Work It Out on the Incline + Saucony Virratas

I am on a bootylicious mission.


Not to be confused with a Booty Call mission.

A couple of weeks ago I announced my goal of growing my tail end.  Then last week I revealed my next competition would be postponed for a couple of months until the muscles in my bottom half can catch up to my top.  So I’m extra-motivated to Working It Out hard-core.



Working out your glutes doesn’t have to all be done in the weight room.  This weekend the weather was finally pleasant in Atlanta, so I hauled my hiney outside to Stone Mountain.


Work It Out on the Incline

If you’re hoping to get a firmer backside, running is generally NOT thing that you want to be doing (my trainer loves to tell me I literally ran my ass off).  This doesn’t mean you can’t do any cardio.  Incline walking and sprinting are both really great ways to tone your tush.  Uphill walking and short sprints place more stress on the muscles surrounding the glutes, therefore adding muscle definition.

Stone Mountain

I sprinted this 14x – 2 sets of 7.


Don’t have a mountain?

No problem!  Incline walks make for a great treadmill workout.  I like to start each day doing one while I catch up on GMA important news.

Begin walking at 3.5 mph at a 2% incline for 1 minute.  Increase the incline in each following minute by 1% until you reach a 16% incline.  don’t hold on to the treadmill when the walk becomes challenging!  Then descend.  Decrease the incline by 1% each minute until your back to 2% for a 30 minutes exercise.

Saucony Virratas


Need a bonus round?

Do sprint intervals.  Focus on extending your hips and keep your chest lifted and shoulders back to get the most out of your sprints.  Roll all the way forward onto your toes with each step, in order to engage more of your glutes.

The step machine is another good alternative.  This will also have you working against resistance and will add more tone and definition to your body rather than slimming everything out but leaving you looking rather shapeless.


The most import thing is to find something that you enjoy, and that will hold your interest.  The outdoors are ideal for me.  If soreness is any indication of success, I nailed the incline workout!

Stone Mountain sprints

Yes, I asked a total stranger take this pic. #shameless


One thing to mention before you start running circles around everyone.  The proper footwear is KEY.  If you’ve never been fitted for running shoes, now is a good time to start.  Make sure you don’t over- or under-pronate, have the right amount of cushioning for your body, and have the right fit.  Like bras, people run around in ill-fitting shoes ALL the time.

I prefer a lot of variety:

Running shoe collection


They all serve different purposes!  My most recent running shoe love are the Saucony Virratas.  Saucony sent me their Virrata Zero drop shoes to try out.  They kind of ROCK.

These ultra-light (6 oz!) shoes are flexible, minimalist-style shoes that don’t lack cushioning and support.  I don’t find this to be the case with many other minimalist shoes on the market.  (I can’t run in my Minimum Vibrams – I lift in them because they are flat.)

Saucony Virrata


I do have to get one thing off my chest.  Marketing departments have the impression that women = pink.  I hate pink.

If a product is awesome enough, I will make an exception to my “no pink ever” rule.  For instance, my Polar FT4 HRM.  I love it.  It’s pink, but I got over my hatred and wear it every time I workout.  I made another exception for these shoes (also, I do love the neon yellow accents).

Saucony Virratas #findyourstrong


Just like your mamma told you, looks aren’t everything.  At the end of the day, I need a shoe that is comfortable and will support my run.

Fit-wise, these run true to size.  Comfort wise… I have to be honest and say at first I didn’t like them.  The arch felt like it was hitting me in the wrong spot.  However, after just 2 days (~4 miles) on the treadmill “testing” them, they sort of molded to my foot.  Now they are my favorite shoe!  #findyourstrong


***Disclaimer: Saucony sent me these Virratas as part of the Fitfluential Ambassador Program.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I hope you guys know I’m not a good sugar-coater by now. ;)***


One thing to note… inclines are good for your calves too.  Holy DOMS, Batman.

