Ok—we’re going to build a strong mind-muscle, mind-booty connection! I know you hear the mantra that you need to “lift heavy” in order to get results—but it's just not all-the-way true!
You absolutely need to have strong muscle contraction & fantastic FORM before you start adding a lot of weight.
It’s the correct—intended—muscle contraction
that builds you that trim, sexy muscle…
not the weight on the dumbbell!
When it comes to muscle hypertrophy (getting trim, energetic muscle) science has shown that bodyweight exercises are as effective as weights:
Muscle growth "can occur independent of an external load," research published in Physiology & Behaviour concluded, as long as you perform bodyweight exercises through their full range of motion. And in a study by the University of Valencia, push-ups were found to be as effective as bench presses for building strength.
These Booty Pump workouts initially look simple...especially since you're using mainly your bodyweight & light weights...however, they really "work" and your body will thank you when we focus on really contracting the intended muscle groups and getting a good pump!...by:
Ok, so with these Booty Pump workouts you absolutely want to focus on having Perfect Form and getting your intended muscles to squeeze & release.
As a Dancer and Dance Teacher--and a certified personal trainer, Pilates enthusiast, and Ryan Faehnle coached athlete/trainee--I'm happy to share my form & mind-muscle connection expertise here.
Check out the video & written Form Directions each time before you do the move...and if you can, use a mirror to watch and correct yourself for most moves (although not the kettlebell swing).
In the Workout Plan, you'll see which major muscle groups you want to focus feeling while you're doing the move.
Get to know your muscles and feel them SQUEEEEZE and Release.
So here's a bit more about how the Booty Pump workouts are structured, so that you get hot results & a lifted spirit from these short, effective sessions:
We're going to use a compact, booty-centric version of the Full Body training split.
I used to be really into traditional Full Body workouts. They go great with dancing & feel good to do; however, the workouts themselves are quite long! As a new mom, I just couldn't fit those in anymore...
I've been loving a newer-to-me training plan of more compact Full Body sessions (with a Booty Focus, of course) where you'll be working groups of muscles together in one exercise...and you can optionally add in some extra arm definition moves too, if you like.
I was inspired by Jeff Cavaliere of AthleanX's "compact" full-body plan design that emphasizes including each of these movement patterns in a workout...and of course, focusing on the glutes to make it super fun & effective, too!
I've found that still working Full Body--but in a more compact way---has been a great recipe for FLOW and consistency...enJOYing the workouts...and getting booty/mind/spirit results.
I really like this compact Full Body (with a booty focus) workout split for so many reasons:
—First, beginners & Intermediate lifters can rock it
—You can do short workouts to get into a FLOW with pleasurable exercise you look forward to & enjoy!
—Gives great results & energy
—allows muscle groups to have the rest they need between workouts
--gives the same muscle groups enough weekly stimulus for growth too
--all while generally NOT causing muscle soreness...
--And, this structure works really well for Home workouts with minimal gear too
Muscles usually work in groups. So when you’re deadlifting...your back, hamstrings, glutes and biceps are doing the work together...this accomplishes a lot with one move, instead of doing different moves for each body part.
Plus using high-quality compound moves in a strategic plan also helps your muscle groups work together well in other endeavors too--like dancing, playing sports, carrying around a baby. 🙂
Get these workouts IN...werk it with focus and energy when you do...and enjoy feeling more energized after you workout, than before you started.
With the Booty Pump workouts, compact Full Body involves:
Day 1: Full Body, booty-focus workout day
Day 2: Kettlebell Swing day!
We’ll talk more about how to Schedule these workout & rest days in just a bit!
And I can't leave out how exciting it is to have a 2-handed Kettlebell Swing workout day as part of this plan!
The kettlebell swing really LIFTS your glutes UP your backside…and it’s very effective for both building muscle AND burning fat (with nutrient-dense foods and getting good sleep).
