Reader’s Request: Booty Sculpting

Hey guys! Hope you’ve had a wonderful day <3

When I put out the call for reader’s requests on Twitter earlier, I was flooded with tweets concerning booty questions.


– How do I keep my booty from turning into a pancake?

– What are the best glute exercises?

– How can I shape my booty and make it more round??

So friends, this booty sculpting reader’s request is for you 🙂

Might as well start the post with the very profound words of Sir Mix-A-Lot:

“Don’t want none
Unless you’ve got buns, hun
You can do side bends or sit-ups,
But please don’t lose that butt…”

“Baby Got Back” 1992

Haha 😀

Now first things first, please do not get hung up on the size of your booty.

Kim Kardashian - Birthday Party - Jet at the Mirage - Las Vegas - 10-26-07  (Source)

We’re talking about *shape*, not *size* here. I’ve trained so many different body types and working on glute sculpting makes a significant difference, regardless of body type. In other words, a smaller sculpted booty looks just as awesome as a more voluptuous booty.

One thing I have noticed with all of the women I’ve trained (including myself), it’s very easy to lose booty shape when you’re sitting down all day, or when you do a lot of high-impact cardio like running and plyo.

me (3)

Here are my favorite tips for a shapely behind:

1) Fuel. Make sure you’re getting enough calories, carbs, protein and healthy fat for your lifestyle. When you don’t get enough calories and macronutrients, your body will go into catabolic state, using muscle as fuel, and holding onto excess fat in areas where we don’t want it. Just ensure that each meal has a balance of healthy fat, carbs and protein- for meal ideas, *click here*

2) Cardio! The best way to burn fat is through healthy eating and cardio. Add in some interval training to burn fat, hills to tone and sculpt, and steady state for endurance. If you do too much cardio, you may be burning away precious muscle and creating the “pancake booty.” If you’re not training for an event, keep the cardio to a moderate amount (30-60 minutes most days of the week, varying intensities), and if you’re training requires longer and more intense cardio, be sure to fuel properly.

3) Strength training. Strength training is not only critical for bone health and a speedy metabolism, it can also allow us to change the shape of our bodies by building lean muscle.

Here are my favorite sculpting moves:

At home or at your desk:

Wall squat

Walking lunges

Hip raises (do 12 reps, then hold for 12 counts, repeat)

Standing kickback

Plie squat (squeeze your booty as you stand up)

Chair pose

At the gym:

Stability ball hamstring curl (1 leg makes it more challenging)

Prone leg raises on a bench (I like to do both legs at a time)

Kneeling cable kickback

Sumo deadlift

Lunge and lift

Leg press (I like to position my feet a little higher- it targets the glutes more)

So there ya have it. 😀

I hope ya’ll enjoyed this reader’s request and please send requests my way to fitnessista at gmail dot com.

Happy training,


Something to talk about: What’s your favorite leg/booty exercise?

Something to do: LAST CHANCE to get your $35 Sun Warrior protein 😀

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  1. Melissa @ For the Love of Health on June 29, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Great tips Gina!

  2. allison @ livingoneday on June 29, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    great tips! i got a big ol’ booty and i dont think it’s going anywhere 🙂

  3. Nicci@NiftyEats on June 29, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Windsor Pilates ”Bub & Thigh Scuplt” woeks. Do it three times a week, and you’ll have that sculpted booty. I already have a natural booty but when i started using this, friends actually noticed and commented. lol

  4. Therese on June 29, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Thanks so much for that! Here’s hoping my Runner’s Booty will shape itself up a bit!

  5. Erica @ on June 29, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    great tips. I am a runner – but I don’t have the ‘no butt’ problem. I am bootilicous.

  6. Rhea on June 29, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Thanks, Gina!!

    My office is moving, so I’m about to ditch my gym membership in favor of some good old fashioned running and at-home moves. I will definitely try the glutes-at-home exercises you posted! However, I’m concerned that I won’t get results if I’m not using weights (i.e. bodyweight hip raises vs. holding a weight on my hips). Is that psychological, or will I get lesser results without weights?

    • Fitnessista on June 29, 2010 at 6:30 pm

      if you need more of a challenge, definitely add in some weights. weights on the hips, dumbbells, medicine balls and ankle weights are all good options

  7. Michelle on June 29, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Love this post! I run but I make sure to fuel, so I haven’t lost my booty 😉 I love anything that makes it stronger, though!

    My all time fav move is the stability ball hamstring curl! I don’t know why because it usually leaves me sore, but its one of the ones that I really feel works!

  8. Lauren @ BIOCHEMISTA on June 29, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    My favorite move is leg lifts when on all 4’s 🙂 I learned these from old school Tae Bo vid’s 🙂

  9. Carrie on June 29, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Plie squat!

    Ever since I took dance 101 in college, I fell in love with ballet warm-ups. Including using plie moves. Love.

