Butt, I Like My Curves (and so does my husband!)

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

By Fitness Editor Paula Jager, CSCS

Feb. 2011: 15 pounds overweight

Paula: “Honey, do these pants make my butt look big?”  I asked my husband Rick.

Rick:  “Sweetheart, how could your butt possibly look big, it’s all muscle!”

June 2011: Excess weight gone

Rick:  “Sweetheart you look so good in those shorts and you look so fit. You were really putting it on a few months ago and it all goes to your butt–just like your mother.”

Wait a minute!  Was that a compliment or an insult?

Let’s face it.  When it comes to his lady’s appearance, a guy will frequently shade the truth to save his skin.

I asked several male clients recently if their wife/girlfriend held up a picture of a heavy woman and a fit woman and asked which looked better.

100% percent said they would say they would pick the picture of the woman that most closely resembled their wife/girlfriend.

Even if it wasn’t true I asked?

“Absolutely”, said one client that wishes to remain anonymous, “I will lie through my teeth. I don’t want to sleep on the couch.”

Appearance does not make a person. I am in no way, shape or form saying it is the most important aspect of an individual but this post is about fitness and exercise and the best ways to tone and tighten the backside with an overall improved appearance is usually a part of most people’s goals.

People come in many shapes and sizes but the one thing the ladies in the above picture have in common is the fact that their butts are fit!

They move them on a daily basis rather than just sitting on them; they run, they jump and they lift weights. I have a bubble butt; I had a bubble butt back in 1966. I remember when I got my first pair of hip huggers. The sales lady, Paula Walla (that was really her name) at Joseph Horne Co. told my parents “she certainly has the shape for them”.

I was only 6 years old–a tiny little thing but it was prominent even then! Some of us have flat butts, wide butts or no butts. We all have a basic genetic shape; it’s what you are born with, you can greatly improve upon it but you cannot change it.

Take my bubble butt for example: by gorging on the wrong foods or having a mouth like a vacuum cleaner my bubble grows. Without exercise my bubble sags. But with the right exercises and the proper nutrition my bubble sits high and lean. And the right exercise and proper nutrition makes me feel good inside as well. You cannot separate the body and mind.

Here are some guidelines for bringing out the best for your backside no matter the shape. . .

Walking/Pilates/Yoga: if you are doing nothing else this is an excellent way to begin to tone the body as well as the posterior. Squeeze your butt muscles while you are walking and learn to feel them. Move on to more strenuous activities when this is no longer challenging enough or your results plateau.

Running: excellent to melt fat off but too much will give the appearance of skinny fat especially if no strength training accompanies it. Best for those with more to lose.

Sprinting: ever see a sprinter’s backside? Need I say more?  Wind sprints work for everyone.

Weight training: Squats, lunges, step ups, deadlifts. Nothing and I mean nothing will develop, shape and tone the butt muscles better than deep squats and lunges with added resistance. Good for everyone.

Plyometrics: box jumps, squat jumps, split jumps and stair climbing will also improve your posterior in a hurry.

Mix and match the above exercises into different combos depending on your specific goals, genetics, fitness level and experience and also to keep things fun and interesting.

Exercise need not be boring!

Accompany your chosen fitness routine with clean nutrition and you will have your derrière looking its best come summer–plenty of curves without a lot of fat!

*In case you’re wondering, I’m the one with the yellow shirt.



Paula Jager CSCS and Level 1 CrossFit and CF Nutrition Certified is the owner of CrossFit Jaguar in Tampa, FL

Her exercise and nutrition programs yield life changing results


Comments (24)

  1. My favorite workout, sans a gym, is rollerblading while pushing my baby in his stroller. We’re up to 4.5miles, as of yesterday. My oldest son rides bike next to me and holds a good fast pace. Great workout for the butt, and stomach, thighs, and calves! Wish I could do it twice a day!

  2. Hi Amanda,

    If you haven’t already I would first visit an orthopedist, assess damage and evaluate whether some physical therapy or anything could be done to restore pain free range of motion and function.

    If you’ve already been that route I would suggest some 1/2 squats, 1/2 deadlifts, romanian deadlifts, anterior lunges and both forward/reverse sled work or tire drags. And if hurts, don’t do it.

  3. Yes to each their own and I did try to emphasis balance but without obsession.

    Also taken into account must be the individual and how that individual was made. My wife went on a fat to muscle routine many years ago. Now she is tall and quite solidly built. She got down to a target weight BUT was unhealthy and somewhat “bony” at that weight. The addition of a small amount of weight, mostly muscle, slowly and over time had her with a much healthier aspect and more energy. She is clearly healthier and happier at a higher weight. This is her ideal, not mine.

    I only encourage that you find what is best for you all the while pursuing optimum fitness and nutrition for YOU. I really don’t think there can be disagreement with that.

    Girls is like cars, The most beautiful cars have lots o curves. But they are also the most “fit” cars as well. The 427 AC Cobra held most of the top performance records for a great many years and is still knock out gorgeous. Just sayin….

  4. CJ at Food Stories April 21, 2012 at 10:11 am

    I loved the picture that goes along with this post and thought it was very telling that men chose the body type that mostly resembled their wife.

  5. Alas – I fall in to the other spectrum. I am curvy if viewed from the front, but no caboose! The best I have been able to do is tighten up what little I have :-(

    • Don’t despair, we can always improve upon what we have. And those with little butts can wear the “skinny” jeans with a short shirt while us bubble butts need a little camo with a “fuller” shirt:)

  6. My husband likes curves – he liked petite curvy women for a long time – until he met me – the amazon – at least 4 if not 7 inches taller than most of his previous girlfriends with a playboy type body (100% real of course), alas – a sort of small butt. Then I had 2 babies, and I’m still tall and svelte, but i started really working on the lower half of my body with Yoga and cross-fit and guess what? the bum came on nice and strong….So…i’m out shopping with my sister and her boyfriend and we are essentially the same size but I’m healthy and she is not quite (she has fought an eating disorder for the past 15 years, still smokes, drinks too much and drinks too much coffee as well). Well I try on some jeans – they fit like a glove, they are nice and long etc…she decides to try them on…the sales lady looks and says – your sister looks much better in those – her butt really fills them out. Hmmm – wrong thing to say to both of us, but i was sort of proud of my backside!

