Building Curves In The Gym
Having a strong curves and a firm lower body is one goal many women that we meet at Curvalicious Ladies Gym want to achieve. Thanks to our hormones and physiology, women naturally store more fat in the hips, butt and thighs than men, making this a common ‘stubborn area’ for ladies in the gym.
This is why our team at Curvalicious Dubai have created weekly ‘Bootylicious’ sessions, specifically programmed to really target these annoying, stubborn bits! Having a strong, firm backside not only makes you feel great, these muscles are also the powerhouse of the body. They let you jump higher, run faster and lift weights more effectively. Your backside also acts as an important support for your lower back and can help prevent future injuries and lower back pain.
The backside, or ‘glutes’ are made up of 3 muscles:
The ‘gluteus maximus’ is the largest, it is large and powerful to keep the body upright and it works as you stand up from a squat position or do any form of thigh extension like walking up stairs. The ‘gluteus medius’ and ‘gluteus minimus’ do pretty much the same jobs as each other. They help control thigh rotations and, when running, they keep the legs stable, acting as an important support for the knee.
Since building strong glutes has become an important part of so many fitness journeys at Curvalicious Ladies Gym Dubai, we decided to put together some top tips to help you build those strong curves in all the right paces:
Bootylicious Top Tips For Strong Curves
If the goal is strong curves and a firm lower body, we want to avoid muscle wastage as much as possible. Remember, the more muscle you have in your body, the more calories you will burn without even doing anything.
The most effective weightlifting exercises for strong glutes of course starts with the squat. The squat might just be one of the best total lower boy exercises you can do! Otherwise some of our other favourite glute-building exercises for ladies in the gym include: glute bridges, weighted step-ups, deadlifts and Bulgarian split squats.
QUICK TIP: Keep your weight in your heels and take a wide foot stance in your squats for more emphasis on glute activation.
2. Save glute-isolating exercises for the end of your workout
The best way to build curves is to have a mixture of strength (heavy weights, low repetitions) and endurance (lighter weights, higher repetitions) exercises in your lower body workouts. This is because the glute muscles are made up of two types of muscle fibre, fast twich and slow twich. Fast twitch fibres respond best to big bursts of power like in a heavy squat or deadlift, whereas slow twitch fibres respond best to higher repetitions or aerobic training in the gym.
For the best results always start with your heavy strength work and end with high repetition finishers. Do big powerful compound movements like squats and deadlifts first, when your muscles are not fatigued yet, so you have all the energy to push yourself to the maximum. Save endurance (high-repetition, low weight) exercises for the end of your workout. Choose glute isolating exercises such as kickbacks or clamshells to really feel the burn as you tire these muscles out completely!
When you are doing lightweight lower body exercises like glute bridges, clamshells or kickbacks, SQUEEZE. Squeeze your glute muscles tight at the end of each repetition for just a moment up to a few seconds. More squeeze, more stress on the muscle, which means more growth! When you are lifting heavy don’t worry about the squeeze too much, the most important thing is to focus on your posture and form, lifting heavy is tough enough as it is!
4. Keep rest short in between sets (less than 60s, unless you are lifting heavy weights)
To maximize fat burning in the lower body, keep rest periods SHORT. Short rest means your muscles have a longer time under tension which is better for increasing muscle mass. However, if you are lifting heavy weights again you don’t need to worry about this so much. When you lift heavy, rest periods need to be long enough to allow your nervous system to recover and ensure you have your breath and energy back enough to practice safe technique.
5. Mix it up
There are 3 main processes that stimulate muscle growth. The most important is ‘muscle tension’ or time under tension, so it’s a good idea to vary the speed of some of your exercises to increase the time under tension. For example you could take a lightweight do slow squats on the way down to really feel a burn, and then fast on the way up.
‘Muscle stress’ and ‘Muscle damage’ are the other processes that trigger muscle growth. So you will need a mixture of heavy weight training, high intensity training and a little aerobic work to make sure you are ticking all of the boxes.
Another reason why workout variety is so important is that the human body has an amazing ability to adapt to stress quickly. So if you are doing the same routine repeatedly, over time it won’t be as effective as if you mix it up and keep your body guessing – you’ll also have more fun mentally with a variety of challenges too! No two classes at Curvalicious Ladies Gym are ever the same.
Below is an example of a nice varied glute building workout:
6. Do single leg exercises
This is a great psychological brain-body tip. It is much easier to be more aware of engaging the right muscles and really feeling what’s working and what’s not with single-leg exercises. It’s simply easier to focus you attention on the muscles working when you make each leg work once at a time. We all often have one side that’s stronger than the other too so single leg exercises can really help to even out strength imbalances as your stronger side will not be able to help your weaker side out. Single leg exercises are also great for improving balance and stability, often working your core at the same time to keep you upright and steady.
Look after your body! Rest is probably one of the most underrated parts of a workout routine but it is so important. Sleep plays a big role in protein synthesis and the release of Growth Hormone (basically what we need to build muscle!). You need to eat well with enough protein in your diet to help repair muscle tissue and drink plenty to help flush out toxins like lactic acid out of your body.
Quick Tip: Foam rolling and stretching can also help you to recover faster between training sessions and it is important to maintain your mobility and flexibility to prevent injury.
The best way to know if you are working hard enough on your lower body to start seeing visible changes in your curves is to take note of how your body feels during and after your workout. If you are feeling the burn pushing through those last few reps, that’s a good sign. If your muscles start feeling sore 1-2 days later, that’s a great sign, as long as it’s the ‘good kind’ of sore (if you’ve ever taken one of our classes before, you’ll know what we mean!).
If you’re living in Dubai come down to our Boutique Ladies Gym in Nad Al Hammar and trial a Bootylicious session for yourself. We always train in small groups to make sure everyone has some one on one time with our coaches to perfect your technique and keep your workouts safe and effective. Just fill out the form below and you can join us for a free trial: