Issue #10


by Juan Carlos Lopez

2005 Olympia Results and Photos

2005 Olympia Review

2005 Olympia Press Conference and Expo

2005 Sacramento IFBB and NPC Show Results and Photos

2005 Sacramento IFBB and NPC Show Review

Mr. Mexico Photos and Results

Mr. Mexico Review

20 Questions with our Cover Model Jenny Lynn

Brown Rice or White Rice
by Chris Tsugranes

Video Interview: Cover Model Jenny Lynn IFBB Figure Pro

The Search for the Perfect Suit by Jane Awad

Pictorials: Jenny Lynn, Angie Semsch, Sabrina Gibson, Dana Della Valle and Monica Martin

Video Interview: Carrie Schindley NPC Figure and Fitness

3 Weeks Until Nationals
by Kristi Wills

Women Training Routine Part 2: Leg Training
by Rossella Pruneti

Video Interview: Barbara Engelsmann IFBB Figure Pro

Before and After
by Stacey Tomasini

Ms. Fitness Glutes!
by Linda Cusmano

Video Interview: Kate Shelby IFBB Figure Pro

Train for Fitness Competitor Glutes! by Linda Cusmano

In the past 10 years while preparing my physique for Fitness Competitions I have found that there is an arsenal of gluteal exercises that can harden up those tush muscles. Tight, smooth gluteal muscles are every woman's desire and can be achieved with the right combination of exercises in partnership with proper diet and cardiovascular maintenance.

The gluteal muscles are comprised of the gluteus maximus and just underlying are the gluteus medius and minimus. These muscles act on the hip joint and are trained while running, walking, stair climbing, skipping and squatting, but there are 5 exercises that I will cover today which will really isolate that area. I find these exercises most useful.

1) Butt blast
Using a workout bench lay on your tummy with your legs from the hip down hanging off the bench. Feet are simply resting on the ground. Holding the bench from in front, heals together, knees slightly bent, lift both legs up until your glutes are fully flexed. In doing this you bring your legs up as far as you can, then slowly drop, but just before touching the ground you will lift again and repeat for 3 sets of 10-20 reps.



If you want to get creative, you can add ankle weights to increase the intensity.

2) Butt thrust
For this exercise you need a mat and step bench. Place the step bench at the end of the mat. Lying face up on the mat put your feet on the bench with knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Your back should be raised off the mat in a bridge so that only shoulders and head are on the mat and in this position you thrust your hips toward he ceiling, tightening the butt, then drop back to just below 90 degrees and repeat for 3 sets of 20. Once this gets easier you can place weight plates on your hips supporting them slightly with your hands for more intensity.

3) Single leg thrust
This exercise is similar the last one except here you keep one leg in the air holding the knee just above your stomach during the thrusting. Once one leg is complete you do the next and alternate after each set. For increasing the intensity here you would use an ankle weight on the leg that is in the air.

4) Prone hip extension

This is a very small and simple exercise done face down on the mat. Basically you lift one leg at a time lifting the whole leg from the hip while tightening the tush. Both hips remain on mat through exercise. Perform 3 sets of 20 per leg. Again to increase intensity ankle weights can be introduced.

5) Prone Heal raise
On your mat, on your bell and, raise one leg in a 90 degree angle with the sole of that shoe parallel to the ceiling, leg in line with back or just above. Bring heal toward the ceiling, knee remains bent, then down slowly to torso level and repeat for 3 sets of 20. Don't forget the other leg!

Try to perform this routine worked in with your normal training. Hit your gluteals 2-3 times per week and once you reach closer to your goal you can cut it down to once per week.

In combination with these exercises you should make sure to incorporate some cardiovascular work, particularly the type which also impact those butt muscles that you are trying so hard to improve. Prime choices as I mentioned above are jogging, walking, step master or step classes, skip rope and one I forgot to mention before which was kickboxing, one of my favorites!
Simple kicks for 15 mins daily done on a heavy bag will do wonders. Make sure to do 15 to 45 mins cardio 3 to 5 times per week in combination with your weight training. Those looking for more weight loss should keep to, or work up to the higher end of those numbers.

Proper diet directly affects the aesthetics of your back end. Excess salts, sugars and fats can add layers to your tush area giving it a larger appearance and definitely looking a lot softer rather than that nice firm look. Eating clean, whole foods are the last key. Here are some quick key points!

-Keep to natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains instead of breads or flour products and avoid packaged or pre-made foods.
-Use salt and sugar substitutes if you really have to add salt or sugar flavorings, this will eliminate water retention.
-Choose lean meats or fish, beans, tofu and chicken for your proteins rather than fattier cuts of meat or whole milk products.
-Never fry anything and avoid fats while you are still working on that physique, there are many alternative cooking methods such as broiling, BBQ, roasting, steaming and baking (don't forget your microwave it helps hold nutrients in the food) but do choose omega rich essential fatty acids to top your cooked food with as they will help with your goal.
-Eat an average of 6 meals per day, 3 main and 3 snack rather than 3 big meals and starving the rest of the time. Space these meals out for every 2-3 hours.
-Avoid caffeine to avoid water retention, it may act as a diuretic at first but can lead to bloating depending on how much you drink and your diet.
-If you can, stick with sodium free water and as long as you are still working on that firming up goal, choose water over any other beverages.

Linda Cusmano Model for all Photos

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About the Author...

Linda Cusmano

Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Competitor
Body Rush Personal Training & Lifestyle Consultation

If you are beyond this level and looking for more tips toward contest physiques then feel free to email me your questions and I will try to help.
Any fitness, health, diet, rehab or contest (fitness, figure, bodybuilding, fitness model) questions can be emailed to

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