Your body shape—specifically, the shape of your butt — says a lot about your general health.
The health world puts a lot of emphasis on weight and BMI, but it doesn’t always make a distinction in regards to fat distribution.
It may sound goofy but it’s true.
In 2010, the International Journal of Obesity (the fact that there is a scientific journal dedicated to the study of obesity is indicative of the global problem) published a study of body fat distribution with its focus on gluteofemoral (butt) fat.
“Body fat distribution is an important metabolic and cardiovascular risk factor, because the proportion of abdominal to gluteofemoral body fat correlates with obesity-associated diseases and mortality… Population studies show that an increased gluteofemoral fat mass is independently associated with a protective lipid and glucose profile, as well as a decrease in cardiovascular and metabolic risk… This underlines gluteofemoral fat’s role as a determinant of health by the long-term entrapment of excess fatty acids, thus protecting from the adverse effects associated with ectopic fat deposition.” (1).
Essentially, having more fat in your buttocks than in your abdomen can help prevent cardiovascular disease. But that is only true if you’re not obese or overweight.
So it’s okay to have a little junk in your trunk, but you should always strive to keep a healthy weight. Make sure the shape of your butt is not too square.
Fat Goes To Your Butt To Protect Your Heart
Do you know what the shape of your butt is? When fat accumulates in the backside, it often correlates to less fat in the chest and torso. This is typically referred to as having a pear shape. This shape is healthier than an apple shape (where the fat is located in your torso and abdomen) because it puts less stress on the heart and other organs.
Fat in the hips and buttocks “keeps the fatty acids away from the heart, the arteries and the liver to lower your risk of heart disease and other debilitating problems like diabetes. Since your body is ultimately programmed to decide whether to store the fat in the butt region or in the stomach region, it is said that, in women, the hormones that direct and distribute fat are actually doing this to protect the heart by building up the buttocks.” (2).
Fat cells secrete hormones that direct them to specific areas in your body. In men, they congregate in the abdominal region and in women, they can either settle there or in the butt and thighs. This may be an evolutionary measure to protect women during their child-bearing years, when fat is directed down to keep the upper part of the body free of difficulty and disease. As women get older, fat stored in the nether regions can begin to migrate up.
One study suggests that women with larger than average buttocks are more intelligent due to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, better ability to metabolize sugars, and healthy levels of omega-3 fats that support the brain (3).
Here’s what your bum can tell you about your health! Which drawing is similar to the shape of your butt ?
Even fat accumulation in your bum and lower back may simply mean that the gluteal muscles are a little weak. This fat distribution may give the impression that the butt extends into the love handles and waist. It generally indicates that you may have a bit of extra fat around your tummy.
Luckily, there are tons of exercises you can do to address this area of your body.
Round is good; there may be a little excess fat at the bottom of the glutes but it’s fairly easy to get rid of. The extra fat at the top, however, shouldn’t be of much concern.
Love the Heart
A heart or pear-shaped butt is reflective of proportional body fat distribution, round at the bottom and tapering toward the top. To tone up your shape, work out your thighs to avoid excess fat.
One caution, however: while optimal until menopause, as women get older, fat stored in the backside has a tendency to move up and reside in the abdomen. Keep an eye on it, so to speak.
V for Voyage
The V shape is most common in older women as fat stored in the buttocks starts to move up due to decreasing estrogen levels. If you start to notice the upward movement of fat, amp up activity and glute exercise before it settles in a less healthy spot. It doesn’t hurt to increase your ab exercise regime too!
How to Tone your Bum
Be sure to stretch out those muscles before attempting this workout. All you need is 5 minutes a day to tighten your glutes and upper thighs. The shape of your butt will become more like a heart….good and healthy.
1. Ski Squat
Beginning in a standing position with feet close together (slightly pointed outwards) and back straight, inhale and bend down into a squat until your elbows reach the outside of the knees, and return to original position, squeezing glutes, pressing into your heels, and exhaling on the way up. Make sure not to tuck your head in or round your shoulders as you perform this exercise. Continue smooth repetitions for 40 seconds.
Jog in place for 5 seconds, then move onto the next item on this list.
2. Sumo Squat
Start in a position similar to the ski squat but with your feet wider than a shoulder’s width apart. As you squat, your elbows should touch the inside of your knees and your knees should stay in line with your ankles the shoulders and arms inside of the knees. Back flat, gaze forward. Continue smooth repetitions for 40 seconds.
Jog in place for 5 seconds.
3. Pop Squat
Start in the same position as the sumo squat. As you squat, reach down and touch the floor with one hand and lift the other arm straight back. Jump up and bring your feet together and back out. Immediately reach and touch the floor with the other hand. Repeat, alternating hands and jumping between squats for 40 seconds.
Jog in place for 5 seconds.
4. Squat Hold
With feet slightly wider than the shoulders, squat with back straight and lean forward with arms bent. Keep weight in the heels and hold the position, staying as low as you can. When it starts to burn, stand up straight, stretch, and repeat the squat. Repeat for 40 seconds.
Jog in place for 5 seconds.
5. Squat Pulse
Assume the same position as the Squat Hold. Using upper thigh and glute muscles, move slightly up and back using smooth movements. Shake and stretch out as needed. Continue for 40 seconds.
Jog in place for 5 seconds.
6. Jump Squat
This move is just like a Pop Squat without touching the floor. Move your arms back as you jump up and together in front as you squat. Land softly on the balls of your feet. Shake and stretch out as needed. Continue for 40 seconds.
Make sure to cool down and stretch for several minutes after this strenuous lower body workout.
Check the shape of your butt after a few weeks then see if your workouts are being effective.
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