Some women actually WANT a bigger butt & think the elliptical will do this, while others fear a bigger rump from the elliptical; both women are wrong.

There’s good news and bad news. The good news is for the first group of people: The elliptical machine will not give you a bigger butt.

The bad news is for the second group: Your butt will not get bigger from using the elliptical machine.

I don’t know where this idea ever came from. Maybe it’s because so many people use the elliptical trainer wrong, in that they lean forward, hanging onto the equipment, their butt sticking way out.

This bad posture while pedaling on the elliptical trainer will not make your butt bigger, no matter how fast the pedaling speed, how long you’re on the equipment, and how high the pedal crank tension is. It just will not happen.

If you actually believe that your butt’s gotten bigger since you began training on the elliptical, this is either in your imagination; or, if you’ve objectively measured a bigger butt, then the increase in size is from some other cause.

Credit: Dreamstime/Orangeline

Because the reason you cannot get a larger butt from the elliptical is very simple:

Elliptical workouts are of the duration type. This is aerobic in nature, and duration-based or endurance-based exercise recruits only slow-twitch muscle fiber. Slow twitch muscle fiber does NOT grow in size.

When you use the elliptical machine, the slow-twitch muscle fiber in your butt gets targeted.

These muscle fibers are designed for endurance or long duration, and will NOT grow in size.

You don’t see bodybuilders, who want to make their butts bigger, hanging out on the elliptical machines, do you?

For those of you who perform high intensity interval training on this particular equipment, perhaps you’re still skeptical, since H.I.I.T. recruits fast-twitch muscle fiber, which does have the potential to increase in size.

However, under the circumstances of HIIT training on the elliptical, you still won’t get that bigger butt.

Fast-twitch fibers only have the potential to grow in size. In other words, just because an exercise routine recruits fast-twitch muscle fibers, does not mean it will make these fibers grow.

If that were the case, then every person who engages in any physical activity that requires short bursts of power or rigorous exertion, would be bulked up.

This includes people who move furniture for a living! Seems to me that most furniture movers are rather wiry in build!

The elliptical machine will not make your butt bigger. If you want smaller glutes, reduce your overall body fat percentage.

If you want larger buns — or at least, a firmer pair of glutes — then do heavy barbell squats, lunges, and wind sprints.

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/Doronin Denis