Have you ever tried a minimalist/zero drop shoe?  Do you like them?

Do you do incline workouts?  If not, is it something you’d be willing to try?



  1. says

    Wahhhhhh! As soon as I read “stair stepper” I swear my knee cried out in pain!! Why God, WHY?! Guess all those machines should come with a warning: Not intended for 28 year olds with decrepit bodies. *Pout*

    On a POSITIVE note!!! I tried that stability ball booty move you shared last week and….no knee pain annnnnnnnnd…OMFG my ass wants to kill you right now!! I’ve been using the handicap rails in the bathroom at work for the past TWO days! And earlier, I bent down to pick up something I dropped on the floor and was like, “Oh yeah, hi Laura!” Hahaha!

    PS, I LOVE that you got a stranger to take that pic of you…would have been better though if you asked them to trace your outline with a piece of chalk! 😉

    • Laura says

      Noooo… YOU don’t do any of this. Be good to your knee.

      So glad that stability move worked for you though!! Nothing like a sore ass to bring a smile to your face. Wait. Errr… LOL!

      If I’d had chalk, you KNOW I would have. 😉

  2. says

    Yesss to butt-building. I don’t usually do inclines, but I’ve been doing a lot of sprints which seem to be helping.
    I’m with you on the anti-pink thing. Shoe companies are determined to think that we all love it but…no. Not a fan.

  3. says

    Love incline walking workouts and the next day soreness!

    And I’m not a huge pink workout gear person either. I like blue for some reason. I’ve noticed that bright, standout colors are all the rage now. Not really a fan – comfort is my #1 priority when it comes to this stuff…not how cute it looks!

  4. says

    Love the incline workouts! Leg days are always my favorites! Love those sneakers too. I have to admit I’m a total pink girl and I love the color of them :)

  5. says

    Your picture doesn’t fully illustrate how steep that part of the mountain is! It’s hard to walk up, much less sprint! Too funny that you asked a stranger to take a picture of you!

  6. says

    Lord, my Mizuno’s are the brightest pink known to man. I have sort of gotten over my pink aversion too and have just gone with it. I have some insanely pink running shirts now LOL. I have a pair of minimalist shoes – kind of a slip on pair that I found at DSW. I have started lifting weights in them and wear for boxing/kickboxing. My feet were never stronger than when I did ballet and never wore shoes with crazy support and cushioning. Now I’m fighting with my feet. Humph. But running and booties…I sort of disagree to an extent. My booty hasn’t deflated from running once I started focussing on properly using my glutes and hams. That said, I definitely focus on booty sculpting moves as well.

    • Laura says

      I think a lot of the booty is genetic too. That’s not to say we can’t re-shape, but some people were more blessed than other in the rear. 😉

  7. Amelia says

    Stair master burns so good…so do hills. I need a rounder booty, but my problem is that I really like HIIT a few times per week, which is probably not helping. I have no idea.

    Cute shoes. I need to find some new ones with a ton of support, especially cushioning in the toes and good stability. They stopped making my favorite saucony’s last year and I have yet to find a great replacement. I have great training shoes, but not HIIT shoes. Oh yeah, and I am NOT a fan of pink either. BLech!

  8. says

    Incline workouts are killer! I love them! I think you know I love a good challenge though. 😉

    I’m about in need of some new shoes. I’m highly curious about minimalist shoes. I really want to try them, but I am scared of injury since I’m used to what I have now. I may need to give these a go. Everyone seems to really like them!

    Great job on the booty workout!

    • Laura says

      I LOVE the Nimbus for lifting, and these Virrata zero drop had enough cushioning for me to run in them. let me know what you end up with!

