Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak gave HollywoodLife a three-step guide to achieving Khloe Kardashian’s perky glutes, but don’t stress — these moves can take just five to 10 minutes a day for beginners.
You can still achieve Khloe Kardashian‘s butt without a gym membership, two hours a day to exercise or a vegan kitchen. The Good American co-founder’s trainer, Harley Pasternak, gave the lowdown on how to tighten, lift and build your gluteus maximus, no fad diets or fancy machines required. And Harley knows what he’s talking about — he has counted Ariana Grande, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus and many more household names among his clientele, in addition to holding a Master of Science in exercise physiology and nutritional sciences. When it comes to “really trying to shape and tone your butt,” there’s “really three things to consider,” Harley EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife. Here’s the breakdown, in the following order: minimizing fat, diet and a specific exercise plan.
“Number one is you need to make sure that the body fat surrounding the butt is minimized, so it accentuates the ratio from waist to butt. So having a small waist is really important,” Harley told us. To cut the fat, Harley gives his clients a daily step goal. “So they’ll wear a Fitbit. They’ll have 12,000 steps a day or 14,000 steps a day,” he explained. “So they need to be burning those calories. Plus the walking, especially if there’s a little bit of a hill, is great for the butt and the hamstring glute area as well.”
“Number two, food-wise, that also is part of the whole. You want you make sure you’re lean around the butt,” the trainer continued. “So protein and fiber, five times a day, three meals and two snacks, staying well hydrated.” Instead of advocating for trendy diets like keto and cleanses, he encourages a more holistic approach to what we put in our pantries — and that can include eating normally “scary” foods like white rice. “I wrote a book called The [5-Factor] World Diet, where I travel to the 10 healthiest countries of the world. And I looked at, what do they eat? These people are living long. They don’t have obesity issues like we have here, diabetes, heart disease,” said Harley, who discovered that the first, third and fourth-ranking countries stick to rice-based diets. Here’s the catch: those countries mix those starches with everything else the food pyramid preaches. “So yeah, is sitting down, having a bowl of white rice with nothing else for a meal very healthy? No. But is having a bowl of white rice with a chicken/vegetable stir fry, with cashews for healthy fat…I think it’s a phenomenal healthy thing to have,” he continued. “And for people who have food sensitivities, white rice is fantastic, because it doesn’t have gluten. It doesn’t have a lot of things that people are insensitive to.”
A lower body fat percentage and balanced diet create the solid foundation for the third step: the butt exercises themselves. “And last but not least, and obviously very important, is resistance exercise. And, really, you need to challenge yourself with a lot of resistance for your muscles to change because, really, you’re trying to shape and sculpt and tone the glute muscles. You need to overload them with resistance,” Harley told HollywoodLife. Yes — that means challenging yourself beyond body weight squats! Harley suggested hip thrusts, hip bridges and single leg movements (i.e. a reverse lunge, skater lunge, step ups) and anything else that will really increase “range of motion in your hip,” make you go “deep” and force you to feel a “stretch through your hamstring glute.”
Harley walked us through one great exercise to try, the dolphin extension: “You lie face down on an exercise bench with your upper body but your lower body’s hanging off the bench, and you try and contract your glutes and your lower back as you lift your lower body up and bring it back down again. It’s like a Superman, except only with the lower body and off a bench.” Overall, we repeat: resistance, and not a mindless set of 50 reps, is key. “So very subtle, submaximal, tiny, little range of motions are just not going to do it. Push it. Challenge yourself. You’re not going to hurt yourself when you’re training your butt. There’s a lot of padding there,” Harley explained. And don’t worry about getting too bulky — Harley pointed out that these moves are designed to “tone, tighten and challenge the glute area” to ensure that it’s lean.
As for how many reps you should perform of these moves, Harley clarified that a specific routine depends on the individual. “It really depends on the exercise you’re doing, your fitness level, how many sets your doing, how many times you’re working out a week,” he said. But for beginners, he suggested three to four sets of 15 to 20 repetitions. And you don’t have to tackle all the moves at once — for starters, you can tackle one move at a time, intensely, and let that specific muscle group rest before your next glute day.
“You don’t need to go to the gym. Yeah, so, really, it is five to ten minutes. And I if I say, okay…One of the toughest things I do with my clients for the lower body is we walk lunge around the block. We do one set of one exercise of one rep. And the whole thing’s over in ten minutes. But their butt and their legs are sore for five days to a week,” Harley continued. “And it’s the simplicity of doing one exercise very carefully, very properly, and very intensely, that makes it so that if you really were only to do one exercise a day, a different exercise each day of the week, corresponding to a different body part, that’s enough to make a difference. As you become more advanced, maybe it’s two exercises a day.” He added, “Focus on different parts of the body each day of the week, and try not to hit the same body part more than twice a week.”
Harley is all about easing into diet and exercise, instead of adopting an all-or-nothing mentality. “Whatever you read about, I’m assuring you that most celebrities are not doing radical, extreme things because they’re always having to be in great shape. And you can’t keep up something radical and extreme,” he told HollywoodLife, which is what people often try to do when it comes to losing weight. “Every diet works but only for a short period of time and only for some people. So rather than doing this radical, extreme thing, how can you just make one change this week to eat well, and then next week make one other change, and gradually get to the point where you’re eating well?” Eat moderately and consciously, hit your daily cardio, focus on the quality of your butt exercises and rest properly for that Kardashian-esque booty!