Look up any female fitness Instagrammer and chances are one of her last 3 workout videos (if not all of them) are focused around how to get the butt bigger. Yet, all they seem to post, is a ton of band work, which is great for activation, but definitely not enough to get the size their audience is seeking.
The problem is, those influencers may have had injections or had a great butt regardless of what exercise they did. Even if they didn’t, and their exercises were amazing, have they ever actually offered any helpful tips that allows you to maximize on those workouts? Or just left you to figure it out on your own?
1. MIND MUSCLE CONNECTION
Boy oh boy. Hands down, without a shred of doubt in my mind, in all the years I’ve been a trainer and fellow lifter, has no life rule when it comes to lifting and progress been more important than this one. I’d make it all 3 tips if I could because that’s how important it is, and how little people don’t even realize they AREN’T doing it. Let me put it this way - when you do squats or lunges, do you actually feel it in the glutes you are trying to train? Or do you find more times than not it’s in the quads and you just sort of did it because that’s what everyone has told you? That’s what I thought.
I don’t care if you are focusing on butt, legs, calves, belly button, WHATEVER. If you do not feel the muscle you are trying to grow working, you are NOT maximizing you workout and thus, kinda wasting your time at the gym. I hope reading that makes you mad. Women for instance, spend all day in heels which causes their hips to tilt anteriorly. If you’re tilted down, and your feet are on their tippy toes always trending downward, then guess what? You’re subconsciously training your quads to connect way more than your glutes.
PRIME the muscle you want to grow. “Priming” means activating the targeted muscle so the mind muscle connection is at its strongest leading into the compound lift. It’s about focusing really hard on the contraction of the muscle at the top of the movement. It is an excellent tool to compliment the butt workout, but NOT be the focus like these influencers want you to believe. If at this point you realize you may be missing that connection, then priming a muscle leading into your main lifts will make all the difference. This is where using bands and bridges come into play.
3 Prime Movements: do these in a circuit fashion (one after the other), 5-10 reps each, with 90 seconds rest, THEN go into your main lifts (Squat, Sumo deadlift, etc.).
- Floor Bridge
- Frog Pumps
- Bulgarian Split Squat
If you want detailed instructions on how to do these, check out Mind Pump’s video on a further look on how to make your butt grow:
2. EXERCISE SELECTION
Now that you know how to prime the muscle, next we gotta make sure you are not getting lost in the Instagram forest, and select compound exercises for your butt that will maximize both time in the gym, and effectiveness towards growth.
Your top picks should be squat, sumo or regular deadlift, different lunge variations, and hip thrusters. These should be the staple in any girl’s butt routine. If, and only if, after doing these exercises constantly and frequently, you still haven’t maxed out your butt growth, THEN should you focus on more isolating movements. Hitting the any targeted muscle from different angles is key.
Make sure you are getting a FULL range of motion. Stop partial repping your exercises because you like the pump feel. 100 reps of short, band resisted abductions has never gotten anyone's butt famous (although they’ll make you believe that). But a heavy ass deadlift and squat definitely has.
3. PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD/FREQUENCY
Progressive overload means being able to handle more weight for a given amount of reps better than you did last time. If you still got a pancake booty and have just been repping out with bands and bodyweight, now you know what the problem is. Lift heavy enough on those compounds above in a rep range of 6-12, and continually try to either do more reps in that range with a given weight, or up the intensity by adding more weight. Either way, you MUST be doing better than last week in some aspect.
Frequency is also important. If there is one thing I see these influencers doing right, it’s that they aren’t just focusing on their glutes one day a week. They’re spreading a bigger amount of volume over the course of 2 or 3 different days. Your body is activating muscle protein synthesis (aka telling your butt to repair and grow) after a workout. That stimulus lasts about 24-48 hours. If we know this to be true, and you wanted to maximize your time, wouldn’t it make sense that after 48 hours you hit it with another stimulus? Hitting it 3 days allows for this. Also, I should note, spreading the entire butt focused workout over 2-3 days (that would normally be 4-5 exercises all on one day), allows you to get after those exercises with heavier weight because you won’t be as tired (think about how much weight you’re able to do on the last exercise of a leg day vs the first). And if you can do more weight with the same volume that week, that’ll lead to more growth. Noticing a trend here?
No If’s, And’s, or Butt’s
At the end of the day I’m just trying to help maximize your time in the gym. I’ve worked with enough female clients to see the most common errors they make and what’s been holding them back from their booty poppin’ dreams. These tips are the culmination of all that. Show your fellow fallen women in butt battle the respect for what they went through, and use the tips!