First off: I do not have access to a gym, nor do I have any money to buy any equipment. I own a pilates ball, a cheap-crap cross-trainer and a yoga mat.

I don't know if there's anyone on here who can give me some good advice but I thought I'd at least try.

I have a pear-shaped body and pretty wide hips, and for some reason all the classic positions for butt work-outs (like squats, running in stairs or walking in hills god knows how many videos and tutorials I've followed) just don't work on me, its as if the but can't be arsed in those poses no matter how I angle, tense or don't tense the hips and glutes. So far I've only found one thing that seems to touch the butt is a self-madeup version of the bridge where I spread my legs as far apart as I can and more or less dry-hump the ceiling. But as you all know, doing just one pose won't really be all that great...

Any pose you can pull off of google I have already tried and am using variously in my exercises. Variations of the poses like the example I gave with the bridge, I welcome.

Heck, I've even tried twerking.

Are there any women out there with the same issue as me who knows any good poses or variations that might work?

What my exercise is trying to achieve

I have the case of flat ass from lack of activation butt. I have huge calves and tighs from my attempts, but no butt. So:

  • Shaping
  • Activating
  • Building

I'm not looking to boost the size, I just want my butt to stop reaching for my knee-pits.

2 Answers 2


Welcome to the community!

As you may know, the glutes are the largest and most powerful muscles in the human body. Some exercises, if performed with proper form, simply can't be done without major glute activation. Based on your complaints, here are a few of things I've identified that are standing in the way of you getting the results you want with your glutes:

1. Poor muscle recruitment

Let's start here. I'm saying this because you mentioned that you have big quads and calves from working hard on the lower-body. What this tells me is that you don't have a strong mind-muscle connection with your glutes. This is called a neuromuscular recruitment pattern, which basically means you use your quads to do most of the work because that's how you've developed. This is really common. Just google "quad dominant squatting" or "squat glute activation".

The fix involves learning how to use your glutes. Recruitment patterns develop over thousands and thousands of iterations. You'll need to spend some time doing movements that should activate your glutes, but actually concentrate on activating them. You'll have a tendency to revert to your habitual (incorrect) form, so you'll need to be diligent in letting yourself start from scratch. To do this, we need to put a stop to the anterior pelvic tilt. This is super common with people who spend most of their time sitting:

enter image description here

For squats, push your knees out as wide as you can at the bottom. Always keep pushing your knees out throughout the movement. Keep your feet pointing as straight as possible. Keep your chest up. Keep your heels on the ground. Drop your butt right between your feet. We are trying to keep the pelvis as level as possible and those cues will help. A professional ballet dancer told me once (referring to the pelvis almost as a bowl of water): "don't let it spill out." You'll find that to maintain this, you'll need to keep the abdominals as tight as possible. This form will keep the torque and tension in your posterior chain. Personally I've found that squeezing my butt as hard as I can at the top of each squat (or deadlift for that matter) also helps me keep the muscle in mind.

2. Poor stimulation for muscle growth

Stairmasters, yoga, air squats, running, etc. won't put size on your butt. In fact, they'll probably take size off of your butt. You want to build muscle. Nothing builds muscle better than five sets of 10 difficult reps. We can do air squats until the cows come home, but there's just not enough stimulation for muscle growth. Pick up a barbell, learn to squat, and do five sets of 10 reps three times a week. Put more weight on the bar as often as possible. You should be nearing failure on your 10th rep every set. You will have a huge butt in 12 weeks. I guarantee it:

enter image description here (source)

Use a barbell. No smith presses, leg presses, machines, quarter squats, barbell pads, dumbbell alternatives, etc. A squat is the most essential physical movement, so invest some time to learn how to do it. Nothing will yield better results.

3. Unrealistic expectations

Bridges, planks, walking up hills, and other fancy things are nowhere to be found in the realm of big booty. Outstanding results require outstanding effort. The women I've seen with the best bodies are the ones who are doing barbell lunges across the gym and bulgarian split squats like it's their job. You need to have the expectation that you will not be able to walk down the stairs after your workout. That's where muscle is built.


I realize you said you don't have access to a gym or equipment. I think this sort of relates to your unrealistic expectations. Just as you can't expect to be good at fly fishing without a fishing pole, you can't expect to bodybuild without weights. If you absolutely can't spare the money for the weights or a gym membership, you can do things such as craft atlas stones or dumbbells from concrete, or forage for heavy rocks, or use logs or something. It's possible, I suppose.

You can provide a good deal of stimulation to your muscles with body weight exercises such as the pistol squat, but you shouldn't expect to get very good results from this. Without weight, I wouldn't expect to get a butt. You might expect to lose bodyfat to reveal the butt you currently have, but without leaving your comfort zone, your results probably won't be very significant. I'm not saying it's not possible, and that you should be completely disheartened, but just throwing a gym bag in your car and stopping at a gym a few times a week on your way home from work, to me, seems much more practical. You could start seeing results like those pictured above in a matter of weeks rather than struggling with inferior methods at home.

Best of luck!

  • Thanks for taking your time! Though I've actually read all the tips you've given me and that's exactly what I was referring to in "no matter how I angle, tense or don't tense the hips and glutes." I'm using mirrors and have used my partner to PT me so that I don't lose form. Alas... I'm also not so much interested in getting the results in the pictures you show me; in neither photo the girl has a saggy butt, she's just gone from small to big. Getting big isn't an issue for me; I've got genes that fluff my muscles up fast. The normal way of the poses just isn't getting at my butt. :/
    – Gemtastic
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 20:38
  • @Gemtastic So when you squat and hold at parallel, then push your hand against your glute, it isn't tense? Also, when you say "saggy butt", to me that implies that fat and skin are not taut against the muscle underneath. In that case, the muscle should be built to lift the tissue covering the butt and thereby stretch it against the muscle.
    – Daniel
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 20:47
  • That's the thing; I can't find where the but is suppose to tense; the muscles at work are always in the thighs. And no, by saggy I am referring to the muscles themselves sagging. Before I grew these hips (referring to the pelvis, not the fat on them, I have a very wide pelvis) I had a fit butt, and they are sagging (all the glute muscles) since I couldn't maintain them. My overall fat is fine and at a healthy level. I worked hard to get it.
    – Gemtastic
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 21:05
  • @Gemtastic If you stop using a muscle, it doesn't sag, it atrophies. Sagging happens with the superficial fascia. An excess of fascia exists to accommodate the large muscle underneath. When the muscle diminishes, the fascia remains in excess, which causes a saggy look. Arnold's muscle on the right in this picture isn't sagging, everything on top of the muscle (the superficial fascia) is sagging. This won't go away unless he builds muscle and loses subcutaneous fat again. That said, you may also have a posterior pelvic tilt.
    – Daniel
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 21:33
  • Well, what can I say? My muscles are sagging (and it is true that I do need to build the muscles so the sag effect is worse because of that), but I don't know why. Either way, nothing's gonna happen to it unless I find a way to activate them. I'm gonna keep trying to alter the positions until I find something I can feel in my butt.
    – Gemtastic
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 21:45

If you are looking to "turn your pear (shaped behind) into a sweet tight peach," as Callan Pinckney puts it, you may find Callanetics or Pure Barre helpful. See this q/a.

These exercises use small repetitive isometrics that give a higher more compact buttocks. They also target the core muscles. Here is an example of one of the exercises targeting the buttocks.

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