Best move for tight, firm, lifted glutes:
Me in 2010, loving the results of the 2-handed kettlebell swing (and Samba)
The KB swing gives you tight, lifted perky glutes —tight and lifted, I tell you! ! It trims down your booty, making it round & righteous...
Just doing pure kettlebell swing workouts (although effective)...can be a little monotonous. So this move is part of a full-body Booty Pump plan instead...all the fun & sculpting effects with more variety.
And--the 2-handed swing is "almost" a full-body workout...however, it leaves out your Chest muscles...so we're adding in a Chest move this day and one of my favorite posture-balancing moves too: Face Pulls (a home workout/dumbbell hottie version).
I'll share more about the *Booty Focus* of these workouts in the next chapter...and for now (hopefully you're getting super PUMPED)...let's keep going with these full-body Quick Start essential tips...
You do want to be getting stronger over time...and trying to progress the amount of weight you use over time as quickly as possible is usual advice.
With Booty Pump, we’re going to use a technique called Step-Loading instead because it works GREAT for home workouts with limited gear, for beginners mastering their FORM…and for intermediate lifters to de-load and build muscle at the same time.
Usually we’re encouraged to add weight & reps every week or every other week…this is a hard strategy to maintain over time & it can lead to injury and burn-out, too.
Instead, we’re going to take this tip from former Soviet Russia and rock feeling fabulous & getting booty fit with Step-Loading:
The idea behind Step Loading is to stick with the same weight for weeks or even months at a time.
It works perfectly with home workouts because you can get fit with YOUR BODYWEIGHT...plus one kettlebell & a light or DIY pair of dumbbells.
You completely master that weight over a period of months.
Then you move on to a heavier kettlebell & dumbbells.
Step Loading allows you to develop a fundamental skill: developing your mind-muscle connection and getting your nerves to fire to create more tension within a particular movement pattern…
Step loading allows you to start off with a fairly comfortable weight/sets…and then builds up to higher volume work.
A fun, proven & fabulous way to build muscle while not breaking your body down. This will set you up for mastering the moves & really working the intended muscles....and progressing with ease.
Another great strategy that I have loved with light weights and Home Workouts, is sloooowing way down the Lowering, or eccentric, part of each strength training move. And that can work, but it's not as healing for your metabolism and overall body stress...
As I talked about in the Myths section--Dr. Ray Peat recommends focusing on the Concentric part of the move & concentric movements in general too, sharing that:
“Concentric resistance training has an anabolic effect on the whole body..."
What is an "anabolic effect?" Over-simply put...When you’re in an anabolic state, you’re building and maintaining your muscle mass.
What we're doing with these Booty Pump workouts though is making sure we are *nailing it* with the focus muscles contracting or squeezing all the way.
You want to use the FULL RANGE OF MOTION for each move...and really feel that intended muscle working/squeezing.
--Ideally, start with 10 - 12 repetitions with *perfect form* of an exercise, per set...then REST the recommended amount before your next set or moving onto the next exercise
--Stick with the same weight and add 1 rep each week…so that you end at 14 - 16 reps each set by the last week. However…
Focus on getting PERFECT FORM!! Don’t just try to eek out extra reps each week (stop one rep short of your form changing/breaking down)…try to get better at being a FORM MASTER and squeezing & releasing your muscles.
And remember, you want to use your exercise time with a focus on building muscle, not "burning calories" and to help you empty your "life stress bucket" instead of fill it. Daily walking can be a gentle way to release stress, enhance your creativity, and stretch our your muscles, too.
This walking would be considered "low - intensity" and good soul food. Save your energy to go all-in with your strength training workouts or your sport activity too...and keep your walking gentle, daily & consistent...is my recommendation.
1. Really focus on Feeling the Muscle you're working! Like your glutes, your thighs, your hamstrings, your chest...Focus on visualizing/feeling that muscle SQUEEZE & RELEASE...
See the Workout Plan for the main muscle to feel Squeezing & Releasing for each move.
