3 Surprising, Heavy-Duty Moves For A Better Butt

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OpenerPhotographed By Lauren Perlstein.
As a fitness writer, I've heard many myths, misconceptions, and straight-up lies about exercise. The one I hear most often? "Lifting is for dudes." Despite all the advice to the contrary, many women I've spoken with think that deadlifts and bench presses will lead to big, burly bodies.

Katie Uhlaender is living proof that this is a bunch of BS. “Lifting makes you dense, not big,” she says — and she would know. A three-time Olympic skeleton racer, Uhlaender is now training to qualify for weightlifting at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, which would make her the 11th athlete in history to compete in both the Winter and Summer Olympics. Oh, and she's also a cattle rancher. Is there anything this girl can't do?

We got Katie to show us some basic weightlifting moves that will get you tight and toned, not bulky. Click through for some serious workout inspiration — if you have any questions, feel free to tweet Katie at @KatieU11. And, stay tuned; we're planning to wrangle Katie back here for a "Cowgirl Workout" shoot.

Styled By Madeline Lee. Equipment courtesy of New York Sports Club.


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R29Uhlaender-Shot1-043Photographed By Lauren Perlstein.
The Deadlift
We recommend starting with a 20-pound barbell (10 pounds on each side). Begin in a squat, with your feet hip-width apart and your arms slightly wider than your shoulders; your fingers should be on the outside of the bar, with your thumbs hooked under. Throughout this move, your core should be tight and your back as straight as possible — try squeezing your shoulder blades together to support your spine.

Keeping your arms and back straight, engage your glutes to propel your body upwards, just like you would in a squat. Your back should stay at the same angle the whole time, only moving directly up and down. Keep the bar close to your shins — imagine you're shaving your legs with it. This will ensure you're lifting with your glutes and not bending your back. With your core tight, lower the bar, squeezing your glutes and sending your hips back as you go. Repeat.

With weightlifting, the most important thing is form. For beginners, Katie recommends doing up to eight sets of three, five sets of five, or as many as you can do while making sure you're still doing them correctly.
R29Uhlaender-Shot2-037Photographed By Lauren Perlstein.
The Clean
This move builds on the basic deadlift you just learned. We recommend starting with a 20-pound barbell (10 pounds on each side). Begin with a deadlift up to your knees. Keeping your back straight and tight (draw your shoulder blades together), squeeze your glutes as you lift the weight past your knees, continuing until the bar is level with your crotch. Instead of thinking about straightening your back here, think about moving your hips forward to meet the bar. This is your "power position" — your weight should be in your heels, and your core should be engaged.

When you're ready, shift your weight to your toes, pulling the bar toward your shoulders. Then, hop straight up, using the momentum of the jump to flip the bar to your chest. Try to land underneath the bar, catching it on your chest with your elbows out. Carefully lower the bar and repeat.

With weightlifting, the most important thing is form. For beginners, Katie recommends doing up to eight sets of three, five sets of five, or as many as you can do while making sure you're still doing them correctly.
R29Uhlaender-Shot3-083Photographed By Lauren Perlstein.
The Jerk Press
This move takes your deadlifts and cleans to the next level, working out all your major muscle groups in one efficient exercise. We recommend starting with a 20-pound barbell (10 pounds on each side). With your feet shoulder-width apart, start with a deadlift to your knees and then a clean to bring the bar up to your chest. Reset your arms so that your forearms are perpendicular to the floor; your hands should be slightly wider than your shoulders. Sink your hips straight down into a shallow squat, shifting your weight back into your heels. Pressing down through your heels and up through your legs, come out of the squat and onto your toes as you press the weight directly up above your head. Use the momentum from your glutes and hamstrings (rather than your arms) to propel the weight upward.

With weightlifting, the most important thing is form. For beginners, Katie recommends doing up to eight sets of three, five sets of five, or as many as you can do while making sure you're still doing them correctly.