You've probably noticed that when you gain weight, your butt gets bigger. The reverse is also true. Because your butt is partially made up of fat, it will get smaller when you lose total body fat.
Doing the right type of cardio — shorter spurts at higher intensities — and strength training can help you lose weight while maintaining your curves in all the right places.
Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Fat Loss
Understand Weight-Loss Factors
You can't spot reduce, so you can't target particular areas of your body for weight loss, as explained by the American Council on Exercise. As you shed pounds, they will come from all over your body, including from your butt.
Your body type plays a role in how much fat you lose from your rear. If you're pear-shaped, meaning you have a tendency to store fat around your hips and butt, you'll likely see less of a reduction in size.
If you have more of an apple shape, easily putting on fat around the midsection with a naturally small behind, you'll have to work a bit harder to preserve your curves.
Do High-Intensity Cardio
Cardio is cardio, right? Wrong. When it comes to losing fat and staying curvaceous, not all cardio is created equal.
Jumping on the treadmill for an hour a day will definitely burn calories, but it may also give you a pancake butt and that is not the look you're going for.
A better option is shorter, higher-intensity workouts. Include activities such as sprints, stair climbing, spinning and cardio kickboxing.
You can also see these results in real-world athletes. Just look at a sprinter's body compared to a marathon runner's body. Sprinters need powerful thighs and glutes (the butt muscles) to execute high speeds over short distances. Long-distance runners need light and lean bodies (read: no butt) to carry them for miles.
So save time and save your bum by working out intensely for 20 to 30 minutes a session. It's a win-win.
Build Some Muscle
Muscle takes up less space than fat, but it still takes up space. You can replace some of the lost volume in your rear as you lose weight by building up your glute muscles. Plus muscle is firmer than fat, so your new butt will have a more lifted, perkier appearance.
Muscle is also more metabolically active than fat; having more muscle will make it easier for you to shed fat and keep it off. As part of a total-body strength-training program, work your glutes at least two days per week, as recommended by the Physical Activities Guidelines for Americans.
Some of the most effective exercises that target the glutes include step-ups, lunges, deadlifts, barbell hip thrusts and single-leg squats, according to an article published in the March 2020 issue of the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine.
Lift enough weight so that your glutes and thighs feel very fatigued at the end of the last couple of sets. Gradually add more weight as you get stronger to continue making muscle gains.
Read more: 17 Exercises to Shape and Tone Your Booty
- American Council on Exercise: "Myths and Misconceptions: Spot Reduction and Feeling the Burn"
- Journal of Sports Science & Medicine: "Gluteus Maximus Activation During Common Strength and Hypertrophy Exercises: A Systematic Review"
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition"