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Bum Lifting and Shaping

Written by: Becki Murray

Updated by: Alice Hart-Davis

Last Updated: 15 January 2024

Ever since the BBL or Brazilian Bum Lift first hit the headlines, conversations about ways to lift and shape your bum have never been more prominent. But with concerns about safety intermingling with new methods and techniques, it’s important to be fully informed if you’re interested in toning, lifting, and plumping your behind. Read our FAQs to discover the tweakment considerations you need to know about for bum shaping, as well as what needs to be taken into account so you can improve your body contours effectively and safely. That includes lifestyle changes and non-surgical lifts too.

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What is bum shaping or lifting?

In general, bum shaping or lifting refers to any strategies that are designed to enhance the firmness, volume and overall appearance of your bum. That can include lifestyle changes such as exercises, as well as both surgical and non-surgical interventions.

In recent years, conversations around bum enhancements have focused mainly on increasing the size of your behind – we have celebrities like the Kardashians to thank for that – but the techniques involved can equally focus on ‘perkiness’ and smoothness of your bum too. Indeed, all our bums are different so the shaping and lifting to get you to the shape or size you desire can be quite individual. It can also be accomplished in multiple ways depending on the degree of transformation you are looking for, as well as what you are already working with.

What causes a sagging bum?

  1. Ageing: Ageing can affect your bum in multiple ways, as not only does your skin lose elasticity all over your body, causing it to sag in areas like your bottom, but the muscles in the area also become weaker and less toned.
  2. Genetics: Unfortunately, sagging skin has a big genetic component, as your genes determine a lot about the overall composition of your body, especially as you age.
  3. Lack of Exercise: If you don’t exercise enough and especially if you sit down a lot during the day or avoid leg and bum toning exercises, the muscles in your bum can lose tone and strength. This leads to a soft and sagging appearance.
  4. Weight Loss: While you may assume that weight loss would improve your body appearance, losing fat – especially quickly – can cause sagging around your bum. That’s because stretched skin in the area does not necessarily retract back to fit your new shape.
  5. Poor Posture: Perhaps a surprising inclusion on the list, but poor posture can also affect your bum! That’s because it can weaken the muscles in your bum and legs, leading to sagging over time.
  6. Smoking: Poor lifestyle habits including smoking can cause premature ageing in your skin, including a loss of elasticity. This can affect both your face and body, including around your bum.
  7. Sun Damage: Sunbathing out in your teeny-tiny bikini may have overexposed your bum to the sun’s UV rays, leading to a break down in collagen and elastin (the same that can occur with sun damage to your face). This contributes to skin sagging.
  8. Pregnancy: Although we mainly focus on skin changes around our stomachs during pregnancy, overall changes in weight and hormones during this time can affect your bum too, especially in terms of a more droopy appearance.

Is a Brazilian Butt Lift safe?

When performed by a very experienced and qualified surgeon, Brazilian Butt Lifts can effectively lift and define your bum, offering a more natural-looking alternative to silicone implants. However, it is also a highly risky procedure, involving both liposuction to remove fat from one area and it’s careful transfer to your bottom. In fact, by some estimates, BBLs carry one of the highest risks of all cosmetic surgeries – with around one death occurring per 13,000 procedures.

That means many plastic surgeons in the UK do not believe BBL results are worth the risk, with the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) recommending surgeons only carry out a procedure called superficial gluteal lipofilling (SGL). This is where the collected fat is only injected below the skin, not deep into the muscles, while guided using ultrasound scans to give surgeons a visual insight of where they are injecting.

Can you get non-surgical bum lifts?

Yes – and in fact, a BBL is technically a non-surgical procedure (although it can be quite invasive), compared to the surgical solution offered by silicone implants. However, it isn’t the only non-surgical bum lift option – and others may offer somewhat of a lower risk profile. These include ultrasound and radiofrequency treatments for toning, tightening and lifting the area, as well as injectable fillers – a growing category for the body. These are described in more depth under the question ‘How can I have my bum lifted?’

