Lifting heavy won’t necessarily get you that butt—neither will squats. Teaching her clients about all the misconceptions related to training, especially in today’s fitness-obsessed social media culture, is personal trainer Yuki Pao’s favourite pastime.
One of Hong Kong’s toughest trainers, Yuki is a breath of fresh air. She eats as hard as she trains without losing any of her gains. In one word (read: hashtag): #fitnessgoals. Yuki Pao has only been officially teaching for three years, for reputable brands such as Bikini Fit, Pure and Topfit (where she now teaches group classes), but she’s already gaining a following thanks to her individual and results-driven approach to training.
In just over year, she's undergone a major body transformation simply by switching her focus from cardio to weight training with a moderate amount of cardio each week.
Here are her five secret tips on how to get the perfect bum:
This one isn’t necessarily the most flattering one to do in the gym—let alone for your Instagram feed. It does, however, work the glutes and is surprisingly little known when it comes to more mainstream workouts.
How to do it: Place a resistance band just above your knee to help isolate the glutes. Start with your feet together, squat down, making sure your hips are back, and begin walking sideways down the gym. Repeat facing the same direction and walk back. You’ll know you’ve got it right when it burns—if it doesn’t squat lower.
OK—here’s one that actually looks great (if you manage to pull it off). The sumo deadlift works your hamstrings, glutes and hips while activating your quads and core.
How to do it: Take a wide stance with your toes pointing out and make sure to keep the barbell always close to and touching your body. Squat down, pick up the barbell and, while pressing through your heels, thrust your hips forward as you stand up—squeezing your glutes as you pause. Then hinge your hips back and return to the starting position.
The back extension is a total misnomer as it’s mostly used for much more than just the back for more experienced gym-goers. Also a good hamstring stretch, a rounded back extension is arguably one of the best butt exercises you can do.
How to do it: Turn your feet out 45-degrees, this helps to isolate the glutes so you can’t rely on your legs to assist you, and round your upper back as you bend down to maximize the hip extension as you come up. It looks easy but just 10 reps and you’ll feel your butt screaming.
One-legged kickbacks can also be done with a resistance band and are a great way to really work the glutes as you work one side at a time with each leg.
How to do it: Attach an ankle cuff to one leg to a low cable pulley, step back and grasp the frame in front of you for stability. Keeping your core activated and the knee of your free leg slightly bent, kick your leg back straight and squeeze your glutes at the top. Bring the leg back down slowly, keeping the tension before kicking back quickly. Switch legs and repeat on the other side.
Take your bridges to the next level with a barbell hip thrust and see how heavy you can go.
How to do it: Making sure you have your upper back on a bench behind you, roll the barbell so it’s sitting above your hips, lean back and extend your hips straight up and pause before lowering straight down again.
Follow Yuki Pao for more tips @ympao on Instagram.