  7. Hopefully I will be able to throw in a guys perspective without having to duck and run…

    I do agree that fitness is very VERY important and should be strenuously pursued for a lifetime along with proper and optimum nutrition.
    However (takes a deep breath) curves when speaking of woman, no I mean attractive curves, are formed by fat. In general, I do not find woman with muscle rippling “curves” to be attractive.
    Many times, their beauty is hidden in their faces because there is so little fat to fill in the hollow spaces and they appear gaunt. Six pack abs along with triceps and biceps detract from the soft and sensuous appearance that I believe woman were made to model. I do believe that there is a balance between muscle and fat that is optimum for a woman just as in a man. But the healthy levels in the two are different. A man is healthier with a lower body fat to muscle ratio. A woman is JUST as healthy at a higher fat ratio. Balancing the two, to optimum levels, is the ticket for health and beauty.
    I understand that this view may not be appreciated, but will tell you that it is by my gorgeous wife of 25 years. Any others?

    • I like you Bob! That is the attitude I wish all men had when it comes to a womans shape. Fit and curvy is the way women should look, not like a bodybuilder. Your wife is very lucky to have you!

    • My husband feels the same way and I appreciate that. There was an email going around at Thanksgiving of a photo of Nigella Lawson and a prominent vegan who are the same age. The vegan looked two decades older and frail and sickly. Nigella loves real food, and though she is a little heavy, looks radiant and beautiful. After switching to a WAPF diet, I put on weight and now am starting to take my exercising seriously. It is hardly about how I look– but a lot more about having energy and being strong enough to try new things like cross-country skiing and kayaking, and being a lean/strong/flexible woman with curves into my 90’s! I love that phrase “fat skinny” too… we have a male friend who lost a lot of weight but on the treadmill and he now looks skinny and flabby… yuck.

    • Thank you Bob for sharing a man’s view! My husband feels the same way! It is nice to be reminded that women are made differently than men and we can be OKAY with that! Even glad! I love what makes my man a MAN! I hope I can help my daughters be absolutely delighted with the many wonderful things that make them a woman! Thanks for the reminder. (and I do try to stay fit!) Nothing wrong with improving what God gave ya!

    • It seems logical that a man would prefer something fairly close in size to what he married no matter what he may say some years down the road.

    • Hey Bob,

      I have to disagree with you pal but IMO “fat” is most unattractive and I like “curves” with a little muscle. I love my wife Paula when she’s at her heaviest with fat on her curvy butt and at her leanest, 15 lbs lighter but to me she looks best lean and tight. It shows off her hard work in the gym, her healthy eating and that’s my little athlete. I find her muscular definition quite appealing and most feminine–she’s a little thing.

      When I walk down the beach with her in the summer in her bikini with 6 pk abs at 52 I am strutting like a bantam rooster. Most of my friend’s wives/girlfriends are soft and frumpy — not for me. But to each’s own.

      • I have to say that it was refreshing and wonderful to read Bob’s post. I think the modern beauty aesthetic is getting over masculinized, and it is just plain sad to me. I agree that it is not attractive for a woman to have a ripped six-pack, even though it is extremely impressive. NO personal offense is intended, I just think that being healthy/”in-shape” does not have to mean that you have the body of a man.
        If fat is good to eat, which most of us agree here on this forum, then why can it not also be good to see on a shapely woman’s body? It certainly is to me.

        • No one said anything about looking like a man. We are not talking about drug enhanced female bodybuilders. There is nothing masculine about any of those women in that picture. The “right” fats in the right amounts are indeed good to eat. But too much deposited on the butt, hips, thighs etc especially in the form of cellulite is not attractive at all. At least not in my eyes or the eyes of most every person I know.

  8. Oh, how I can relate to the butt issue. I used to have a “duck butt” because poor posture led me to stick my butt out. I corrected it during my teenage years by doing posture exercises. But, I am curvy, though I do get a lot of compliments on my backside! LOL!

    One thing I don’t agree with, though some may say I’m just in denial, is that my husband is not one to hold back the truth. If I overcooked the steak, he tells me so. If I’ve been dressing like a frump, he alerts me to it. When I got my hair cut, he honestly told me he didn’t really like it. When I lost 10 lbs I was hoping to lose through my well water becoming contaminated, he told me I was too thin and he liked me with a little more meat. He’s NEVER cruel. NEVER unloving. Just honest, and I’m glad and when he compliments me (often!), I can take his compliments as truth and not empty.

    I’ve been sitting on my butt for months now due to trying to avoid preterm labor. I look forward to working it again.

  9. I do boot camp four days a week (have been doing it for over two years now!), and try to run at least two other days. I have always had a “bubble butt.” In fact, I joke with one of my boot camp trainers (who is a black man) that I have to have some black genes in me somewhere to have a butt that sticks out like mine! LOL Seriously, tall, white girl with a black girl booty! But I love it. It beats not having a butt.

  10. Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist April 20, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Paula, I pulled my right ham doing wind sprints yesterday. I dove into the bone broth and it feels all better today! My husband told me it would take 2 weeks to heal. Fish broth works wonders as usual! :)

    • I love my fish broth–will have to remember that next time I “tweak” something! Good for you on the wind sprints–part of the reason you are so lean and fit:)


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