Can skincare help lift and shape your bum?

Skincare products – especially those that moisture and exfoliate – can help improve the overall quality of the skin on your body, by making it appear a little smoother and plumper. However, while some products may also have a slight tightening or firming effect, skincare is unlikely to significantly lift or shape your bum permanently, even when used consistently.

How can I have my bum lifted?

Aside from BBLs, there are a growing number of non-surgical options for lifting your bum that you may want to try. They are listed below, alongside any safety considerations you should keep in mind:

1. Dermal filler: Dermal fillers are traditionally known for their use in the face, but there are brands innovating to bring filler for the body to the market. Lanluma is a leading example. It’s a dermal filler that instead of being made of hyaluronic acid that ‘fills up’ an area, uses Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) particles. When injected, these work deep within the skin to activate your body’s collagen production, reshaping and volumising your bum for a natural-looking lift. But, as you are still injecting an area that is prone to infection and vascular compromise, it can still have severe consequences. So, you should only ever see a highly-trained practitioner, and think carefully before taking the leap.

2. HIFUKnown for its skin-tightening effect, High-Intensity Focussed Ultrasound – and specifically Ultherapy – can be used to achieve a non-surgical butt lift. The ultrasound energy heats the targeted tissue, causing controlled injuries that stimulate collagen production deep within your skin, tightening and lifting it over time. Your results are gradual and require multiple sessions, but it is has a lot less downtime than BBL or dermal filler.

3. Radiofrequency: RF devices specifically use radiofrequency energy to heat the skin’s deeper layers, stimulating collagen production and providing a tightening effect that lifts and smooths your bum. Examples include BTL’s Exilis Ultra360, Endymed Body, Tempsure Envri, and Accent Prime that combines radiofrequency with ultrasound to tackle sagging.

4. HIFEM: High-intensity focused electromagnetic technology can also be used to trigger contractions in the muscle tissue to build muscle mass and tone your bum, improving its overall appearance. A leading example is the body sculpting device Emsculpt Neo by BTL Aesthetics.

5. AirSculptWhile AirSculpt is predominately a fat reduction technique, the fat that it removes, such as from the stomach, can then be transferred to areas like the bottom to enhance volume and tighten the skin should you wish. As with BBLs though, the injection of fat back into your body must be done carefully, as it can be life-threatening if it is injected into the bloodstream by mistake.

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How to shape and lift your bum with exercise?

If the reason for your sagging bum is, at least in part, due to a lack of tone, there are targeted exercises that can help. Even general exercise, such as walking or jogging, can be beneficial, but if you focus on squats, lunges and glute bridges, these can be a particular help for strengthening and toning the muscles in your bum. Over time this can help improve the overall appearance of your bottom, although it won’t necessarily completely resolve severe sagging.

What lifestyle changes could make a difference?

As mentioned above, regular exercise can be important for keeping your whole body, including your bum, in good shape. That combined with a healthy, balanced diet, staying hydrated and avoiding smoking can also have a positively culminative effect. You should try to avoid being too sedentary as well, so if your job or lifestyle tends to see you sitting around a lot, try to get up onto your feet as much as possible.

Can at-home devices help with bum lifting and shaping?

In terms of at-home devices, there aren’t really technologies specifically targeting bum lifting as a cosmetic concern, but there is appropriate workout equipment you could try. These include resistance bands, weights and balancing tools, which can be used to help facilitate glute and leg toning if used frequently and consistently.

How much on average does a bum lift or shape cost?

That really depends on the treatment you choose, and even then prices can vary depending on your location. The variability of gym memberships between London and non-London demonstrates that quite neatly. Most non-surgical bum lifting options will cost upwards of £1000 though, including Lanluma dermal filler, HIFU, and Ultherapy. Surgical procedures and BBLs cost multiple thousands, so bum lifting is an investment.

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