Things to Consider when building an Ass

How to build an ASS and why so many people fall FLAT(Ass).

All training should be individualized.  Each person will have a unique life story, unique training history, unique sport history, unique injury history, unique psychology, unique genetics, etc.  All of these circumstances will be reflected in the person standing in front of the mirror.  I am going to focus on 3 potential factors for why you DO OR DO NOT have an ass. 

1.  Posture
2.  Strength Training Program
3.  Technique


In my experience everyone can understand that sitting for long periods of time changes their posture.  There are certain characteristics that are common with someone who spends the majority of their time sitting.  The same is true for all of your activities.  Your training program influences your shape.  Your sport or physical activity influences your shape.  "The shape you load under is the shape you adopt" - Ian King.  Your shape will impact the muscles you use when you exercise and how you move.

Here are some examples:

Kettlebell training: the weight is always in front of the body and far away from the body.  When swinging a kettlebell, the person has to lean back.  The person also relies heavily on spinal extension to execute the swing (no matter your technique).  As a result, their posture is rounded shoulders, forward head, excessive arch in the spine. 

Cycling or Spin Class: Can cause really developed quads and less development in the ass because the motion is primarily knee extension (quad exercise).  Also, common back issues from being rounded over for prolonged periods of time.  Neck issues as a result of the head tilted upward while shoulders are rounded forward

Rock Climbing causes excessive rounding in the shoulders (I know from personal experience), forward head from the constant head position looking up the wall.  Lower back hyper extension from extending the spine in order to stay close to the wall and from the contortions required to execute moves.  A change in pelvic position from excessive back extension and constant squatting like movements.


Leg training can be confusing.  Squats and Deadlifts are the foundation for leg exercises.  Both of these exercises utilize the butt, the quads and the hamstrings.  It is easy to understand how people can become confused as to what will happen when they choose one over the other. 

Squats ARE NOT the way to build an ass.  While squats do utilize the butt, they are quad dominant.  someone who squats predominantly will not realize their full potential to recruit their ass.  Their quads will be over developed, and their ass underdeveloped. 

Deadlifts are the way to go, BUT technique is so important.  If you are doing Hexbar deadlifts or sumo deadlifts for example you will be developing your quads more and re-enforcing the no ass syndrome.


It is really popular in personal training and in athletic training to use the Hex Bar for deadlifts, or sumo deadlifts, or externally rotated feet w/ wide feet.  It is also really popular to load as heavy as possible. There are significant challenges with each choice. 

Hex Bar: Throw this bar out.  It was created to make it easier for people with rounded shoulders to deadlift.  The problem with that is those people have no shoulder stability and the loading will only increase strain on the neck.  The position of the client in a hex bar deadlift is upright which makes it a squat which creates quad development.  The bar doesn't touch the body which means it can swing around.  Try picking up a box while holding it away from your body and see where you feel it (your lower back). 

Sumo Deadlifts:  In this position your legs are wide and externally rotated.  It provides a wider base of support which makes it easier to lift heavy weights.  If you lift this way the majority of the time you will cause hip joint wear and injury, back pain, etc.  The wide stance again creates a more upright torso which is quad dominant.  The external rotation (feet turned out) in the stance compresses the sciatic nerve in the hip.  Over time this nerve becomes irritated.  Many people also use an extended lower back which also irritates the nerves. 

If your feet are turned out when you lift and when you walk your glutes will not function optimally.  You will lose out on leg power and you will create hip instability (injury).

You can learn more about these training concepts from Ian King's Books:

Legacy: Ian King's Training Innovations
Foundations of Physical Preparation
Get Buffed 1 - 4
Book of Muscle
How to Transfer Strength Training
How to Write Strength Training Programs

Tom LegathComment