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photo: iStock.com

Between J.Lo constantly drawing attention to her best ass-ets and Drake paying tribute to the booty in his lyrics, this obsession is going nowhere. And unlike celebrities who have personal trainers on hand, the rest of us who want a nice toned butt are taking the route of hitting the gym or overdoing it on squats — and still not seeing any results. 

I took it upon myself to check out Beebe’s Buttcamp, a new butt-focused class in New York City after growing tired of my squats rut. Full disclosure: It woke up parts of my butt I didn’t know existed and it still hurts to sit down.

Beebe’s Buttcamp is a 55-minute fun and interactive class that starts off with a basic warm up, which leads into a workout using three to five pound dumbbells and resistance bands or a Pilates ring. The class I took was led by Camp Counselor, Jasmine Symonè Gates who is a petite and bubbly burst of positive energy, which was necessary once we got to the resistance training portion.

The resistance bands made the booty toning exercises killer. Between all the squatting, Brazilian buttlifts, lunging, and pulsing, you can imagine the look of relief the class had when Gates called for a dance break. Buttcamp isn’t only about the booty — Gates says, “When you’re focusing on one thing, you tend to negate the whole body.” Which is why she makes sure to get you toned all around. “I’m targeting the butt, but we are engaging those abs, working those arms, working those hamstrings, so you have great calves to go along with a great booty,” she explains.

There’s also more to the booty than it’s aesthetic appeal. In fact, it’s important from a physiological standpoint as well. The glutes are the largest muscle in the body and by strengthening them, you can become more agile, powerful, faster, and even lift heavier. “Most of us sit on it [the butt] from 9 to 5 and when you’re sitting, not doing anything, not activating or engaging it, you’re gonna lose that nice curve and get a little flabby down there,” Gates points out. In other words, your muscles are going to get weak, but not if you take preventative measures. “We’ve had people come back to this class who have experienced a higher level of stamina and ability when they’re doing their other workouts. So it goes full circle,” she says.

I’d recommend checking out the studio before word spreads and you can’t get into any classes. In the meantime, below are some Beebe's-approved exercises you can do at home. Warning: your glutes are about to be on fire, but to see results, it ultimately depends on how hard you push yourself and how your body responds to the workouts.

Reverse Bridges: Position yourself with your toes facing out, arms behind you with your wrist and shoulders in line. Your shoulders should be pushing down, away from your ears, and your hips should be lifted up. “Anytime your butt is off ground, you should be squeezing those butt cheeks,” says Gates. To challenge yourself, point your toes up. This will activate those glutes because more of the weight will be distributed to your bum.

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photo: Daniela Vesco, Vivala

Traditional Glute Bridges: Lay down, bend your knees and keep your hands at the sides of your body. Lift your hips off the ground, and if you can, lift your toes for an extra challenge. Add more intensity to this exercise by alternating extending your left and right leg. Make sure your hips stay raised the entire time.

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photo: Daniela Vesco, Vivala

Wall Shimmies: Position yourself in a traditional wall sit against a wall. Hands should be behind your head with your elbows out. Shift your hips side to side towards your ears. Gates calls this move a “triple threat” because it targets your core, hamstrings, and gluteus medius.

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photo: Daniela Vesco, Vivala

Brazilian Buttlift: Lay on left your side, with your left elbow down, and both knees stacked on top of each other, pointing towards the wall. Extend the top right leg forward and back in a kick-like motion. Make sure you’re squeezing your butt the entire time and don't forget to switch sides after each set.

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photo: Daniela Vesco, Vivala

Heel Toe: Get on all fours, stretch out one leg and bring that heel forward and up, towards your nose, so that it touches the floor. Lift that same leg up straight up and back diagonally — while engaging the butt cheeks — so that your foot's toe touches the floor this time. One of the Beebe instructors nails the move on her Instagram page.

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photo: Daniela Vesco, Vivala