  9. says

    Incline workouts are GREAT! Near my home town, in Hamilton, ON, Canada, we have a place called the Dundurn Castle Steps and the Shedoke steps. They are two stair cases, each with about 320 steps that go straight up the Niagara Escarpement. Before we started running varsity (it no longer fits into our training plan) we used to go to the stairs a couple of times a week. We’d run up the Dundurn stairs, come back down, run the 1k path between the Dundurn and Shedoke stairs, then run up the shedoke ones, and we’d do that 5 times, so we’d end up doing the stairs a total of 10 times. It was a killer workout! If you hadn’t done them in a couple of weeks, even if you had still been running in between, your legs would be SO SORE for a few days after! Now, at the beginning of track season, we do 4X a 300m long hill after our Monday interval workouts. Fun fun fun! They build lots of power (and booty!). :)

  10. Cora Matheson says

    UGH. I have been struggling to gain muscle in my legs and butt for soooo long… I can see improvement and gained strength in my core and upper body, but my butt just seems to continue getting flatter and flatter. Why!? I’ve switched from warming up on the elliptical to the bike instead, hopefully to target the leg muscles more. Many fitness articles/workout routines focus on “losing butt fat” … but this isn’t what I want to do. I want to bulk it up! Do you have any favourite weight exercises that focus on building, rather than trimming it down??

    PS – love your blog. I’ve followed for a while now but this is the first time I’ve actually commented. Thanks for everything you post!

  11. says

    LOVE the incline treadmill walking, and I’m so glad you told me about that a while back. I’ve been doing that, but I have slowed it WAY down to 2.5 mph so i can focus on walking correctly (because apparently I don’t do anything correctly).

    Side note for shorties like us — turn around on the step machine so you’re not leaning way forward. I tend to lean forward on the step machine regardless of if I’m gripping for support or not. Turning around has helped that. And it’s nice because you’re not staring at the time.

  12. says

    So this is totally not related to working the booty (although I do suffer from my family’s genetic flaw – cracker ass syndrome, aka pancake ass). I’m actually curious about your Polar F4 heart rate monitor. I literally just bought the exact same watch and have used it for three workouts now. HOWEVER, it constantly drops my heart rate – it’s never kept it for longer than 15 minutes. I wet the strap so I think it has more to do with where I place the strap. Where do you wear yours? In what is probably under the category of TMI, I’m a 36A so my boobs certainly aren’t getting in the way.

    Any thoughts, tips or suggestions? Thank you!!

    • Laura says

      We call it the “mom butt” in our family. 😉

      I’d try to talk to Polar about your HRM. It sounds like you’re using it the same way I do, and I’ve never experienced a problem. I place mine right under my boobs (or lack thereof).

  13. says

    Very cool post!
    I am with ya, grwoing some glute action all the way!!
    I like how you said it-Growing the tail end-well said. 😉
    I totally agree and inclines are a great way to hit those buns. 😉

    The shoes look super cool!

  14. Your Trainer says

    I’m glad the sprints worked. Give me notice and I’ll join next time. Not for 14 sprints, probable 7 at the most. Also, I look damn good in pink. 😉

  15. says

    “Don’t have a mountain?” LOL!!! Sounds like I need to do some serious incline workouts ASAP. My bum and calves both need toning like whoah. Good advice with sticking out the shoes for a couple of days- I feel like I always have the issue of arches hitting me in the wrong place and I wonder if I just bit the bullet and held onto a pair for more than one workout they’d mold. BTW the other day I was trying to ask someone if they knew what DOMS were and I was like “Do you know what DABS are?” they looked at me like I had totally lost it… which apparently I had…

  16. says

    Haha I love pink and think that color combo is fab – rock it girl! I used to love incline walking in college when I couldn’t run but would always hold onto the top of the machine with a death grip… Sadly embarrassing but true 😛 It definitely makes world of a difference when you don’t hold on – holy heck!

  17. says

    Love those shoes BUT my bad feet do not allow me to wear minimalist shoes. :(

    LOVE this post & workout & your shameless pic!!!!!

