How to Get a Heart Shaped Butt
by Ashley Black
YOU ARE NOT BOUND BY YOUR GENETICS!
You CAN design and shape your butt by addressing the fascia, using targeted glute exercises, and a whole lotta Ashley Black-ness!
This is the picture that started it all! If you want that coveted heart shaped butt, read on!
This article will teach you things you’ve probably never heard of or done that can help you achieve the booty of your dreams! I’ll give you the “Girlfriend Talk,” the “#ScienceGirl” insight, and of course, the “How To.”
First things first, evaluate what you’re working with!
This is important, because looking in the mirror and evaluating what areas you want to smooth out, reduce in size, or build with targeted glute exercises will help you set clear goals. Is your lower back “fascia bound” and creating a square shape? Do you have extra volume on the top or sides of your glutes that you want to reshape? Is the bottom of your booty “dropping” or weakened from tight fascia and lack of muscle access?
Identifying these areas will help you create a strategy to address the things you want to change. How exciting!
Whether you’re young or old, in great shape or totally out of shape, this program will help you, but it’s important to be realistic about your starting point and goals! You’ll also want to take clear “before” pictures so you can keep record of your progress and having something to compare against!
3 Steps for a #HeartButt:
#1. Fascia Release:
Use the FasciaBlaster® to help release the tight fascia that’s binding fat into strange shapes and fat pockets and keeping your muscles from properly activating.
Use targeted glute exercises to help condition and fill out the glutes (not the exercises you’ve been told to do!).
#3. Follow Up:
Everything else you need to know from posture and hydration to tanning and not wearing jeans that are too tight.
Step #1: Fascia Release
Fascia is the connective tissue that runs through your whole body like a cobweb, encasing and enveloping every joint, muscle, organ, and system of the body. If your fascia is unhealthy and tight, it compresses the underlying structures and muscles causing tension and restriction and inhibiting your muscles from properly functioning. It also traps the fat into stubborn pockets that form your “trouble areas.”
This picture helps represent how severely fascial distortions can bind to the legs and glutes! This girl used the FasciaBlaster® to “uncover” a gorgeous booty that was totally impeded by fascial distortions (read this blog to learn how unhealthy fascia can affect the skin’s appearance).
Ladies … how INSANE is it that you could be busting your butt dieting and working out and be held back by this unknown culprit? Addressing the fascia gives you the upper hand in improving the shape and function of your body WITHOUT crash diets, drugs, or surgery! With this knowledge, you’ll be empowered to change your shape the way YOU want it to be in a natural, healthy way!
The gluteal muscles are intersected by several lines of fascia:
The layers and lines of fascia run also THROUGH the muscles, and when the fascia is tight, it can compress the muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. This can lead to tension, dysfunction, restriction, and poor muscle conditioning and performance.
After evaluating your shape, it’s important to evaluate the condition of your fascia. If an area is sensitive to the touch or to FasciaBlasting, that’s a good indicator that you have fascial adhesions in that area and need to ease into FasciaBlaster® treatments to open and loosen the tight fascia a little at a time.
If your tissue isn’t sensitive but you have stubborn “chunky areas,” you’ll need to focus on releasing that area little by little and go through the process of breaking down the big chunks into little “gravely” chunks, then smoothing out the gravel! This process can take time depending on the condition of your fascia, your lifestyle, and your goals, so please be realistic about your starting point and goals! Just DON’T get discouraged! This process has worked for so many like you, and with time and commitment, you’ll soon be rocking the booty of your dreams! #Goals
Step 1: Heat
As always, start by warming the tissue both internally with a few minutes of exercise, as well as externally in a hot shower, both, or sauna. Click here for more ways to heat.
This playlist demonstrates where to FasciaBlast:
1. Love Handles
Release the fascia that’s binding the fat just above the pelvis.
2. What I call “High Butt” or “Square Butt”
* If you like your high butt, skip this step.
This high butt is kind of the nemesis of the #HEARTBUTT because the fat that should sit in the lower areas might be trapped in the high butt. If you do this technique, sometimes this alone will create nice curves and reshape the butt. Remember: you’re in control, so make sure you hit the right areas!
3. Low Sides
This is where so many women have DEEP adhesions because of the demand we place on our hips without having the muscles to support our movements.
4. The Glute/Hammy Tie-In
This technique is all about the booty lift! Having muscle access where your leg meets your butt is the HEAVEN’S GATE of booty lifting.
5. Full-body FasciaBlasting
The fascial system runs all throughout the body and operates as an interconnected unit. In order for the entire fascia system to function properly, it needs constant maintenance. Don’t skip your full-body FasciaBlasting sessions!
Fascia is also the main sensory organ and communication system with the brain and nervous system. It’s essential for the mind-body connection to every muscle – including the glutes.
Step 2: Build A Butt
Most “butt toning” programs promote exercises like squats, lunges, step ups, or the side-leg-lift-fire-hydrant thing. It’s not that these exercises are “bad,” it’s just that there are more targeted ways to isolate and activate the glute muscles. Also, if you don’t maintain perfect body mechanics and posture throughout these exercises, you’re probably wasting your time!
