By Shoshana Pritzker
Glutes give us a cushion when we’re seated and they make a statement as we walk away. And whether you need to firm up or build up your booty, David Kirsch, celebrity trainer and author of the best-selling Butt Book, is the man who knows how to get the job done.
“I think the ass has always been something … that women want to have,” Kirsch said. “You know, round and tight and perky. Whether it’s a Jennifer Lopez type of butt or somewhat smaller, you gotta make sure it’s not jiggly. I think fashion, on some levels, dictates what is going to be en vogue. If you’re wearing something that has short sleeves, you gotta worry about your arms; if you’re wearing something that is more body hugging, you have to worry about your midsection; if you’re going to wear short shorts, mini-skirts and revealing bathing suits, you have to worry about your butt – so those are the things that are interpreting what is coming. But, from my perspective, when I train the women I train, the butt is featured very prominently for me.”
Training Your Glutes
Training your glutes relies heavily on focusing on tried-and-true resistance training, as well as high-intensity cardio sessions that require plyometric movements.
“It’s a very natural thing for me. I think that cardio plays a huge part of my training. Not cardio on a machine, but exercises that will elevate your heart rate and metabolize calories and burn fat,” says David. “Any lower-body exercise is going to get your heart elevated. So regardless of what we’re trying to do, I’m always going to incorporate some kind of lower-body movement. It can be wide-stance squats, it can be lunges, it can be jumping jacks, it can be a form of a deadlift that focuses on the hamstrings and the butt; but any of the signature moves I have, the platypus walk, etc. will get your heart rate elevated.”
David, who trains elite supermodels and celebrities, uses a circuit style of training to elevate heart rate, shred fat and build solid glutes. “Weight training and bodyweight movements are definitely incorporated into shaping, toning and sculpting the perfect butt, for sure. I mean, they are muscles. Muscles need to be engaged. I do my exercises as a circuit, as a mini-boot camp. Bring one exercise after the other and you’re keeping your heart rate up, you’re using, let’s say depending on your level of fitness, 10 to 15 pounds – not an excessive amount of weight. To me, it’s more about high repetitions and doing moves that don’t necessarily build a lot of muscle or bulk, but tone and sculpt.”
The glutes need as much as attention as any other body part. If you’re in a rush to tighten up, David recommends getting in some kind of high-intensity, glute-focused cardio workout five to six days per week. “It depends on what level of fitness you’re coming in at, your age, your objective; you know, I’m working with a couple of celebrities right now that are getting ready for a photo shoot or to be on set and they’re in every day with me, five days per week and they have homework on the weekends. But ordinarily they’re coming in three to four days per week to train with me.”
“The idea behind the Butt Book is that I wanted to make training very accessible. So all of the moves in the Butt Book can be done at home, in the office, outside, on vacation, etc. You don’t need to be in the gym, you don’t need exercise equipment – maybe you use your bodyweight, maybe you use a stability ball, ankle weight, medicine ball – that’s all you need. The point is that it’s a no-excuse tool to getting in shape.”
Celebrity Homework Killer Workout
Warm up on treadmill at 10% incline and 3 mph for 15 minutes
Perform the following circuit 3 times with 60-90 seconds of rest between rounds. Perform 20 reps for each exercise.
– Sumo Lunges
– Platypus Walks
– Reverse Lunges with High Kicks
– Reverse Crossover Lunges
– Single-Leg Deadlifts With 5-pound Dumbbells
– Switch Lunges or Jumping Lunges
*All of these exercises can be found in David Kirsch’s Butt Book
“Those exercises will specifically work your butt. What makes the training I do so specialized is it focuses on different regions of the butt – the upper, the lower, the middle, the outside – it’s not just one butt. If you have a pear-shaped butt, we want to make sure that pear is not dropping. You want to do things that are going to make that higher. So it shapes and tones and sculpts the butt. If your inner thighs are nice and tight, and your outer thighs are nice and tight, and your butt is nice and perky – wow, great.”
Foot placement is key when sculpting a great butt, “always anchoring in your heel when you are squatting. If you need to build up your glutes, keeping a wider stance is key. And if you’re not looking to do so, just wanting to tighten up, maybe keeping a little less wide of a stance is better,” says David.
If you weren’t born with great glutes, you can still improve on the ones you got. “We may not be able to get you a JLO or Beyoncé booty, but you can still achieve a satisfying shape and size,” says David. “Really focus on every move, feeling it in your butt – if you’re not feeling it in your butt, then you need to correct your form before going on – so that’s the best advice I can give.”