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We recently received a comment on our blog How is the Arc Trainer Different from an Elliptical in which a reader asked, Which way [of using the Arc Trainer] builds muscle in your glutes? To shape your bottom?
The simple answer is that you should plan on using both strength training and cardio to build muscles in your glutes and shape your bottom. There is no magical exercise that will 'tone' or 'shape' a muscle, but performing exercises that effectively target the glutes in combination with a reduction in body fat will make these muscles appear more prominent. There is always the potential for issues whenever one is training for aesthetics: your genetics will always play a role. It is possible that certain body ‘shapes’ may not be possible for some people. But, if you focus on training to be fit, happy, and healthy, then looking better will be an added bonus.
Typical strength exercises that will work the glutes include the Eagle NX Leg Press, Squats, and Lunges (among many others). But the Arc Trainer is unique in that it can be used for both cardio and strength training. Take a look at our 'Whatt is a watt' article to learn how to use the Arc Trainer’s advanced power modes, Constant Power and Adaptive Power, to increase strength and power in the legs -- glutes included.
One feature to keep your eye on when using the Arc Trainer is the incline level. Our internal research shows that, at high inclines (10-20), the Arc Trainer is a quadriceps-dominant motion similar to climbing or stepping. At lower inclines (0-10) the focus will shift from the quads to the glutes.
When focusing on your glutes and bottom, start at a low incline and push yourself to keep a high rate of strides per minute.
Working at higher power levels will help increase the strength of your leg muscles. Combining strength training, cardio, and a balanced diet will help you achieve results the fastest. Good luck on your fitness journey.