One of the most admired and focused-on body parts for women worldwide is the bottom.
It comes in many shapes and sizes: apple, pear, heart, H, inverted, and “bubble.”
We have dubbed it with all kinds of nicknames: butt, tush, hiney, tuches, rear, rear end, behind, buttocks, booty, arse, derrière, fanny (in the US, not in the UK!), posterior, duff, ass, cheeks, bum, haunches, rump, seat, backside, shank, tail, and caboose.
So many names to describe a body part that has been the fixation of many for millennia. The list is “endless.” (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
Lately, my bum isn’t where it used to be—and I’m willing to bet that you may be experiencing a change in your caboose, too. As I have moved forward in life, my athletic, high, round “booty” has started to venture farther south. I’m not sure if I didn’t pay close enough attention and let her slide a bit or if the natural progression of moving forward in life influenced my tush’s gravitational pull. I still recognize one of my best assets, BUT what can I do to keep it firm and prevent it from eventually resting on my hamstrings?
Is derrière drop an inevitable part of aging, and are there options for a natural bum lift?
In my research on exercise, diet, and aging, the answers I have found to both those questions are no AND yes. As women age, the drop in levels of estrogen may be the biggest culprit in the drop of our derrières. Also, believe it or not, as we age we may LOSE fat in our backsides, causing the saggy, flat-as-a-pancake paradox. The other cause of a deflated derriére is weakness in the gluteal muscles.
If you sit for extended periods of time, you aren’t doing your fanny any favors. Sitting is not only bad for the butt, but bad for your spine. It causes compression of the oh-so-important discs between the vertebrae, creating a domino effect. The gluteus is connected to the spine, and the spine is connected to pretty much everything else, directly and indirectly.
The gluteus consists of the maximus, medius, and minimus muscles. The gluteus maximus is one of the strongest muscles in the entire body. It works in tandem with the quadriceps, also known as the thigh muscles.
Strengthen your thigh muscles with squats and you strengthen your rear view.
ARGH, SQUATS!! I hear you. Have no fear; even small depth squats are beneficial. You can do them from various angles for maximum results with minimal distress. Secondly, you get a decent cardiovascular workout with squats, and THAT burns calories.
Try putting your feet close together, about a hips’ width distance apart. For even more benefit, open your legs into a wider stance known as Sumo squat or second position and point your feet forward or slightly angled outward. Then simply dip down slightly, moderately, or deeply, depending on your knees, strength, and flexibility. Rise and repeat.
Do split-leg squats, with one leg in front of the other and knees at about a 45-degree angle. Use various speeds and depths, and with those simple moves, you have a full behind workout.
Stand up while you’re watching television, or a movie at home, and knock a few repetitions out! It’s THAT simple.
The gluteus medius is responsible for allowing your leg to lift out to the side, also known as hip abduction. It helps keep your hips in alignment. If you lift your leg up in front of you, your gluteus medius helps you keep your balance.
The gluteus minimus assists in the thigh rotation at the hip. It’s a deeper muscle and a bit forward of the gluteus medius.
In addition to the gluteus muscles are tendons, ligaments and supporting tissue. They work harmoniously with the gluteus.
Without getting into an in-depth anatomy lesson, suffice it to say that large ligaments, tendons, and muscles are responsible for holding our bones in place in the lower region of our body. Tendons and ligaments are imperative for keeping the hip ball and socket from dislocating.
Back to the backside:
As we age, we are more at risk of visible cellulite on our thighs, posterior, stomach, and even on our upper arms. Cellulite has a despicable image but it’s not an accurate indicator of being overweight. Thin women experience cellulite. It appears due to hormones, the thickness of the skin, what we eat, and how we move our bodies. Cellulite is, in essence, little fat pockets pushing up between the connective tissue under the skin. (That is by no means a comprehensive explanation. If you need a more in-depth description, there is a cornucopia of information online. )
So, what can we do to raise our rump and diminish the visibility of cellulite?
Walk, walk, walk, walk. It’s Mother Nature’s little longevity secret for everyone!
Do your squats. Love them or hate them, you can safely and effectively do different forms of squats standing or seated to revitalize your rear.
I can often be found squeezing my butt cheeks together when standing in line at a store. No one knows you are doing it unless they are staring at your seat.
That reminds me of the time I forgot to take the plastic size strip off of the back of a new pair of jeans. You know the ones I’m talking about. I was in line at a coffee shop. All of a sudden I felt a tug and heard a slight ripping sound and then the man behind me said “You forgot this.” He handed me the strip and walked away. I didn’t know whether to be grateful or humiliated. I was with three of my closest girlfriends, and they all broke into hysterics. “Girl, you’ve still got it if a guy was looking at your butt and saw the label.” I turned the brightest shade of red. I never looked him in the face. I also never addressed why a guy pulled a size strip off of the back of my leg in the first place, instead of just pointing it out. I am not going to second guess it. I’ll never know, but it makes for a humorous anecdote.
As far as leg exercises are concerned, there are quite a few exercises that can be done from a chair. I do them all the time in my seat on a plane. YouTube is ripe for the picking with illuminating instructional videos on health for your hiney.
Exercises aside, nutrition is inescapably important
Fad diets DO NOT work. Let me repeat: FAD DIETS DO NOT WORK. How do I know? I’ve tried most of them. I also was a certified personal trainer. I saw firsthand for myself and others how temporary the results are from fad diets. Consistent clean and healthy eating is the recipe for your best behind. It’s not as hard as we think and won’t break the bank if we take a little time and make a little effort.
We recently moved to a new city, and one of the first things we did was look for farmers’ markets, farms that sell directly to the public, co-ops, and little roadside stands in the rural areas around us. We have scoured the local grocery stores for organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. It’s a wonderful way to get to know a new place, too.
All in all, a healthy hind end is a happier you. It does much more than just follow us around. It allows us to move through our day more easily and effortlessly.
It also doesn’t hurt my marriage that my husband still has admiration for my… you get the picture. However, that’s not my sole motivation. My sole motivation is to stay healthy as long as possible—with or without a Brazilian butt lift.