I was recently given an article to read that appeared in THE TIMES by one of my clients. The message was quite simple, and I agree with a lot of what was said. However, some other details caught my attention. The article was titled “Want to get slimmer? Start at the bottom”. Initially I like the message that highlights the importance of training the lower body and the benefits it can have all round. I will include a link but would like to go over the main points in a bit more detail!


I’m not all doom and gloom!

I’ve already said I’m a fan of this article… loosely. So, I’ll start positive and highlight some of the messages I really liked and agree with.

“Lower body training triggers a huge metabolic response. More calories are burnt and you engage your core muscles”

This is true, research has shown that large multi-joint exercises can trigger a large response and help with adaptions all over the body. They require large amounts of control and stability to complete correctly.

“Strong gluteal muscles are crucial for posture. If you have strong glutes your body will function more efficiently.”

“The glute medius and minimus are important stabilisers for the knee, back and ankle”

Inability to fire your glutes seems to be an all too common problem, myself included! It makes me super happy to see an article promoting posture and in functionality. Strong glutes do indeed help prevent injury and can reduce stress in the lower back and knees.

The article focuses on a gym and 50 minute workout designed specifically for your rear! The custom built workout uses a Stairmaster and various lower body exercises to build strength in your legs and buttocks using low weights and correct form. I feel their is a strong focus on doing the movements correctly, which is always a good thing!


Ok, there’s some doom and gloom!

There are just a couple of things that bug me about the article as a whole. Whilst I accept their will be arguments for and against, this is simply my take on things.

  • The focus is on the use of a Stairmaster as it is lower impact than running and burns a lot of calories. However, there a any number of given “cardio” exercises that are lower impact than running and can elicit a similar response. Swimming or cycling (particularly an Assault Bike) can have huge effects on calorie expenditure without any impact at all. They also work the whole body, so all the benefit and more.
  • The focus on engaging the glutes is great and initially it would seem form is the goal. My argument is that the only inclusion of form is a small section of the side with a brief overview of some movements. In addition, if somebody has an imbalance where they use their quads more than their glutes, simply walking up stairs will not fix this. I appreciate this is only an article and I have not seen the classes.

Ok, maybe I’m just being negative now?

  • The owner of the Bunda Gym and 50 minute workout quote that abs and arms are not neglected…. They get done on Thursdays. Great, the glutes are improved every single day whilst only two other areas make the cut, once a week. Talk about injury risk, imbalances and injuries…
  • Only 15lbs weights are used. While this may be enough to create a strength response for some people, the majority of us will likely need a little more of a stimulus to genuinely see improvements in strength.
  • The photo (see here). If you’re promoting glute work please use a full squat as it is proven that deeper squats work the glutes more! Furthermore, perhaps suggest some form of hinge or deadlift. It’s not like those big ole butt muscle are part of a massive connective chain running up the back of your body.


Getting slimmer via your butt, my conclusion

Yes the glutes are massively important and using lower body exercises to stimulate change is good. However, in my opinion 50 minutes for one muscle group is over the top. I’ll stick to my all round approach for now. Squats are great, I love a squat, but take this article with a pinch of salt… in my opinion. At NK Fitness we pride ourselves on delivering the RIGHT workout for YOU. Our elite personal trainers in Twickenham tailor sessions to meet your every need. Why not give us a go and see what we can do together.