  10. Kristina on June 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    I have never had this problem. 🙂 even when I was super skinny, I Had A Butt. 🙂

    probably the “fuel” part of your tips!

    great post, I love any blog that quotes Sir Mix…

  11. Kellie on June 29, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    I was definately losing my butt when I was running and not lifting. Now that I added weights, it is coming back again.

  12. Brynne on June 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Yay! Thanks for taking my twitter suggestion and for the tips!

  13. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on June 29, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I love any type of lunges – really love lean lunges and walking ones!

  14. Sonia @ Master of Her Romaine on June 29, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I like this post a lot! thank you 🙂
    My fave glute toner is steep incline walking!

  15. Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete on June 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Deadlifts kill me!!! EVERY TIME! Surprisingly, during running season my butt grows. More cycling, my quads get huge! But as long as it’s muscle, I don’t care about the size!

  16. Nae (of CookingInCambridge) on June 29, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    So even though I swim and run, and do lots of lunges for fencing, my booty is out of control. It’s a part of myself that definitely can use some assistance. What a lovely series of tips! Thanks so much.

  17. Danielle (Runs on Green) on June 29, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Awesome tips! A few years ago, I wasn’t fueling properly & I lost my precious ass. Yup, everything else stayed the same…except I was then rockin’ a pancake.

    Except fast forward to marathon training and *baby got some back* again lol. So all I can say is, fuel properly!

    andddd that prob more about my butt than you wanted to know

  18. Mellissa on June 29, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    You must lift to get a nice booty- squats, lunges, walking lunges! All work wonders 🙂

  19. Allison @ Food For Healing on June 29, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    thanks for the tips!

  20. Jenny on June 29, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Incline walking!! And I mean a serious incline… 15%!

    • Fitnessista on June 29, 2010 at 6:29 pm

      i totally agree- great tip 🙂

  21. Tanya on June 29, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Tonique DVDs and in particular the first Tonique workout changed the shape of my butt like no other. They’re a little corny but they work!

  22. Tina on June 29, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    I think my favorite booty exercise is the deadlift or step ups on a bench. I feel them both so well. This was a great post.

  23. Jo on June 29, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    It’s so crazy that you posted this today as I had a good naked mirror sesh this morning and decided it was my booty that needs the most attention at the moment. Thanks doll 🙂

  24. Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter on June 29, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    My gymnastics team did these exercises called “doggies” where you get on all fours and do a series of exercises. They really work you bootay, but I’m not sure they sculpted it properly.

  25. Mama Pea on June 29, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Cardio does NOTHING for my booty. It’s all about the squats, lunges, deadlifts and bridges for this gal. And clean eating, of course.

  26. breakingsilence @ Freshman -15 on June 29, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    I thought I was the only one who did the plie squat!! It’s definitely effective.

  27. Emily @ Emilyeatsclean on June 29, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Dead lifts, lunges, and squats….for sure!! 🙂

  28. Lisa on June 29, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    What kind of raw goat milk cheddar do you use? I tried locating some at my local health food shop but could not find any raw. Also, thanks again for your awesome Sun Warrior promo! I’ve been wanting to try it for a while and finally ordered some today 🙂

    • Fitnessista on June 29, 2010 at 7:48 pm

      you’ll love the sun warrior!
      i buy the alta dena brand at whole foods

  29. Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary on June 29, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks for the tips G!! I think my fav booty work outs include: lunges, squats and kicks.

  30. dotsie on June 29, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Squats and lunges are my faves!

  31. Lisa on June 29, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Thanks for these tips, I am prone to having a fat pancake and do lots of squats and running to try to fit it. I do have a question about deadlifts though. I never feel like I’m doing them correctly. I have seen various ways of doing them too. Do you just recommend the sumo ones?

  32. Kristin on June 29, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Oh this really helps. My favorite move is the deadlift, and lunges lunges lunges. I actually do a version of your lunge and lift except I extend my leg and pull it through to a knee in front, makes the balancing more challenging, and I try to hold 10-15 pound weights too.

  33. Anne on June 29, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Hi Gina do you know if Open Sky uses usps or ups for shipping?

    • Fitnessista on June 29, 2010 at 9:51 pm

      gahh. i can’t remember :/ i want to say it’s ups, but i’d double-check to make sure

  34. maxinthegym on June 29, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Thanks for the tips! Will these moves help make my thighs leaner as well? I need to build some more muscle in my legs

    • Fitnessista on June 29, 2010 at 9:51 pm


  35. Emily on June 29, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    I tried Kim Kardashian’s “Fit Into Your Jeans By Friday” (A lovely gift from the staffers at Fitness Magazine after I completed my internship there last summer!) and was EXHAUSTED. Me? I’m more of a squat girl! Rotating between quarter mile runs, 20 squats and 10 pushups for 10 minute circuits is one of my favorite workouts. Feel the burn!

