This article explains which works better for losing butt fat, cardio exercise or squats and leg presses, and why.

Do you think you have a lot of fat in your butt and are wondering if you should do cardio exercise or try strength training like squats and leg presses?

If you had to choose between cardio exercise and squats plus leg presses for taking off fat in your butt, go with the strength training.

Fact is, cardio will do very little to slash excess fat in your butt.

Cardio is commonly done steady-state style. This means a constant pace is maintained, though there may be fluctuations here and there.

Nevertheless, it’s a continuous pace that enables you to maintain it, and some people maintain pacing for up to an hour on cardio machines.

Another form of cardio is an aerobics class, or walking or jogging outdoors. These too, fall under the style of steady state.

The reason these are not very effective at busting butt fat is because they recruit slow twitch muscle fiber.

Intense strength training recruits fast twitch fiber, which requires more fat for fuel than slow twitch.

Shutterstock/Aleksey Boyko

Furthermore, steady state cardio does not trigger the hormonal response that intense strength training does.

The superiority of squats and leg presses for losing butt fat:

If you perform sets where the weight is heavy enough to make eight to 12 repetitions very difficult, so that it’s not possible to go beyond 8-12 reps, or even if it is, it’s extremely difficult and you can barely get in an extra rep or two, this triggers an amazing hormonal response.

The more muscles that are worked at the same time, and the larger those muscles are, the greater this hormonal response.

This hormonal response is an unleashing of fat-burning hormones that circulate in the body at elevated levels for hours after the exercise session is completed.


This means that in the hours following an intense squatting and leg press session, your body will be burning fat at an accelerated rate. This includes the fat in your buttocks.

Leg presses can be done after barbell squats or before; it’s personal preference.

A 45 minute session of the leg press, the squat and the deadlift will burn far more fat than 45 minutes jogging on a treadmill or taking a Zumba class, and this fat burn will occur all over the body, including your butt.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 



Top image: Shutterstock/Kokhanchikov