2. Focus your mind with MUSIC...don't watch TV or read a book...these workouts can be an excellent form of Movement Meditation...reducing cortisol (which too much stress/cortisol can make your body hold onto body fat, no matter how much you exercise)...so turn up the Music!
3. Use the entire Range of Motion...this goes along with having the best form, or posture, when you do the move. You want to use the entire range of motion for your arm or leg or back/booty when you do the move...
So be sure to read the directions to understand the range of motion for the move...and then have fun doing that.
4. And when you do single leg or arm exercises, start the exercise with your "less strong" arm or leg first.
Then you will see this less strong arm and leg start to catch up! It's awesome, really.
5. Maximize Tempo...and skip the "no pain, no gain" thing...
Tempo is the recommendation for how long each phase of a repetition (one complete movement) should last. We're going to go for lifting & releasing with a faster tempo. The absolute key though is...
Make sure you’re using your muscles, not momentum…
You also want to use your BREATH as you move:
Inhale: Try to fully contract/squeeze the intended muscle as you Inhale...then
Exhale: Move at an upbeat pace & with control on the *lowering* portion of the movement.
Enjoy feeling connected to your body and your muscles.
And then if you feel pain, that's actually your body telling you to STOP. And that you need to check your form or posture and most likely take a REST and see a body worker/chiropractor/doctor to get everything checked out.
Don't ever push through pain. Pain is your body telling you something is not right.
6. Eat *Eating for Energy* Foods when you strength train. Ok, so eating whole foods with plenty of protein,…plus enough good carbs & healthy fats is really essential to your success.
You can reduce joint pain and inflammation in your body...and also make it so that your body is able to receive the benefit of your hard work!
**Also, if you're not eating enough food....you could lose muscle from exercising too**
See my Recommended Resources for Eating for Energy.
Let your desire to move & play in your body..and the feel-fantastic results...inspire you to really go for finding ways to make Eating for Energy Foods work for you!
7. Do the 123 Booty Warm Up...before you workout (super important)
See the WarmUp exercises in the Workout Plan.
Warming up & "activating" your glutes...plus your upper body...and getting all of your muscles WARM before you lift, is very important to getting perky booty results...
And feeling good when you move & reducing/preventing injury and soreness...So don't skip your WarmUp, love! 🙂
8. Your Goal is to Learn the FORM first...and then Progress when you can...
I want to invite you to get into BODYJOY...giving yourself this gift of focusing IN your body...feeling your muscles work....connecting with your BREATH...
And really focus on learning the proper FORM/posture for each move.
I highly, highly recommend re-reading the Exercise Descriptions in the workout plan, each time before you do the move...to make sure your feet, knees, hips, ribs, shoulders & eyes are in the right place for the moves...
And then the next week, your goal is to get BETTER with your FORM...and if you can, add one more REP with the same weight (not exceeding the target number of reps)...each time you workout the same move. Don't try to seek out an extra rep though--only add that extra rep--if you still can maintain *perfect form.*
When your muscle tires, your overall posture will start to change & other muscle groups will start taking over...you absolutely want to stop ONE REP BEFORE your form starts changing/breaking down.
If you can add a Rep with perfect form the next week--great! If you can't...seriously, not a big deal...werk your best form & stay in a flow with the workouts for pumped results.
And when you put all of these ingredients together...and have fun getting into the spirit of being a "Booty Fit Girl"...
Getting your sweat on & building MUSCLE which allows your body to better burn fat & utilize food...and in itself GIVES you more energy.
By making Strength Training feel-good & be meditative & FUN to get into...with focusing on your glutes, using short & effective workouts that leave you feeling energized & quite perky back there…
And putting time & energy into Eating in a way that gives you Energy...plus the brisk walks and prioritizing good sleep…
Working Out & getting fit can indeed be really PLEASURABLE (and not painful) to do! <3
All right—what days & times are going to work best for your Booty Pump workouts??