  36. Laura (B Foxy Fitness) on June 29, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Great post! I have a serious badonkadonk, so glute and hamstring exercises are a must for taming the buns 🙂 My favorite move to work those muscle groups (besides walking on an inclined treadmill) is the “Mermaid.” Lying prone on a stability ball with hip bones right on top of the ball and hands on the floor under the shoulders, bring the heels together and let the knees fall outward (like frog legs). Keeping heels together and abs drawn in, you push feet upward like a mermaid kicking out of the water.

  37. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on June 29, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Thank you for this! My bootay disappeared after I started running. 🙁

  38. Shanna @ Shanna Like Banana on June 29, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Closed leg squat is great because it gets the outter thighs too! Or leg raises over a balance ball.

    I don’t mind a small bootay, but I sure do want it to stay perky 😉 Same with all my other stuff…hehehe

  39. Karyn on June 29, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    LOVE this post. totally need some more booty here 🙂

  40. Ellen@FirednFabulous on June 29, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    I am ALWAYS looking for ways to give my booty more POW! I have to work SO hard for it, too. Lately I’ve been doing one-legged squats (only you lean forward to touch the ground instead of just dropping straight down.) It works your booty and helps improve balance! Also, is it true that the Stair Master does NOTHING to shape your booty??I read that on another blog and was kind bummed bc it’s my favorite form of cardio other than running!

    • Fitnessista on June 30, 2010 at 8:08 am

      i disagree w that- i love the stairmaster and think it gives a great workout and booty shape

  41. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) on June 29, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Oh Gina…what a post for me! Before my show, I posted many times about my lack of butt and how hard I was working to get one! My body type is long and lean and my butt is non existent without major work on it!

    I do all the exercises you mentioned but basically squats with a barbell on my back and pretty much squatting my own body weight is the only thing that even comes close to giving me some butt. And if I take a day off. It goes down. Two-three days off? I am back to ground zero. It’s like my constant thing I HAVE to work to maintain.

    great post!

  42. Laury @ thefitnessriot on June 30, 2010 at 12:25 am

    I do a lot of these exercises…LOVE to get the tooshie workin!

    My fav booty exercise would probably be a cross between lunges with my back foot lifted on the Bosu; Squats on the Bosu Flipped over…or Plyo Split Squats!

  43. Nae (of CookingInCambridge) on June 30, 2010 at 3:04 am

    Hey Gina! So I copied these down to try some today, BUT I was wondering if you had any advice on how many to do of each/in what order/etc. I guess I get a bit overwhelmed 😉

    • Fitnessista on June 30, 2010 at 8:07 am

      i’d do 3 sets of 10 to 12 🙂

  44. ashley (sweetandnatural) on June 30, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Hi Gina – I saw this article about how findings from exercise science studies don’t always apply to women – Apparently lots of studies are done only with men, but the findings get generalized to the whole population. Was wondering what you thought? Was the woman/man difference discussed in your personal trainer studies? Do you have opinions from personal experience?

    • Fitnessista on June 30, 2010 at 8:23 am

      that’s an interesting article! i’ll post the link to that later today
      honestly, it’s one of the many reasons why i don’t train men- only women. men’s bodies are TOTALLY different machines and respond to methods of training and nutrition so differently than females would.
      this wasn’t discussed in my training study, but from experience training clients and talking to male trainers, it’s totally true.

  45. Mo on June 30, 2010 at 8:21 am

    As far as the booty goes, I’ve noticed that the recumbant bike seems to work this area pretty well – as opposed to your standard upright bike. I have noticed that many who respond to you (and you as well) are young – so do all you can now cause that gravity is cruel when you get into your 40’s!

  46. Chelsa on June 30, 2010 at 10:14 am

    I’m waiting for Fitnessista workout videos… hoping that someday you’ll have some for me to buy!

    • Fitnessista on June 30, 2010 at 11:01 am

      *le sigh* that would be AWESOME

  47. Caroline on June 30, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Funny, running is what actually improved my butt! Maybe it’s all the hills Athens donates to the cause.

  48. MLT on June 30, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Nothing makes my (substantial) booty perky like lunges! I also like the excercise where you get on your hands and knees and swing your leg at a right angle motion up in the air- it’s kind of old-school Jane Fonda, but it works!
    If you do another reader question, I’d love to hear more about how to tone thighs. That is the first place I gain weight, but even when I’m slim, I have a saddle-bag problem. I run, do leg lifts, squats, lunges, plyo and p90 (not all at once, obvi) but just can’t seem to tone the very top of my thighs. ANy suggestions would be much appreciated!

  49. kirsten on June 30, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    great post (as always!!) Have you ever thought about writing for women’s fitness magazines? You write very well and always have the best tips! 🙂

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