Butt seriously: how bottoms became a fitness obsession

The hottest gym in LA right now is Bünda: Portuguese slang for bum, the “home of the better butt” – a gym entirely dedicated to working your posterior. It promises a “total body change”: “Once you Bünda, you will never look back … well, maybe for a selfie.”

The trend has hit UK gyms, too, with a number now offering a range of classes focused only on glutes, from “BadAss” to the “Kylie Butt Lift” – named after Minogue, not Jenner. But it is the rise and rise of Jenner and the Kardashian family, whose bottoms have grown with their bank balances, that has led to a seismic shift in workout culture. While many women have, of course, always taken pride in well developed glutes, the emphasis on a firm, or “juicy”, bottom has now overtaken the flat stomach as the fitness holy grail in mainstream women’s health magazines.

Instagram is the biggest platform for the trend, with #squats having reached 16.3m mentions and #glutes 4.6m as fitness influencers such as Tammy Hembrow and Katya Elise Henry profit from millions of followers wanting to know how to achieve their own butt transformations. With the Kardashians’ big bums and tiny waists the beauty benchmark for many young women, despite their multiple rumoured surgical enhancements, fitness trainers are finding that their clients increasingly approach them with unrealistic demands.

“People bring me a photo of the bum they want, and I have to say: ‘OK, let me talk you through the picture’,” says personal trainer Kelechi Okafor. “They did not do this from training. These people manage to have humungous backsides, but their thighs, hamstrings and calf muscles are non-existent. I’m having to take a step back from taking on so many clients because it is so draining dealing with people’s expectations.”

Some fitness experts say the trend is not just about aesthetics, and endorse glute-activation warm-ups as the best way to start a workout and get the body firing on all cylinders. Pilates trainer Hollie Grant says any form of glute activation helps people to bring their pelvis back to a more neutral position. “Most people have lazy glutes because, when they are sitting down, it lengthens and stretches the glute muscle. That has the effect of switching it off.”

Read more The Guardian

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