I used to think that wanting to grow your booty was vain, useless, and quite frankly, a little bit silly. But when I started working with my trainer last year, we talked a lot about the chronic lower back pain I used to experience on a regular basis. He told me that strengthening my glutes would help relieve a lot of the issues I was dealing with.
I didn't believe him at first, but after a few months of comprehensive glute work, I realized that I was, in fact, experiencing a lot less lower-back pain. And the very sweet cherry on top was the fact that my ass was getting bigger — and I loved that feeling. These are the changes I made in my fitness routine in order to successfully grow my glutes.
I Traded In Squats For Hip Thrusts
You might think of squats as the ultimate way to grow your booty, but Beachbody Super Trainer Autumn Calabrese insists this is a myth that needs to be busted. "You see a lot of people saying, 'Do the squat challenge to grow your butt,'" Autumn told POPSUGAR. "Your glutes are not the prime mover in a squat. They're an assister muscle. Your quadriceps and hamstrings are your prime movers."
I used to do squats pretty often when I first started going for booty gains, and they were a great way to shape up my legs and strengthen my lower body. But I started investing more of my time in glute-centric exercises — primarily the hip thrust. This exercise is done by resting your upper back on a bench and putting a barbell across your lap. You thrust the weight upward, squeezing your glutes at the top, and slowly lower back down. This puts all the emphasis on your booty, and very little of the work is done by your quads.
I started doing hip thrusts twice a week, and they were a total game changer. Sometimes I would switch it up and do single-leg hip thrusts with no additional weight. Even those burn like hell! I haven't even gone near a squat rack in a few months, but every once in a while I will do goblet squats with a kettlebell toward the end of my workout as a finisher. Finally, I'm sure that just changing up my routine in general had an impact on my glute growth, because you have to keep the muscles guessing in order to avoid plateauing.
I Did More Exercises With a Resistance Band
I bought a Sling Shot resistance band recently, and it was one of the best purchases I've ever made. It's a lot thicker and more durable than the small resistance bands you might see at the gym. Not only do I use it to warm up, but I also put it around my thighs (or right below my knees) when I'm doing hip thrusts, glute bridges, and frog pumps (when you lie on your back, bring the soles of your feet together and thrust your hips upward).
By adding this extra resistance, I was encouraging my glute muscles to activate even more, which meant I was getting more bang for my buck.
I Ate More Food
You need extra calories if you're trying to build muscle. It's easy to fall prey to the myth that you have to diet in order to see any significant changes in your body. But the truth is, if you don't eat enough calories, you won't see any growth in your body, including and especially your butt.
I ate a few hundred extra calories on the days I was strength training. This provided the necessary fuel for my body to rebuild my muscles and just recover in general. I'm convinced my glutes wouldn't have changed this much if I hadn't made this change.