    I was one that could do tons of cardio when I was young & still have a booty.. now I am just trying to keep it up! 😉

    I have treadmills that go to 30 incline in my gym so I do hill jogging at 18% & hill walking at 22-30%, obviously at different speeds as part of my total cardio during the week! 😉

    I also use the StepMill & that kicks butt! 😉

  18. says

    Incline walks is something we used to LOVE to do a few years. One thing we miss about having a treadmill is to walk uphill on them. we loved what it did for our legs and butt 😉

  19. says

    I have no doubt you’ll achieve your goal! I have been bootylicious, more than I’d like, for years now–if only my abs and upper arms would catch up with my butt. Good luck with your training!

  20. says

    Great information! I have been working on my RUMP for a long time as I was born with 0 :( Its hard to eat my way to a larger rump so I have been working on the stairs but inclining on the treadmill is something I will defiantly add to the mix. Thanks for sharing :) Love + Shine CourtStar

  21. Jenny$1983 says

    My bum is my biggest asset (literally!) so no booty-growing exercises for me! Booty-slimming is more like it.

    I’m with you on the women = pink thing; I haven’t bought trainers specifically for women … well, ever, I don’t think – I usually just find them ugly compared to men’s trainers. I like black with aqua, teal, turquoise, anything in the green family for workout clothes, but NOT PINK! 😀

    • Laura says

      Don’t discount the inclines – it also raises the heart rate a LOT, which torches calories. Burning + shaping!

      LOVE black with blues. Maybe next season…

  22. says

    I was just thinking last night that I need new running shoes. It seems so soon, since I just got my Mizunos in November…but then I realized I was running 30-40 miles a week. And then it was like, “Oh. Right.”

    So I’m on the hunt. I don’t think I need to get fitted again, which is good, although it was kind of fun to jog baby laps around the tiny running store in Georgia where it happened the first time. It really does make all the difference, even if it’s still difficult to choose in the end. (I am a commitment phobe, I can’t help it.)

    • Laura says

      Yeas, you need new shoes. I think it’s a sign you need to make a trip to GA. I love my running store! :)

      P.S. 30-40 miles a week?! Way to go, rockstar!!!

  23. says

    I love this incline workout! I always like walking on an incline when I’m looking for a workout that’s not too heart pounding intense, but still gets the burn on and gets the job done! ha I usually just set it at an incline and walk, but I like the idea of mixing it up and adding the interval factor into it! I’ll have to try this one out next time! Thanks for sharing 😉

    • Laura says

      Loud has grown on me (love the yellow laces), but the pink… meh. They shoes itself rocks though. I’ve never had one so lightweight feel so supporitve.

  24. says

    My newest shoes that I got fitted for were drops. It was super-weird at first (coming from Asics), but I love them!

    I like to do inclines, but I don’t know that I do them in the most effective manner … I’m gonna take some of your tips here for next time, though!!

    I also really like the stair machine. I don’t know why. It’s a “strange but good” love.

    😉 See what I did there?

  25. Heidi says

    I recently came across your blog (I think via a Google search for high protein recipes.. and you have some amazing ones!). I also noticed you live in GA. I’m a recent Virginia transplant and my husband and I just bought a home in Forsyth. I’m so happy to find a local fitness buff and look forward to reading your blog. I’ve already found tons of great ideas for recipes and workouts. I’m especially excited to find new things to do in the area! So glad I found your blog and thanks for the motivation!

    • Laura says

      Heidi, thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! How are you liking GA? Let me know if you ever want to sprint up a mountain. 😉

  26. says

    I tried the NB Minimus cross trainers and I loved the feel especially when doing deadlifts and squats. I felt a more natural contact with the floor, but it felt soft and not “floor hard”.

    The only problem is that I wore them down within a couple of months. So there durability was not as great as some other cross trainers I had. But I did love the feel!


  1. […] marvelous was a sunny Sunday run up Stone Mountain.  Remember those booty building incline sprints?  I’m back at […]

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