One of my lovely clients asked me why women’s butts flatten out as we age. After an extensive Internet search that yielded nothing but a funny blog by young women bodybuilders who call it "pancake butt," I enlisted the help of a sister who has a degree in computer science. She couldn't find the reason either, so I just had to guess. Here's my humble opinion for the "pancake butt effect."

The gluteal muscles (that’s the butt) are among our largest and strongest muscles. Unfortunately, as we age our muscles generally decrease in weight, size and strength. The skin also changes in these ways: Elastin and collagen decrease, there's a reduction in the size of cells and a lessened ability of skin to retain water. The subcutaneous layers of fat dwindle, as well.

Too bad. Gorgeous butts don't always come easily, but we can have rounder, firmer glutes with a little hard work. Here are some exercises to help keep or build a more beauteous gluteous:

Reverse lunge: 

  • Stand holding weights at sides, palms facing inward.
  • Step back with one leg until until the rear knee almost touches the floor. The front knee should not extend beyond the toes (it's best to keep the knee over the ankle to prevent injury).
  • Push back up forward to a standing position.
  • Repeat on the other leg. Do 5 to 15 repetitions on each leg.


  • Stand with feet apart, holding dumbells at your sides, palms facing inward.
  • Slowly squat down until thighs are almost parallel to the floor, moving the glutes back as if you're stitting down in a chair.Try to keep our knees from extending over the toes.
  • Return to a standing position.
  • Repeat 5 to 15 times. 


Do you have any favorite butt enhancement exercises?


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Sibyl Adams, Seniority Matters’ featured fitness blogger, has spent three decades in the health and fitness field. She began competing in local body building events in 1980, and by 1983, she was second in her weight class in the International Arm Wresting Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica. Sibyl remained active in the body-building scene for more than a decade, while also teaching aerobics and running races. She retired from body building in 1990, but continued running competitively until 2004, when she suffered an ankle injury.

Today, Sibyl works full-time as a personal fitness trainer and is president of her own company, A Personal Touch Fitness. She is a certified Reiki master, a National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF) Certified Trainer, and is currently pursuing a certification in yoga. She enjoys swimming, power-walking and playing with her grandchildren.

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