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Perfect squat form, or Why you should stick your butt out at the gym

perfect squat form stick your butt out David Kirsch

It’s not often someone yells “Stick your ass out more!” in a way that motivates, instead of offends, you. But David Kirsch is quick to offer the blunt and hilarious directive during squat sequences.

Since the celebrity trainer, author, and all-around wellness aficionado is know for his ability to sculpt famous butts—Heidi Klum’s and many a woman gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated, among them—we thought there must be something to it.

What is Kirsch getting at?

“If you’re mindlessly doing a squat, like most people, your knees come down over your toes, and you’re immediately working your quads and not your ass,” he explains. “Unless your engaging your mind first and connecting it to what you’re doing with your body, you’re not going to facilitate anything real.”

The “stick your butt out” mantra, then, is really just a simplified, dialed down way to describe proper, mindful form—form that will help you make real progress in the booty area.



While Kirsch typically tweaks form based on your body type (he can even customize your moves based on the booty shape you’re going for), there are a few general squat rules to live by:

1. Your feet should be wider than hip-width and you should anchor in your heels, your core tight.

2. As you move down, stick your butt out as far as you can, sitting back as if you were placing it on a chair. (Sometimes practicing on an actual chair or bench helps.)

3. And don’t just dip a bit—go down as far as you can. “If you’re not feeling it in your butt, you’re probably doing it wrong,” Kirsch says.

In the end, Kirsch says, “You need to be able to visualize what you want to accomplish, whether it’s a tighter butt, a higher butt, a smaller butt, or a bigger butt.”

Plus, after years of tucking in Pilates and barre classes, it may feel good to just stick it out there. “My thing is,” says Kirsch, “if you’ve got it, show it.” —Lisa Elaine Held

(Photos: Lisa Elaine Held for Well+Good, Model: Amy Eley)