Boosting my booty

Originally Published: October 11, 2002 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: January 10, 2014
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Alice,

I come from a family where all the men have really flat butts. I'm a 30 year-old man now and mine is fading fast. I run at least 10 miles per week thinking this could help me firm it up, but it's just not happening. Is there anything that you know of that will get my old butt back?

Sincerely,
NOASSATALL!

Dear NOASSATALL!,

Your desire for a bulbous backside may butt up against your genes, not to mention gravity and aging. But don't despair, despite your flat-assed family, some exercises and fashion choices can lift and tighten your tail — which, by the way, is comprised mostly of fat and gluteal muscle.

The running you mention is a great way to enhance many aspects of your fitness. Have you considered adding in some other forms of activity to supplement your weekly miles? A combination of weight training and some new forms of cardio may provide the boost you seek. Have you considered a consultation with a personal trainer to help guide you with your goal? If you are a Columbia student, you can meet with a certified trainer from Dodge Fitness Center. Also, consider checking out CU Move, an initiative that offers the University community opportunities to learn about and engage in physical activities that support healthy living.

In addition to a consultation with a trainer, an array of online videos, tips, and research may provide some perspective. A quick internet search for "glute exercises" provides a range of links. It's best to consult with a reputable source to determine the best type of activity. The American Council on Exercise reports on research in many areas of health and fitness. Visit their website for the latest resources, including findings on how to build those glutes.

Some consistent recommendations across sources include:

  • Lunges
  • Step-ups
  • Hip extensions
  • Squats (various types)
  • Cross country skiing (in the woods or at the gym)
  • Stair climbing
  • Blading or skating

In addition to the fitness side of building a backside, have you considered some fashionable ways to bring out your caboose? Pants, underwear, and bathing suits may change the definition of your derriere by elevating and pulling it, or simply making it appear to be shaped in a way that only you know it's not. If you don't mind the filling and feeling, padded underwear (similar to what padded, push-up bras may do for breasts) may create the illusion of a fully formed butt. A lot of clothing styles may also do the trick, and not all of them are expensive. Grab a friend for some fanny feedback and spend a day trying on different pants, jeans, and shorts. With a little trial and error, you're sure to find a style that's flattering and gives you the boost you desire.

Finally, know that many people have a particular body part they perceive to be different, abnormal, too big, or too small. Indeed, the best workout may be your exploration of how to become more comfortable with your backside.

Alice