Dear Hudson and Billy,
I know they say that as you age, gravity takes over and things start to sag, but I hadn’t expected my bottom to become so flat! Despite working out, doing cardio and running in the park, I can’t get any pertness back. I don’t expect to have the booty of Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian or Beyoncé, but I’d love to see some firmness. What do you suggest?
Susan Kerpt, Covington
Firstly, sagging around the buttocks is a common complaint, especially among women. In female bodies there are more fat deposits in this area than others because of what women’s bodies are programmed to do – i.e. have children – so it’s hard to work off these fat deposits. Secondly, the more weight you’re carrying, the greater those fat deposits are going to be.
So, as always, you need to make sure you are eating a healthy diet and following a sensible exercise regime. There are some great exercises that are highly effective at giving you an attractive, rounded and pert derrière.
The best exercise to start with is the Squat: Place your feet wider than shoulder width apart, toes turned out. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing thighs. Squat down, keeping your back straight, shoulders back and tummy pulled in. Raise up and repeat. Alternatively, use a barbell of a challenging weight and rest it on the top of your shoulders throughout your repetitions.
Continue with the Dumbbell Lunge: Stand with feet together and a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing your thighs. Lunge forward, making sure you keep your lunging knee directly over your ankle and the weight in your heel. Push off and lunge forward with the other leg.
Finish with the Straight-Leg Deadlift: Stand with feet shoulder width apart, a dumbbell in each hand, with palms facing your thighs. Bend forward at the hips, keeping your back flat and straight. Lower the dumbbells until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings or until they reach your toes. Keep the dumbbells close to your legs as you straighten up, squeezing your gluteus maximus, also known as bottom muscles, at the same time.
Consider Sprints: Jogging will do little to shape and tone your rear, but sprinting will help achieve that rounder, firmer shape as it uses different muscles. Try doing sprints at a challenging speed, several times in a row.
Everybody has different strength and fitness levels. If you can, see a trainer for at least one session; her or she will make sure you are using the correct weights and repetitions to make the exercises challenging, so you’ll see the results much faster.
Good luck, and enjoy defying gravity!