Clients have asked me to help them gain a butt that will make sure their jeans stay on without a belt. Can I help them with this goal? Yes. Can I help them attain a butt that as noticeable as J-Lo's? Not likely. Let me explain:
Jennifer Lopez and others like her have what's known as an "anterior pelvic tilt." Basically, their largely noticeable hips are due to a postural distortion where the top of the pelvic girdle (the anterior superior iliac spine) points down towards their feet as opposed to straight ahead. As the black arrows in the picture below illustrate, the pelvis is rotated so that the tailbone (coccyx) is higher than it should be. The coccyx, bottom of the sacrum (just above the coccyx), and the bottom of the pelvic girdle push the backside out further than it would in a correct postural alignment...and that is why the "J-Lo booty" exists.
Now, if you don't have an anterior pelvic tilt and want to get a bigger butt than the one you have now, you need to strengthen your hip muscles: the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus. You can do this through two exercises:
- To reach the gluteus maximus, do a leg press or a squat. Having a full range of motion is critical to effectively working the gluteus maximus. With a squat, make sure that you lower your thighs so they are parallel to the floor before transitioning to the positive on every rep. With the leg press, your starting position should feature your thighs being exactly perpendicular to the floor. Make sure you bring your legs back to that position in between every rep. With both the squat and the leg press, involving the gluteus maximus means pushing through the heels!
- For the gluteus medius (which gives the top part of your butt its muscular shape) and gluteus minimus, use a hip abduction machine. This machine is what most would call the "outer thigh machine (I put that in parentheses as there are no outer thigh muscles)." With the hip abduction machine, start with your thighs as close together as you can squeeze them, then push out as far as you can. Take a two second pause before starting to bring your thighs closer together. The further you recline the back of the hip abduction chair, the more involved your two glute muscles will be.
Finally, if you are desiring to gain more noticeable hips and currently you find that your butt doesn't protrude more than your back does, you may have a postural distortion known as a "posterior pelvic tilt." This is the opposite of the anterior pelvic tilt. Before you start on the glute exercises above, consider consulting with a rolfing specialist. Rolfing is a very deep form of massage therapy that corrects structural alignment. A rolfer can realign your pelvic girdle in a few sessions and, combined with the glute exercises, can get people to start noticing your backside.