Chiseled abs and a popping booty are the order of the day for most women (why you wouldn’t want a bootylicious behind is beyond me), and so when you walk into the gym you see women and girls of all ages doing some weirdly concocted glute training program that has them doing something that looks like what you would get if squats had a baby with lunges, and that baby grew up and had a baby with twerking — it’s messed up, to say the least. But I get it, you want that booty.
Some folks just seem to have it good when it comes to having a smashing body, right? You might call “genetics” when you compare yourself to these people, and even though that might be the case, have you evaluated your lifestyle lately? Perhaps you’re doing something every day that causes a soft tummy, or a flat bum? Forgetting about the fast food you ate last night, there are more detrimental things you might be doing that utterly sabotages your body.
So, what are the biggest factors that play a negative role in your body?
1. Sitting for way too long
It’s unfortunate that some of us work a job where you’re sitting for a good 8-9 hours a day, and you know what? Sitting for so long causes orthopedic issues which, eventually, leads to that protruding belly and flabby ass — yes, a flabby ass. Let that sink in for a minute.
Sitting for so long causes ischemia, which is a restriction of blood supply to your tissues. This causes a shortage of oxygen which then impairs cellular metabolism — essentially, keeping the tissue alive. If you haven’t yet put two and two together, this is what I’m saying: Sitting for too long causes blood flow restriction, a shortage of oxygen to cells and tissues are a result of restricted blood flow, muscular atrophy is then a result of impaired cellular metabolism. Ipso facto, flat ass.
And to make things even worse (as if a flat ass wasn’t already depressing enough…), sitting for too long also affects your metabolism — negatively, yeah… Studies have shown that people who sit for 8+ hours a day burn about 25% fewer calories than those who were standing or lightly active.
So, what’s the solution? Set a reminder on your phone to move around at least once every hour, or if it’s permitted, get a standing desk to work at. Also, using a Swiss ball instead of your conventional office chair is a great way to engage your stabilizing muscles in your trunk.
2. Not doing weight training the correct way
I’m looking at you, Sally, curling those pink two-pound dumbbells! Girl, put the toys away and start making some gains! We see it all too often; women who decide to make the transition into resistance training, they get into the weight area and have no cooking clue what they’re doing. Hey, at least they’re there!
One of the most important rules about resistance training is to stimulate your muscles. And to stimulate your muscles, you either go heavy or you do enough reps to get the muscle burning and screaming. Either way, you’re stimulating your muscle fibers and setting yourself up for all kinds of gains. Although, this article is about fixing your soggy bum and tightening your abs. So let’s get into what you should be doing — and no, this is not the 30-day squat challenge. #smh.
Even though I said that this isn’t the squat challenge thing, it does indeed involve squats, and I’ll explain why: the gluteal muscles are the thickest and strongest muscles in the human body, and by doing squats (or any exercise that targets the glutes effectively) you’re adding coals to your metabolic furnace. Here’s the thing, because the glutes are such thick and large muscles, they burn quite a few calories when trained effectively — even more so when you know how to take advantage of your glucose transporters post-training.
So, if you’re looking to increase your EPOC (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), focus your glute training on completely fatiguing the muscle fibers of your glutes. By doing this you will cause hypertrophy (muscle growth) of the glutes and metabolic conditioning, which will help you burn all kinds of fat, revealing that sexy six-pack you got hiding underneath that layer of pizza *wink.
3. Doing way too much cardio
I bet you always thought that cardio was the go-to when it came to fat loss, huh? Well, it is, but only when used correctly. You get those people (and perhaps you’re one of them) who go to the gym to get their cardio on and spend endless minutes, or even hours, doing low-intensity cardio. This is great and all for your cardiovascular health, but detrimental to your fat loss endeavors. Typically, the numbers from performing traditional steady-state cardio are higher than that of HIIT (high-intensity interval training), the EPOC effect of HIIT is much greater than that of traditional cardio and can last for up to 24 hours post-exercise.
And to make things worse, performing steady-state cardio with no progression, variation, or manipulation of intensity can have adverse effects on your hormonal balance, and playing around with your hormonal balance will almost always lead to fat gain.
Another big problem with using the conventional cardio machines is that it affects your posture and can lead to orthopedic issues. When using the treadmill, for example, if your running form is off it often turns off any engagement from the gluteal muscles. So, in my humble opinion, the stationary bike is the best form of cardio if your goal is gluteal activation. However, if you’re not using the correct levels of intensity the benefits will be minimal. Remember how we said that sitting for a prolonged amount of time negatively affects your glutes? Well, the same thing goes for cycling, too.