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Exercise best for bums, say physios

Physiotherapists maintain that exercise is the best way to tone buttock muscles

Fashion ‘gurus’ Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine have advised women on their latest TV show, Trinny and Susannah Undress the Nation (6 August 2008), that exercise is not the way to tone and lose excess weight around the buttocks. Instead they recommended the use of industrial strength underwear to achieve the coveted firm behinds of celebrities like Jennifer Aniston.

But physiotherapists are dismissing the ‘quick fix’ that these garments offer, and advising both men and women that the most effective and healthy way to shrink their bums is indeed through exercise.

Chartered physiotherapist Sammy Margo says, “Underwear like girdles and corsets has a great immediate effect in changing the shape of your body, but if you want a more permanent result exercise is the only way. Toning the muscles and working off excess fat will give buttocks the smooth and firm look that many people desire. It may be more hard work to achieve than just pulling on a pair of control pants, but the effect will continue even with your clothes off – you can’t hide a girdle under your bikini or Speedos!’

Sammy also says there are health issues to consider with constricting underwear, “Corsets and girdles are very restrictive, limiting movement and impeding breathing. Over a long period, wearing clothes that give you the illusion of slimness will stop you using your muscles and they’ll become weak and flabby, especially as you get older – use it, or lose it! Doing some exercise to achieve your dream bottom is a far healthier way to get there.”

Jennifer Aniston has put her toned bottom down to her diet, martial arts exercise, walking and biking. You don’t need to spend time and money on gym memberships and new equipment; here Sammy gives three simple exercises to help you on your way to a firm celebrity bum:

1. Go for a brisk walk, taking big strides to work your buttock muscles.

2. Standing on your left leg, holding your tummy in, lift your right leg straight back 10 times, without resting. Swap legs. Do the same, lifting your right leg straight out to the side. Swap legs.

3. Standing tall, squeeze your buttock muscles as hard as possible, hold 10 for seconds and do this 10 times.

These exercises all help to improve the shape of your gluteal muscles (gluteus maximus, medius and minimus).

Notes to editors

1. For more information, please call the CSP press office on 020 7306 6628/6616. Out of hours call Becky Darke on 07900 160349.

2. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the professional, educational and trade union body for the UK's 49,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants. For previous releases visit

3. NHS referrals to physiotherapy can be gained through your GP. Alternatively, find a private physiotherapist near you at

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