If there’s a body part that every woman wants to know how to firm and tone, it’s the glutes. This butt-fetish has even worked its way into men’s fitness.


We really misuse the word tone when using it to describe how we want a body part to appear. What we really mean is that we want to build the muscle(s) in that area and decrease the body fat on top of that area.

More muscle and less body fat are what give the ‘toned’ look. So when speaking of toning the glutes, what we really want to do is develop the gluteal muscles, primarily the gluteus maximus, and simultaneously lose fat on and around the glutes.

Increasing the size of the gluteus maximus will give the butt an appearance of being lifted up and back “what I call the bubble-butt effect.

“Since the gluteus maximus is not on the side of the body, making this muscle bigger will not make the butt look wider, as many women fear.”  

Besides the small glute medius muscle that lies on the sides of and above the hips, the only real tissue on the sides of the butt and hip is fatty tissue. So for a narrow-looking butt and hips, losing fat should be of utmost importance.

And remember, there is no such thing as spot reduction. So no exercise burns fat from a particular area as I already explained in Muscle toning/building section above.

If a muscle is toned, it simply means that the nerve pathways to that muscle are efficiently developed and that the muscle offers a good strong contraction precisely when it’s supposed to.


Moving a heavier weight with your glutes (or any muscle for that matter) is a stronger stimulus to the muscles and nerves than is moving a lighter weight.

That is a very simple, well-accepted fact among exercise scientists/physiologists. If you’re paying attention, you’re probably thinking, “but wait, I thought lifting lighter weight for more reps was the way to tone an area.”

Well, how should I put this… you’re wrong! But don’t feel bad; many other people think the same thing. The only truth to that is that repeating the stimulus often (many reps) will help to improve tone. But why not repeat a stronger stimulus more frequently.

Now don’t get me wrong; doing a lighter weight for many reps will sure do more for improving tone in the glutes than watching Seinfeld reruns. However, the best way to ‘tone’ is to perform more sets of a heavier weight for lower reps.

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