat for 12-15 reps.
- Stand with feet together.
- Take a step forward with your right foot, lowering your body until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Push off your right foot to return to the starting position.
- Repeat on the other leg.
- Continue alternating legs for 12-15 reps on each leg.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Lift your hips towards the ceiling, squeezing your glutes at the top in hip extension.
- Hold for a moment and then lower your hips back down.
- Repeat for 15 reps.
- Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
- Lift your right leg, keeping the knee bent at 90 degrees, and kick it towards the ceiling.
- Lower it back down without touching the floor and repeat.
- Perform 15 reps on each leg.
Side-Lying Leg Lifts
- Lie on your side with your legs extended.
- Lift your top leg towards the ceiling, engaging your outer hip.
- Lower it back down without letting it touch the bottom leg.
- Do 15 reps on each side.
Start SLOW. Use control for each of these exercises. Simple doesn’t always mean easy. While it can be tempting to start lifting heavy right away, it’s easy to hurt yourself if you don’t yet have proper training or technique.
Once you progress, try adding in more complex moves like cable kickbacks or Romanian deadlifts. These will continue to help you improve.
Make sure you work safely through your muscles and range of motion to engage each muscle group effectively.
Squeezing your butt during these moves can make all the difference if you’re not feeling enough engagement right away. If a tight squeeze isn’t cutting it, that could be a sign that it’s time to up your weights (congrats!).
If any exercise feels too difficult, start with fewer reps. Gradually work your way up as you build strength. Consistency is key, so try to do this routine 2-3 times per week.
Make sure to alternate this butt routine with the upper body too! Yes, we like to make leg day skippers the BUTT of our jokes around here. But you’ll look just as imbalanced with a large lower half and nothing upstairs.
Consider a workout plan that takes shoulders, arms, and core into account. Although you can explore many butt shapes, like the heart-shaped butt, and round butt, who knows? Perhaps you’d prefer to get the body of a Greek god?
Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine, especially if you have any health concerns or conditions.
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