Training

Tame That Booty

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Photography by Shannon Fontaine.
Model: Stephanie LeBeau.

Butts are big.

No, seriously. When it comes to the world of fitness publication, specifically the world of women’s fitness publication, you would be hard pressed to walk by a rack of magazines and find a cover, any cover, of a female themed fitness magazine that didn’t offer you at least one headline article promising the newest, greatest way to build a bigger, better, rounder, firmer butt.

But.. (no pun intended) what about the girl who already HAS a booty?

What about the woman who, through specific exercise, genetics, or some heretofore unknown form of alien intervention, already has a big, round, firm gluteal package, and who, rather than building said package, must concentrate on shaping and maintaining the gift she has already been given?

Meet Stephanie LeBeau.

A hard working personal trainer, model, and entrepreneur currently living near Sacramento, CA, Stephanie readily admits that in her younger years it was her distinct lack of a bootie that got her started in the world of training and exercise.

“I was so tall and so thin as a teenager that my mom had to buy my pants in the women’s section then hand sew them to be smaller in the waist so they wouldn’t fall off me!  I just looked like I didn’t have any butt at all so immediately after I started I began going to a gym and running on a treadmill for hours and doing lunges basically non-stop to try and build my glutes.”

There was only one problem: she had no idea what she was doing.

“After basically creeping on people at the gym and watching their routines and how they did things I started to catch on,” she says. “I tried a personal trainer a few times then it all really came together for me when I started at a gym where they do kickboxing high intensity interval training.”

The final piece of the puzzle for Stephanie, in addition to interval training which she still practices intently, was the addition of weight training, specifically heavy weight training, and the effect it had on her body in general, and her glutes in particular.

“I began to realize that your butt is actually a really large muscle group in terms of overall size,” Stephanie says. “You have to really challenge those muscles to make them grow and for me, the combination of weighted and non weighted workouts is what has shown the best results.”

Unlike bodybuilders who typically train one or two bodyparts together at a time, Stephanie feels that a whole body workout is what works the best for her body as well as her mind.

“I have a basic set of movements I do in various combinations, one day more for cardio and another day done with weights that’s more for strength. I really believe in making it fun, though. I change things up depending on my energy level and my mood and I am a big believer in staying active. I hike a lot, I love being outdoors and I run stairs regularly to help with cardio and stamina.”

So how does it feel to have started with as a scrawny teenager with no bootie at all and ended up, after years of intense effort both in the gym and in the kitchen with an athletes physique and such a well rounded set of glutes?

“I am very proud of my body,” Stephanie says, laughing. “If it was up to me I would just walk around naked all day.”.  And while the nudists in the crowd applaud, Stephanie leaves our interview to head back to the gym.

Fully dressed of course.

Because butts are big, but not THAT big.

Basic Squat
Tame that booty with Squats

5 sets of 20

The setup for the squat is incredibly simple. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips.  Your toes should be pointed slightly outward – about 5 to 20 degrees outward.  Look straight ahead and pick a spot on the wall in front of you. You’ll want to look at this spot the entire time you squat, not looking down at the floor or up at the ceiling. Squats will help strengthen your entire body, both your bones and your muscles (and your knees!), and increase flexibility.

Single Leg Glute Bridge
Tame that Booty with Single Leg Glute Bridges

3 set of 10 per leg

Lay on the floor with your feet flat and knees bent. Raise one leg off of the ground. Execute the movement by driving through the heel, extending your hip upward and raising your glutes off of the ground. Extend as far as possible, pause and then return to the starting position.

Mountain Climber
Tame that Booty with Mountain Climbers

3 sets of 20 per leg

Mountain climbers are another full body workout so by engaging most muscles in the body you are burning more calories in less time.​​​ Mountain climbers is a full body work out and here are a few of the muscles they work; Deltoids, biceps, triceps, pectoralis major, obliques, rectus abdominals, lower trapezius, latissimus dorsi, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip adductors, hip abductors.

Assume a press up position so your hands are directly under your chest at shoulder width apart with straight arm. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankle. Bring your right foot off the floor and raise your knee as close to your chest as you can or bring right foot to side of right hand. Continue alternating for the desired number of reps or time.

Plank Leg Raise
Tame that Booty with Plank Leg Raises

3 sets of 20

This is a challenging move that targets the upper back, chest, sides, core and glutes.Assume a press up position so your hands are directly under your chest at shoulder width apart with straight arm. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankle. Then raise right leg and squeeze that glute (hold for 3 seconds) and release! Pulse for 20 reps.

Shannon Fontaine is a professional photographer living and working in Nashville, Tennessee. He is married to stylist and jazz piano great, Teri Reid, and they have two children. Shannon's work has appeared in numerous fitness magazines and he is a regular contributing photographer to Nashville Lifestyles Magazine and his work with interior designers and architects has appeared in magazines world wide.

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