What A Butt Wants

Experts on butt stuff, and the clothes that make every rear look the best.
Photography by Caroline Tompkins
Fashion by Shibon Kennedy
As told to Amos Barshad and Lakin Starling
Fashion assistant Ryan Gale
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To let loose

Amrit Singh, acupuncturist: A lot of times when people come to acupuncture, they’ve tried everything. They’ve gone to their doctor, they’ve done some cardio, they’ve done testing. We’re still kind of considered the underdog. And by the time people have seen us, they’re so over pain. They say, ‘Go ahead, move whatever, do whatever.’ They just want relief. They’re pretty open about it.


Lower back pain is one of the number one reasons globally that people come to acupuncture. Runners, a lot of the time, their gluteal muscles are so tight because they’re only using their muscles in one direction. They go forward, but they never go laterally. A lot of athletes have tight gluteus medius and piriformis muscles, so we put acupuncture needles in those muscle neurons to help release them.

What we’re doing is breaking down the holding pattern the body is keeping. Acupuncture is like the disruptive technology to create a new brain pathway to let the muscle and body know it’s OK to “let go.” Plus, acupuncture itself simply creates more circulation in the area, stimulating white and red blood cells and bringing more oxygen to the area.


Working out too much, that can lead to tight butts. But lower back pain — that can come from twerking too much, or from sitting down all the time. It can just come from life.

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Some strong lift

Trystenne Burey, personal trainer: There’s a lot more to lifting your butt than doing squats. Lifting weights isn’t so much from the back to the butt, it’s from the sides to the butt. It’s strengthening your hamstrings so that bottom part of your butt lifts up, rather than it lifting from your lower back. The best strategy depends on your body shape. For me, my muscles are naturally long and lean. So squatting will lift it, but in order to make it bigger as well, I need to do heavier weights.


For somebody who is larger and is trying to keep the size of their bum and still lift it, but the rest of their body they want to get smaller, they can do a squat that includes both endurance and strength. So that would be a jump squat, instead of just a stable squat where they’re standing and squatting. There are two versions of them — one where you stay in your squat position and you jump from there, but then there’s another that’s like jumping jacks. You bring your legs in first, then you jump out into your squat. I would call them the jump jack squats. They’re good because they incorporate both strength and endurance. Glute activation exercises need to be included as well, so you’ll do lot of donkey kicks or straight leg kicks.

One could also do sumo squats, but I’d do them elevated using aerobic steps with the squares underneath them and then do the sumo squat on top. It activates your inner glutes because you’re squatting even lower than if you were just to stand on the floor. For girls who are trying to lift their bum, I find that if you repeat the exercise more and build the strength, it’s more effective doing less reps of it.

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A good rub down

Amy Baker, masseuse: Our bodies get kind of out of sync, so finding ways to kind of get them back to a more neutral positioning and a neutral posture is really important. Get a tennis ball and put it right behind you on your butt, then lay down on it, on the floor. Just using your hands on the floor, you can moderate how much body weight you’re putting into it. You just want to pay attention while you’re doing this, because there are nerves in there so if you get a “zappy” feeling either in the butt or down the back of the thigh, you want to move the ball because you’re on a nerve. You can also use the three-foot-long rollers to roll on your sides and across the back.

Stretching is another big thing that people can do. A great stretch for the butt if you’re not super flexible is to be in a cross-legged position and keeping yourself really long. While sitting on your sit bones — you can rock back and forth to make sure you’re on them — lean forward, hinging from your pelvis, until you feel the stretch in the butt. Once you feel the stretch in the butt, you could hang out there for a minute and switch legs. So people who are more flexible, you can do a position called “ankle over knee.” So you’ll have one foot over one knee, and then one foot underneath the other knee.

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And a little sugar

Monica Moyet, licensed esthetician: Sugaring is an ancient form of hair removal that Cleopatra invented. It’s done with sugar in melted form, just sugar water and lemon. It’s an organic product. There’s no strips. And it’s significantly less painful than waxing. For the rear, or the derriere, I do full buttock sugaring. That alleviates any hair issues, and any ingrown issues. A lot of women and men can get ingrown hairs on the butt cheeks and in the anal area, from behind the perineum all the way through the butt crack.


I do something called The Tush Treatment, where I do a facial of sorts on the butt. That’s with full buttocks sugaring, then steaming and extractions of pimples — manually cleaning any clogs. Then a really wonderful Hungarian mud mask is applied, and then a detox mask. After that I do something called Tesla High Frequency treatment. It’s an electric current that kills all bacteria, named after the inventor Nikola Tesla.

Then you end with a glitter tattoo. For men I have a little arrow pointing down. For women maybe a little key or a heart or a smiley face. Pretty much anything you can think of that’s flirtatious, I have it. You put it on your rear and it looks really cute and it’s like a little reward for doing the service.

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What A Butt Wants