The Science of Butt Training
Whether it is normal, wide, fat or none at all, the human derriere is often a topic of concern, comment or comedy.
Every athlete, laborer, model or every day working Joe or check-out Jane at one time or other needed to know if those rear end sets of muscles were going to get them some place in a hurry or let them down.

Cosmetics aside, the human hindquarters is a highly functional seat of power and stamina. Every weight lifter knows that this largest muscle mass is involved in almost every lifting movement. Even the Nautilus® exercise system insists on working this area before moving onto other body parts. Lifting, running, jumping, skating, skiing and even martial arts all rely on strong butt muscles.

Then on the cosmetic side of the equation, people will literally “work their butts off,” in a misguided quest to flatten their “tush.” Which, sometimes leaves them with the infamous and unhealthy “flat butt” or “no butt” at all.

The weak, sagging or flat butt is often a combination of weak and over-worked muscles. Too often the gluteus maximus muscles are inert from lack of use AND overly tight lower back and hamstring muscles.  As physiotherapist Dr. Byron Chan explained to me, even active people will often fail to use their glutes and over-compensate with  No wonder the person with the flat butt frequently feels tired and literally uptight.

Too much of the wrong training will result in a FLAT BUTT (sometimes known to women as “boy bum.”)

Fortunately, solving the flat butt is a simple process of re-training the muscle groups in that area.  You will note that to train the female butt, it is essential to involve the external rotator muscles.  For instance, the figure skater, (who uses the outward rotating movement in her hips and legs) has a more shapely butt than a long distance runner.

            If you doubt this, look through the sports magazines and pick out which women have the most attractive butts.  The cyclists, runners, kayakers and team sport players usually have nicely developed butts.  But, the prize-winning butts generally belong to the ballerinas, figure skaters, sprinters, skiers, swimmers and kicking-style martial artists.  All of these latter mentioned activities rely on the external hip rotator muscles (eg. Periformis).


So, without further ado, here are the exercises:





  1. Reverse lunge.
    1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, hold a dumb bell (or weight) in each hand. (jpg. 990)
    2. Step back, with one leg, about 2 ½ feet to a meter to the rear. (jpg 991)
    3. Squat down so that your front knee is above your front ankle and front thigh is parallel to the ground. Look straight ahead and keep your back straight. (jpg. 989)
    4. Return to the starting position with your feet shoulder width apart and step back with your alternate foot.
    5. Repeat 5 to 10 times each leg.       Work up to 3 sets of 10 each leg before increasing dumbbell weight.



  1. Wide Dumb bell Squat
    1. Stand with your feet double shoulder width apart and pointing outwards at 45 degree angles. Hold a weight, such as a dumb bell, straight in front of you, between your legs. (Hold the dumb bell, with both hands, by the plate, like you would holding a small wooden stool so that the dumb bell is vertical.)       (jpg. 992)
    2. Keeping your knees pointing outwards, aligned with your feet, squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. (jpg. 993)
    3. Then, straighten your legs and (most important) squeeze your butt muscles together. (O.K. when you are through laughing, go back to training.) (jpg. 992)
    4. This last flexing, motion gives you greater definition than just performing numerous squats.       Remember it is this external rotating motion of the legs that forms that tear drop shape. (See figures 3.a, b, c.)
    5. 10 to 20 repetitions.








  1. The Double Kick
    1. This is like the dorsal flex.       You lie on your stomach with your head down, legs slightly apart and arms by your sides. (jpg. 995)
    2. Raise your torso and legs off of the mat, while keeping your head looking forward about one foot ahead of you on the floor.(jpg. 996)
    3. As you raise your legs, force them straight and rotate them outwards (jpg.997 ). Hold that position for two seconds and flex your back and butt muscles.
    4. Repeat the exercise 4 to 8 times.


After these exercises, you will want to do some kind of cool down, like cycling, running or walking. This will lessen the muscle tightness the following day.  Of course, you should also be eating well.  That means eating regularly and avoiding processed starches and not starving yourself.


Do these described exercised movements in an honest effort three times per week. Depending on your starting point, one to two months of training will make your backside will feel (and look) strong, solid and shapely.


By Doug Setter, BSc. Model: Helena Van der Zon





“There used to be a straight line from my heels to my back. Now, I actually have a butt. Thanks, Doug.” –Darlene, (Grandmother) University of Manitoba.