Bethesda’s Best Butts Are SCULPTed!

Bethesda’s Best Butts Are SCULPTed!

on Jul 15, 2016 in Blog

Bethesda's Best Butts

Butt. Booty. Tush. Caboose. Bum. Apple-bottom. These terms all refer to a group of muscles that help you stand from a sitting position, squat down, climb up, and stabilize the pelvis (aka, your “glutes”). For Best Butt Benefits in every workout (and an Instragram-worthy tush), Sculpt Studio in Bethesda delivers the right combo to make your workout work for you. Megaformer workouts will help you sculpt a nice, round shape; but that’s not where your butt benefits end.

Strong glutes have tremendous health benefits. Strong glutes mean a stronger runner, cyclist — a stronger athlete of any type. Your glutes help to support your pelvis and therefore your spine. You can even help your knees by strengthening your glutes and hamstrings!

SPOILER ALERT: THERE IS NO “SIDE GLUTE”

The deal with your butt is that it’s made up of three primary muscles — the gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, and gluteus medius — which are then cushioned with a layer of fat. Much like your abs (also covered by body fat to a greater or lesser degree), the appearance of your butt has a lot to do with how much fat covers your muscle, in addition to how much muscle you’re building.

Rest assured, it’s impossible to get a wide butt from muscle building alone. Muscles don’t grow sideways outside of your thighs (“saddlebags” are caused by pure body fat, so if your butt is bulging out to the side, blame chocolate chip cookies and not your strength training!)

WHICH IS MOST IMPORTANT TO MY BEST BUTT? GLUTES OR LEGS? STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO? DIET OR EXERCISE? (“YES”)

The truth is the muscles of your entire lower body contribute to sculpting your best butt, and it’s both muscle and fat that contribute to the overall shape of your butt; so you need to address it all.

In addition to exercises that obviously target bigger muscles in the lower body, like Mega-Donkey Kicks, Spider Kicks, Bungee Kicks, every type of Lunges and Squats, Skater, etc., we strategically include movements that fire up and strengthen the smaller stabilizing muscles, like Standing or Kneeling Inner-thigh series, Ninja Squats; and when we hold positions during each lower body exercise. Rounding out your perfect bottom routine is the stretching which we build right into your Megaformer workout. For flexibility, all the lunges (Express, 5th, Elevator, Escalator) include lengthening and stretching of the muscles in every rep.

You stimulate muscles best when you can use a full range of motion, but it’s very hard to isolate the glutes through traditional means. In exercises such as squats and lunges on the floor, so many of the stronger muscles of the lower body can take over and therefore the glutes are not being activated as effectively. When those same exercises are performed on the Megaformer, the glutes have no choice but to activate, which is part of the genius of the Megaformer’s design: It allows bodies of different sizes to make those glutes work to their full potential.

The machine alone doesn’t do it, though. It’s the method we coach you through that really makes it work. We don’t count reps for a reason: we pace you to keep your movements “slow and controlled” with continuous muscle tension, the way the Megaformer was intended to be used by its designer, Sebastien Lagree (aka, “the Lagree Method”). By doing the Lagree Method, we’re teaching you the most effective way to get all the benefits of a Sculpt workout. The cardio comes when your heart is pumping hard to supply the energy needed to control the smaller muscle fibers that are increasingly fatiguing without the momentum blast of using faster, more explosive motion. Those smaller muscles are responsible for fat-burning.

THE POWER OF REST AND NUTRITION

Keep this crazy contradiction in mind: You don’t *build* muscle during a workout. All that building happens when you’re recovering from a workout. That’s because when you’re exercising to muscle failure, you’re actually breaking down muscle tissue. You repair that damage when you’re resting and recovering, and that’s how your muscles grow. Sleeping and eating*, that’s where the magic happens (*of course what you eat matters — see chocolate-chip cookie warning, above).

 I WANT IN!

Come join us for a Megaformer workout where you can start building your best butt in any of our classes here at Sculpt, and even supplement your work with our Xpress 25 min“Glutes and Abductor” targeted sessions. Check our schedule HERE

HOW DO I KNOW WHETHER I’M BUILDING MUSCLE/LOSING FAT?

When you’re trying to build muscle, which benefits both your overall health and metabolism (and of course your sculpted butt), you want to be sure that any weight you lose is fat and not the muscle you’re working so hard to build. One way to check is with a tape measure and an online calculator to figure out and track your body fat percentage, keeping in mind that muscle weighs more than fat.  Another way to tell is the way clothes fit.  Muscles take up less space because they are firmer, tighter and more compact.