So you want to grow a big butt.
I could start off this article by doing what every other fitness influencer on Instagram does, and show pictures of my butt.
But I’m not going to do that, sorry.
What I am going to do, is teach you how to grow yours.
I’m going to tell you what kind of weights to lift, what kind of exercises to do, and how you should structure your workout program.
The only thing you need to do, is read every word of this article (no skipping around), and execute on what you’ve learned.
How To Grow Your Butt
Lift Heavy Weights
If you want to grow a butt that gets you stopped at airport security, because you have too much junk in your trunk, then you have to pick up some heavy weights.
When I say heavy weights, I don’t mean the cute pink ones underneath your TV stand.
I’m talking about weights that are going to challenge you.
The last 2-3 reps should feel like you aren’t sure if you can finish.
When it comes to lifting heavy weights there’s a few important things to remember.
1.) Form Over Everything
Whether you’re lifting 2 pounds or 200 pounds, proper technique is non-negotiable.
A few ways you can ensure you have proper technique.
- Record yourself lifting, and watch your sets back. For every single rep. Pay attention to every single part of your body and make sure it is doing the correct motion.
- Educate yourself! You can find educational videos for proper technique plastered all over Instagram, Youtube, TikTok.I post some quite often on my Instagram. I can also direct you to some other good coaches out there who post form videos often, like Eric Roberts, Jodie Walker, and Jordan Lips.
- Hire a coach to help you. The most common technique errors come from not knowing what you are doing wrong. Hiring a coach will take all of the guesswork out of it for you.
Remember that form is always most important, and if you are sacrificing your form to lift more weight, you will eventually get injured, which will cause you to be sitting on your butt more than growing it.
2.) Progressive Overload
If you’ve never lifted a heavy weight before, you don’t want to go straight into it.
You want to start conservatively, and then progress from there.
As your body gets used to lifting heavier weights, it will start to adapt, and that weight will become less challenging.
That’s when it’s time to up the weight.
A good rule of thumb for when to increase weight is the “2 for 2” rule.
If you can do 2 more reps than you started with for 2 consecutive workouts, that means it’s time to increase weight.
So for example,
Week 1, Romanian Deadlift for 3 sets of 8.
Week 2, you feel good so you do 3 sets of 9.
Week 3, 3 sets of 10
Week 4, 3 sets of 10.
The following week it would be time to increase to the next available weight and repeat the process anew.
Knee Vs. Hip Dominant Exercises
When you are trying to build your butt, you want to focus on glute based exercises.
Glute based exercises are exercises which are hip dominant, and not knee dominant.
When it comes to training your lower body, exercises which move the hip joint are going to predominantly work your glutes and hamstrings. Exercises which move the knee joint are going to predominantly work your quadriceps.
It’s important to understand, just because an exercise is hip dominant, does not mean it’s not training your quads, and vice versa with knee dominant exercises.
There is a spectrum between the two, and most exercises do not train one without the other getting involved.
That is because some of the muscles in both your quadriceps and your hamstrings are biarticular muscles.
A biarticular muscle is a muscle that connect to two joints.
The semimembranosus (part of your hamstring) and the rectus femoris (part of your quads) cross both the knee and the hip joint.
The means you can’t move one without the other also moving.
However, you can put a bias on one muscle over the other, by emphasizing either the knee moving more, or the hip moving more.
Let’s use the squat as an example.
This is my online coaching client Habib. He’s strong as all hell, and he has a very good squat.
In the image above, you can see that his knees have the most bend.
While his hip is still being bent, and he’s initiating the movement by pushing his hips back, the knee is much more. Which makes this more of a knee flexion based exercise, and thus more quad based.
However, since his hips are still moving, his glutes/hamstrings are moving as well, and are under tension. Making this work both sets of muscles.
Now let’s take the Romanian Deadlift.
In the image above, you can see that my hips have the most bend.
My knees are still slightly bending, so there is a bit of movement in the quads. But the hips are moving most, which makes this a hip extension based exercise, and thus more hamstring/glutes. As I come forward from this bottom position, my hips are going to extend forward.
Exercises To Grow Your Butt
So now that we’ve learned that you need your hips to move most to get your butt to grow the most, we can talk about which exercises use more hip extension. We’ll also talk about some exercises which put you in hip extension. Whether you’re flexing or extending your hips, the glutes are under tension, and your butt will grow.
The primary function of your gluteus maximus, is hip extension. When this occurs, your hamstrings, your glutes, and your erector spinae (the big long muscles that go from your butt all the way up your back), work together.
Hip Extension Exercises
Just going to list some of my favorites here, with a few instructional videos on how to do them. Remember, you can do these with whatever equipment you have available. So if something says barbell, and you only have dumbbells, you can probably do it with dumbbells.
These aren’t the only hip extension exercises you can do. There are several variations of these you can do as well.
How to Active Your Glutes To Grow Your Butt
You might hear all the time from trainers at the gym “activate your glutes” or “engage your glutes”. But what does it mean?
If you don’t know what actually activating your glutes means, this cue is completely useless.
When you’re performing the above exercises, you want to keep your glutes activated.
Here’s my simple “how to”
I want you to imagine that you put a penny right between your buttcheeks.
Why did you do that? I don’t know, and I’m not here to judge you.
But you don’t want to drop that penny out of your butt.
I want you to squeeze it so hard it turns into copper wire.
Keep that up throughout the entire movement, and huzzah! Your glutes are activated.
Just make sure when you’re done, to dispose of that penny.
When it comes to designing a program to grow your butt, you don’t want to be do nothing but glute exercises.
Because you don’t want to be nothing but ass.
You’re going to want to work your other muscles, not only for your physical appearance, but also your health as well.
However, if growing your butt is your goal, I suggest more of a focus on glute dominant exercises, with the other exercises sprinkled in.
The way I would typically program this would be to have 2 lower body focused days, and 2 upper body focused days.
The lower body focus days would have double the hip dominant exercises than the knee dominant exercises.
For more insight into How To Design A Strength Training Program, check out my article on that.
How To Grow Your Butt: Final Thoughts
So there you have it, there’s my top ways to grow a big ol’ butt.
You need to make sure you are focusing on glute dominant exercises, with heavy weights.
Sorry but kickbacks on the stairmaster don’t count, and those little booty bands aren’t going to help much.
You want a big ol’ butt, you need to use big ol’ weights.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget to squeeze that penny.