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A fitness blogger broke down exactly how she got her butt in incredible shape

INSIDER logoINSIDER 7/08/2017
Emma O'Neill shares how she got her butt in incredible shape. © @emlouisefitness Instagram Emma O'Neill shares how she got her butt in incredible shape.

Instagram is full of fitness photos featuring toned, sculpted glutes. Now — instead of just showing them off — a fitness blogger has explained exactly how much hard work goes into building a strong butt.

On August 2, UK-based fitness blogger Emma O'Neill shared a before-and-after photo collage to show her personal lower-body transformation. The photo on the left shows the result of light weight-lifting and lots of cardio exercise. The photo on the right — taken roughly a year later — shows how O'Neill's body changed with minimal cardio and heavy weight-lifting.

"Somehow I managed to go from a TEENY human to a less teeny human with a peachier peach," she wrote. Then she broke down how she achieved that "peach."

The key to O'Neill's transformation wasn't just lifting weights, but lifting heavy weights.

"Accept the fact that you're going to have to venture into the weight section," she wrote in the caption of her post. Specifically, she recommended barbell hip thrusts, glute bridges, deadlifts, lunges, leg presses, and using an amount of added weight that actually challenges your muscles. As she summed it up: "You need to put lots of tension on your muscles & make them WORK HARD."

The second part of the equation is food.

"You will make minimal (if any) progress on operation POPPIN BOOTY if you're severely restricting your calories," O'Neill wrote. "Muscle growth requires FOOD."

She's absolutely right: Building muscle means creating new tissue that your body didn't have before. That requires extra energy — and that comes from the calories in food. Of course, you probably don't want to get those extra calories from junk food. Nutritionists say that the quality of your calories matters just as much as the quantity.

O'Neill dove into this topic in even greater detail on her blog.

A post shared by ELF (@emlouisefitness) on

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