Ask most women about their “trouble zones” and the answers are almost unanimous: their glutes and abs. And with today’s trendy crop tops and booty-licious leggings taking over the fashion scene, these areas are an even hotter hot topic than ever. Years ago, women may have been keen on covering up their glutes and stomachs, but these days, they are definitely something to flaunt.

“More women are accepting their curves and realizing that you don’t have to be a size zero to accentuate those curves,” says Gigi White, an AFAA-certified master personal trainer and a bodybuilding competitor for more than 30 years. “Flatter abs and a sexy butt will enhance the curvature of your spine and will become more attractive to the eye. A strong core and glutes will protect the lower back, which means less strain to your hips and knees.” 

White says there’s a practical reason to train these two areas simultaneously: since you’re working on both your front (abs) and back side (glutes), you’re creating balance. “It’s just another way to work your muscles more safely,” she continues. “Just a reminder that when it comes to abs, you don’t want to train them every day. Treat them like any other muscle — they need a break, too. Keep a healthy balance of nutrition and exercise for lasting results and to prevent injury.”