Q&A: Big Butts and Diet Sodas

Eric April 14, 2011

Q: Any pointers on how to get my Glutes big and swole?

– James
New Orleans, LA

A: There are a couple of different things you can do to get bigger glutes.  First, so that everyone understands, your glutes are your butt muscles: the gluteus maximus is responsible for the size of your butt, the gluteus medius is below the top of the maximus so developing it will push your maximus out more, and the gluteus minimas is even below the medius. The glutes are the strongest muscles in the body and they are responsible for pulling your thigh back into alignment with the rest of your body.  Because of how strong they are, you have to lift very heavy to get them to grow.

Keep in mind that when working any muscle, you want to get a full range of motion when working it.  Otherwise you won’t be able to develop it fully.  Your glutes’ full range of motion is as close as you can get your thigh to your upper body all the way to an extended leg.  This is why you will feel your glutes the most engaged doing any exercise where your knee is higher than your hip, like deep (I’m talking all the way to the floor) squats, lunges, and step-ups.  Remember that when doing any of those exercises, you should dig your heel into the ground so that it will engage your glutes instead of being up on your toes and putting the pressure in your knees.  One other that you might try is a glute kick-back.  You can do this on the floor on all fours by extending one leg upward trying to reach your heel to the ceiling above you contracting the glutes throughout the whole range of motion.  Want to add weight?  Do this with a Smith Machine.  But never do weighted Glute Kick-backs without a spot because it’s easy to lose your footing and have the weight drop down on you.

One thing to note too, is that the gluteus medius will push the gluteus maximus out more at the top, so developing it will help you get a bigger butt too.  Doing movements that involve hip abduction (moving your leg out away from the center of your body) will build your medius.  Doing a hip abduction machine where you’re leaning back as far as the machine will let you (as close as you can get to laying down, with your knees still bent) is a great way to develop your medius!

– The Squad

Q: I am a new reader and am trying to make some positive changes to my diet/workout routine. I am starting to cut out a lot of the bad foods, but I really love Diet Coke. What is your advice on diet sodas? Obviously its better than regular soda, but I have heard negative things about artificial sweeteners, excess sodium, and caffeine. Are they really that bad? Is there a better alternative than just water? Thanks!

– Jeff
San Francisco, CA

A: I’ll start by saying that I love Diet Coke too.  Whenever you put anything in your body that has artificial anything, it’s not going to be good for it.  Yes, diet sodas are better when it comes to sugar than regular sodas, but it’s really just what we call a “better bad choice-” something that is better than the alternative, but still a bad choice.   Your body is designed to function off of water, so it’s always the best choice.  What I do is add Crystal Light to it because drinking a gallon of water a day becomes monotonous.  (Some crystal light has sodium, I use the flavors that don’t contain sodium.)  Read our post about water here: The Benefits of Water on the Body.

I understand your love for Diet Coke, and when I go to a restaurant that’s what I generally get.  But if you’re drinking any sodas excessively, it’s really not good for you at all.  Here’s a good article on the health effects of drinking excessive soda: The Health Effects of Drinking Soda.

– The Squad.

If you have a question for the Hot Bod Squad, email it to thehotbodsquad@gmail.com.

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