Whether it’s to build muscle, lose weight, or get fitter, women ultimately have all sorts of different reasons for starting up a gym routine. While many may have multiple goals, one in particular that lots of women have in common is to get a bigger butt.
In addition to improving your body image, beefing up your bum can also have numerous health benefits, from reducing knee and back pain to improving your mental state.
Although it’s a pretty popular goal, the fact of the matter is that there’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to crafting the perfect booty. In order to set you in the right direction, we’re going over all of the essentials when it comes to building up your glutes.
How to Get a Bigger Butt
Tip #1: Start Off With Compound Movements
While many women tend to favor isolation exercises in their workout routines, nothing is more effective than compound movements when it comes to adding some size to your booty.
While you don’t need to totally eliminate isolation exercises from your routine, in order to see the most success, you’ll want to start your workout off with heavy compound exercises and move on to exercises that isolate your glutes afterward.
Why compound movements?
Because compound movements stimulate the body's production growth hormone to a greater degree than isolation exercises and this helps set the stage for muscle growth. The gluteus maximus muscle is actually the largest single muscle in your entire body.
For your compound movements, you’ll want to shoot for somewhere around 12 - 16 total sets split up across 2 to 3 different exercises.
Start off heavy -- chose a weight that you can do for 3-5 reps -- then lighten the load and increase the reps in the final few sets of each exercise -- pick a weight you can do for 10 - 20 reps. For the best results, some of your lighter sets should go to failure.
When it comes to getting a bigger butt, the squat is one of the most effective exercises out there. Along with your quads and hamstrings, your glutes play a central role in the squat movement, helping to stabilize the weight as it’s lowered and get it moving on the way back up.
While it can be one of your most trusted tools when it comes to building up your booty, the squat can also pack some serious size onto your quads, so you may want to consider an alternative movement if you’re not looking to beef up your legs as well.
The leg press can be a good alternative to squats in terms of hitting your glutes, especially for those who are already happy with the size of their quads.
You can still load up heavy weight on the leg press, and because you can manipulate your foot and body placement more than you can on the squat, you can more or less eliminate your quads from the movement. Place your feet all the way at the top of the platform to really target your glutes and hamstrings.
Deadlifts can also be a helpful tool when it comes to building a bigger bum. In addition to targeting your glutes, they engage your hamstrings as well, which can also have an impact on the shape of your butt. While they do involve your quads to a certain degree, it’s not nearly as much as the squat.
Hip thrusters are a mainstay in most big booty workouts. That’s because your glutes play a dominant role in the movement, although your hamstrings and quads are still involved. You’ll really want to pay attention to contracting your glutes during the exercise -- focus on being explosive at the start of the movement and squeezing your glutes when you thrust at the top.
Tip #2: Move On to Isolation Exercises After Compound Movements
Once you’ve finished with your compound movements, you can move on to a few isolation movements to really fatigue your glutes. Unlike with your compound movements though, the goal is not to lift heavy.
Instead, you’re looking for more time under tension to exhaust your muscles. Often times that means doing the movement in a slow and controlled manner and holding it for a second or two at the top. The main goal is to focus on contracting your glutes each and every rep.
There are literally dozens of different isolation exercises you can do to target your glutes; some of them might use light weights or machines, while others may just rely on your bodyweight.
⫸Hip Abductor Machine
The hip abductor machine is a fantastic isolation exercise that can be really helpful when it comes to crafting a well-shaped, round butt. For the best results, pause at the top of the movement and really focus on squeezing your glutes. Remember, this is a burnout exercise -- you’re trying to fatigue your glutes as much as possible at the end of your workout.
Frog pumps are an excellent bodyweight workout for exhausting your glutes late into your workout. You want to focus on maintaining good form and really squeezing and holding at the top of the movement.
Glute kickbacks are another great isolation movement for targeting and exhausting your glute muscles. They can either be done with a machine, using the back of your leg to raise the weight towards the sky or simply using your bodyweight.
Lunges are a taxing but effective way to wrap up your booty building workout. Keep your legs wide and go with long steps to really wear out your glutes. They can also be done with weights or with just your bodyweight.
Other Tips For Building a Bigger Butt
Tip #3: Focus On Your Mind-Muscle Connection
When it comes to maximizing your booty building potential, one of the most impactful things you can do is to focus on your mind-muscle connection. Ultimately, your brain controls your movement and when you’re lifting weights, it has to send out a signal to your muscles in order to make them contract.
Your muscles are made up of fibers, and the more fibers you can recruit, the better your contraction will be. When it comes to targeting and building your bum, focusing on squeezing your glutes during your lifts can help you to recruit more muscle fibers, which in turn can help you to build more muscle over time.
Tip #4: Eat Plenty of Protein
If you want to get a bigger butt, an adequate supply of dietary protein is absolutely essential. Your muscles are made up of proteins and when you exercise, some of those proteins get broken down.
In order to repair the damage, your body relies on dietary protein and if you want your booty to grow, you need a lot of it. If you’re not getting enough protein in your daily diet, it will be impossible to build muscle, no matter how much time you put in at the gym.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) recommends that between 10 - 35% of your total daily calories should come from protein. 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight has been a staple amongst bodybuilders for decades and for most people, that number should fall neatly with the NIH’s recommended range.
Tip # 5: Make Sure Your Training Volume is Going Up Over Time
You also want to be sure that you’re making progress over the course of your training. In order for your glutes to grow, they need to be pushed outside of their comfort zone and that means increasing your training volume over time.
We’re not talking about huge jumps either; making incremental improvements in the amount of weight you’re able to lift is a good sign that what you’re doing is working.
Tip #6: Keep Your Rest Periods Short
Another way to maximize the effects of your workout is to use shorter rest periods in between your sets. Allowing your body less time to recover ultimately places more demand on your muscles, which in turn causes more damage to your muscles fibers.
While it might sound like a bad thing, more damage to your muscle fibers means more muscle-building potential. Ideally, you should be resting between 30 seconds to a minute in between sets.
When it comes to building a bigger butt, compound movements like squats, deadlifts, the leg press, and hip thrusters should be the centerpiece of your workout routine. Once you’ve got those out of the way, you can move on to a few isolation movements to really exhaust your glutes.
Your mind-muscle connection is also important when it comes to crafting the perfect booty. Focus on squeezing your glutes when you’re lifting to recruit more muscle fibers and make sure you’re not taking too much time in between your sets.
Finally, in order to beef up your bum, you need to be taking in plenty of protein. Somewhere around 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight seems to be an ideal target for most people.