If you’ve been working out to build a butt and NOT getting the results you want, it’s likely due to one or more of these factors:
1. Tight, distorted fascia compressing your muscles
2. Bad body mechanics interfering with the proper muscle isolation and contraction
3. Other muscles are compensating (i.e. your quads contract instead of your glutes)
4. You’re lacking the proper nutrition to build muscle
Most of the fitness professionals, models, actresses, and clients I’ve worked with over the past 20+ years “know everything there is to know about training” … except when it comes to the glutes. In addition, they don’t focus on how the fascia lines affect your muscle performance.
The key to growing a muscle is to flush as much blood and nutrients to the muscle to increase the activation or neuro-connection. Doing exercises like squats and lunges activate OTHER muscles, which means you aren’t even targeting the butt! The goal is to properly isolate, activate, and grow the glute muscles so you can sculpt the booty shape you want!
Did you know that there are 9 gluteal muscles? 4 on the top and 5 underneath.
The larger muscles that help shape the butt are the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and Tensor Fascia Lata (TFL). The underlying muscles that are important for hip stability are the Piriformis, Obturator Internus, Obturator Externus, Gemelli, and Quadratus Femoris. We don’t want to ignore them, but they are less important for the shaping of your #HeartButt.
Fascia contributes to the contractive force of muscles. Remember: if the fascia is restricted anywhere throughout the body, it can clamp down and compress the glutes and prohibit them from properly activating. Any compensatory movement, such as tipping the pelvis, turning the hip or foot out, or leveraging body weight can interfere with activating and conditioning the glutes.
HOW TO: It’s all about isolating.
I filmed a live, real-time workout and FasciaBlasting interval session using my FasciaYoga™ ball that you can follow along:
Watch these videos for the individual workout tutorials shown in standing:
Video 1: Glute Maximus
The largest and most superficial muscle that gives the butt shape.
Lies underneath the Gluteus Maximus and on top of the Gluteus Minimus.
The deepest and smallest of the superficial glute muscles.
You can do these with both feet on the ground, or raised on a box or chair, then progress into raising 1 leg.
The TFL works synergistically with the glute medius and minimus and is an important aspect of movement patterns and sculpting your #HeartButt.
Here’s a sample exercise schedule:
(right click to download and print)
** As a side note, if you want to take the guesswork out of your training, you can learn the proper techniques and mechanics for all exercises and movement from my Inner Core Exercise (I.C.E.®) program. Here are a few samples from the series that you can incorporate!
Step #3: Lifestyle
Everything else you need to know from posture and nutrition to spray tans and not wearing jeans that are too tight!
1. Posture and Biomechanics
The way you sit, stand, drive, walk, sleep, and move can affect your structure as well as create rolls and folds! Anytime you’re repeatedly in a position, your fascia will start to stick and tack you in that position like duct tape! Be aware of your posture and practice the wall test posture throughout the day to train your brain and body to stand, sit, and move correctly.
Don’t jack up your fascia! Staying biomechanically fit and structurally sound is the first key to keeping your fascia healthy. Revisit the wall test technique and practice this several times a day.
It is so important that the pelvis stays in a neutral position as defined in the video below because you will activate your glutes in natural movements such as walking.
Grab a partner and practice this hip traction technique to release the hips. It’s important that you actually have the ability to keep your pelvis in a neutral position while you extend your leg behind you, and in order to have this range of motion, it’s extremely important to have your hip flexors open.
Practice this PNF stretching technique throughout the day to open the hip flexors. Stretching the lines of fascia will help decompress the tissue, release tension, and improve your results!
Click here to follow my a real-time #FasciaYoga session on the FasciaYoga ball!
3. Nutrition and Hydration
A wholesome, nutritious diet and staying hydrated are imperative for healthy fascia. Along with drinking plenty of water, I personally recommend adding electrolytes* to your hydration regimen to ensure you’re taking in the proper minerals that help push hydration to the cells. My personal favorites are Nuun tablets, but I’m excited to release my very own brand of “Cellectrolytes” – coming soon!
* Before adding any supplements, please check with your trusted specialist on what is right for your situation.
4. Don’t wear clothes that are too tight!
Anytime you wear something restrictive (low rise jeans that create a muffin top, tight underwear, corsets, waist trainers or spanks, etc.), it can actually cause the fascia to create permanent dents where the clothing pulls in. Here’s an example of a woman whose clothes were so tight that the button actually left a dent in the lower stomach or permanent muffin top. This is more common than you think!
A nice tan gives you a beautiful glow and tends to make your skin look healthier. If you’re not about to lay out in the sun, opt for a spray tan!
My BlasterOil® contains ingredients that induce thermogenesis (fat burning) to help reduce volume and the appearance of cellulite, and the AfterBlaster Cream™ has arnica for improved recovery. This duo is the perfect compliment to your #HeartButt regimen!
Here’s a Sample Weekly Schedule for the #HeartButtChallenge:
So ladies, let the booty shaping begin!
I’m sure you are plenty motivated and excited about this process, but for added incentive…
Here’s the Winner of the last 60-day #HeartButtChallenge:
And here’s the 2017 #HeartButtChallenge Winner:
I can’t wait to see YOUR changes!