Flapjack booty cheeks: nobody likes ‘em, everybody’s got ‘em, and someone needs to do something about it.
Well, I’m someone, and I know a few somethings – so it’s high time for me to take a bold stand against the “weak cheek” pandemic that has gripped the nation – nay, the WORLD – for far too long.
The only question is: are you ready and willing to do the work necessary to put this pancake-butt plague behind us?
If not, I bid you adieu.
But if so, follow me. My armory is filled to the brim with “Weapons of Ass Construction”. For our purposes, however, we’re only going to need 3.
But before we dive headfirst into the ins-and-outs of crafting a set of succulent cheeks, you might be asking:
“Aleks, why the frick should I give a heck about ridding myself of these roofing shingles I call butt cheeks and replacing them with a righteous rump?”
Aesthetics aside, there are a lot of good reasons to focus on beefing up dat booty.
- A strong butt = a strong body
Paul Anderson – arguably the strongest man who ever lived, and the only American so respected by the much-vaunted Russian weightlifters that he earned the nickname “The Wonder of Nature”, once quipped:
“The guy with the biggest butt lifts the biggest weights”
Of course, you can always make your butt bigger by eating box after box of ring-dings and answering “yes” whenever asked “do you want to supersize that?”, but that’s not the kind of big he was talking about; he meant muscular.
The buns (or “glutes” if you wanna be clinical about it) are the largest, strongest muscles in the body, and thus play a big role not only in all major lower body strength movements, but even in upper body ones.
Seriously, try doing a heavy military press or bench press while keeping your fanny flaccid and watch what happens. If your training partner has the foresight to get it on video, you might just end up with a viral ‘gym fail’ video whose revenue will help you pay for your visit to the hospital.
- Protect your low back and knees.
Thanks to a physiological law known as Sherrington’s Law of Irradiation, glutes have a big say in how your low back feels. According to this law:
“A muscle working hard recruits the neighboring muscles, and if they are already part of the action, it amplifies their strength. The neural impulses emitted by the contracting muscle reach other muscles and ‘turn them on’ as an electric current starts a motor”
Translation: during a heavy or intense effort, the surrounding muscles jump in to help you succeed in your efforts like a tag team wrestling match.
This holds true for ANY muscle in the body. Squeeze your hand into a white knuckle fist and watch as your biceps and triceps jump to active duty automatically.
And because your glutes are the downstairs neighbor of your misused and abused low back, the stronger and more “action ready” they are, the less weight your low back has to pull while your derriere is taking a proverbial smoke break.
As for the knees?
The role of your rear (on top of everything else) is to provide some pelvic stability – crucial for every joint in the lower body, since issues in one joint tend to want to share their issues with other joints; like an annoying co-worker who complains non-stop and brings down everyone’s mood. Misery loves company everywhere, I guess.
Get some much needed stability in the pelvis, however, and a lot of that “stuff” happening in your knees, ankles, hips, etc. may very well calm down.
- Look amazing
I know I started this segment off with “aesthetics aside”, but honestly, anyone who tells you they don’t care about how they look is straight-up lying.
Who doesn’t want to catch people looking at their bodacious badonkadonk on the sly? Grow a pair (of butt cheeks, that is) and you’ll be the talk of the pool, beach, grocery store, wherever. A good butt gets noticed – both by men AND women.
“All right, Aleks, you’ve convinced me: I’m now a full-fledged believer in booty-ism. How do I go about building a superior posterior?”
I’m glad you asked. I’ve got just the recipe for you – and it’s just 3 main ingredients:
- Hinging movements
These 3 moves along will keep you busy for a long time, and there are more variations of each than I can fit into one pithy, Pulitzer-worthy article, so we’ll stick to the bare essentials.
A “hinge” movement is one where you bend at the hips while maintaining the natural curves in your spine.
For our bun-building purposes, there are two key movements you want to work on – first among them being kettlebell deadlifts.
Why the kettlebell instead of, say, a dumbbell?
Because it’s the most versatile fitness tool in existence, and is responsible for creating more hard, athletic men and women than just about any other iron tool (it even predates the plate-loaded barbell by more than a whopping 200 years!)
You can use a dumbbell if you’d like, but you’ll never be able to trade up your deadlifts to some of the epic ballistic drills that kettlebells make possible, like swings, cleans, high pulls, and snatches. So if you don’t own one already, I highly recommend getting one.
The other one is a bodyweight hinging exercise called the hip thrust.
While you can add weight to these by placing a kettlebell or other weighted implement just below the belly button but well above your sexy parts, you can make these more difficult. Odds are, though, you’ll get plenty out of unweighted hip thrusts – at least for now.
Squats are usually everyone’s go-to pick for a beautiful backside, and for good reason: done right, they work the glutes (and thighs) like none other. Make sure your knees track your toes – NOT collapse inward or outward.
Often looked at as just group exercise class fodder, lunges are indispensable for creating a set of glutes so exquisite they’ll look like Michelangelo himself chiseled them.
“Hot diggity dang! Now how do I put it all into a routine?”
Simple: split them up into two pairs, and alternate days where you focus on one pair over the other.
‘A’ Day: Hip thrust + lunge
‘B’ Day: Deadlift + squat
Strive to do sets of 5-10, making sure that you use exemplary form on EVERY rep. Don’t let me catch your technique slipping once you get tired!
Split your workouts into 3 weekly 20-minute sessions – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Your program will look like this:
Week 1: A-B-A
Week 2: B-A-B
Week 3: A-B-A
Week 4: B-A-B
With each workout, try to squeeze in an extra rep or two more than you did in the session prior (with the caveat being you have to use good form only!)
Once you reach the point where you can no longer add reps, take a good, hard look in the mirror and admire your fantASStic physique; you’ve earned it.
Oh, and those other “Weapons of Ass Construction”?
Like I said, there are many. But if you REALLY wanna level up, learn how to do the kettlebell swing – a movement that plays a central role in my wildly popular (and free) 8-Week Kettlebell & Bodyweight Challenge.
Kettlebell ballistic exercises like swings, cleans, high pulls, and snatches will help you build the elusive, exclusive kettle-booty. But that’s another story for another day.
Go forth and rock! And as always, have fun and happy training.
Aleks “The Hebrew Hammer” Salkin
Aleks “The Hebrew Hammer” Salkin is a level 2 StrongFirst certified kettlebell instructor (SFG II) and was hand-picked to be among the first-ever group of Original Strength Instructors.
He grew up scrawny, unathletic, weak, and goofy until he was exposed to kettlebells and the teaching and methodology of Pavel in his early 20s, and took his training and movement skills to the next level upon discovering Original Strength in his mid-20s.
He is the author of The 8-Week Kettlebell & Bodyweight Challenge, and has a popular daily email list where he dishes out his best tips, tactics, techniques, and strategies for getting stronger, fitter, and healthier with kettlebells, calisthenics, and Original Strength. To join (and get a free copy of the 8 Week Kettlebell & Bodyweight Challenge) click here => https://alekssalkin.leadpages.co/8weekchallenge/