Top 5 Exercises for Butch Bodies


    Most people have not given any thought as to why someone’s body looks masculine or feminine. A body’s desired gender presentation can be enhanced by the art of body sculpting. Instead of using paint or clay, the artist’s tools are weights and diet. I’ve been asked to sculpt a body for a variety of purposes, from body sculpting to wedding dresses to gender transitions. In the following series, I will provide tips for non-gender conforming individuals to achieve their desired body type.

When someone looks masculine, is it really size or just shadows? Many people are surprised when they meet someone that they see in a picture that the person is or isn’t as tall or short, or large or small.  Though everyone’s goals and initial baselines are different and each person needs a personalized approach, for my many fellow LGBTQA identified people, the fitness strategy tends to need more personalization and an even more unique approach than those provided in mainstream fitness plans.

The last ten years of helping people achieve their goals have allowed me to analyze the minute details that changes someone’s visual perception and presentation on various body types. Here’s how to make enhance a more masculine physical perception through fitness.

Changing gender perception in anatomy is by taking one gender skeletal structure and giving it opposite gender accents. How many different accents is up to the art of the person and how they want to be perceived. For those seeking masculine accents, I am just giving you the tool box of what else is available for you to use. We see many silhouettes changes from cutting the hair and the way someone stands. But you don’t always have to do those things to give a masculine perception. For example, how about a female identified athlete who has a male dominate muscular accents but with long glamorous hair? She has a mix of gender perception because of social norms.

Forget the bicep curls, studs, they’re secondary. A topic I will explain in the future. The first focus for someone with a female bone structure who want to be perceived as masculine is the silhouette. It is one of the aspects that people can’t usually put their finger on when they describe why someone looks “buff” or “manly”. So they use other adjectives that the person has “swag”, looks “badass”, or words that exude that someone has a masculine perception, it is possible what really caught their eye was simply seeing the separation of the shoulder muscles against the back muscles. Or other silhouette details that are male dominated.


   Here are my top five exercises for those born with female bone structures to gain a traditionally masculine silhouette.

  • Lateral raises – Female collar bone vs hip bone has a shorter length in ratio compared to male collar bone vs hip bone ratios. One way to gain the same ratios, one must do lateral raises to increase the size of your medial deltoid, also known as your shoulder caps. It will give the greatest shoulder width from the frontal view.
  • Wide grip lat pulldown – This exercise plays with the eye’s perception of size. Increase the width of your lat muscles, giving the greatest “V” taper angle to your hips. Angles is what changes someone’s perception of width, without actually changing the width. Therefore when your eyes follow the lines of your silhouette, it gives the perception of a smaller waist and muscular upper body. Your lats also will give the greatest increase volume in chest girth measurement because it is significantly larger than your pectoral muscles.
  • Side lateral shuffle – Female bone structures commonly have wider hip bones therefore it is important to keep the muscles around the hips as lean and tight as possible for male shoulder to hip ratio in developing the masculine silhouette. To have strong but lean and tight hips, leg work is necessary. Lateral movements such as the Side Lateral Shuffle, allows the inner and outer thighs to be tightened through high repetitious use, therefore masking the pear shape frontal view appearance that is common in female skeletal structures.
  • Arnold press – Named after it’s creator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, this exercise builds the entire shoulder but emphasizes the rear and front deltoid that encompass the shoulder. The rear deltoid is one of the harder muscles to develop for any body therefore it is important that it is done to build the illusion of full round shoulders. It is the key separator in the shadows and silhouette separation from your upper trap muscles of your neck to the deltoids of your shoulders. Proper shoulder development also gives shadow separation from front deltoids to biceps and rear deltoids to triceps which gives your arms the illusion of being large.
  • Plank – The importance of your abdominal section being strong and tight applies to any body but even more crucial for those that want the illusion of a larger shoulder girth to hip ratio. Obviously there is plenty functional reasons why we should all develop strong core muscles, but in this vanity purpose conversation, it gives the male bone structure illusion of smaller hip as well as lower body fat. Male born bodies on average is 10% lower body fat than female born bodies, excluding any consideration for outside medical assistance. Your V taper can even be tight and strong enough to follow your mid section down to your crotch.

No article can say what you want or what is best for your body. All these suggestions are is what I just said, suggestions. They are the common tips I give when asked. And instead of waiting to be asked common questions in the identifying butch community, I’d like to share it here for anyone who ever wondered. Take what you want, leave what you don’t, and find your own ideal you in every facet of your life. Train hard and have fun with it.

for the love of fitness,


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