Glutes are all the rage right now, and when you see all the before-and-after pictures on Instagram, it's hard not to wonder whether it's all real or whether you can achieve the same growth yourself. The truth is, anyone can build themselves a bigger booty, but it takes dedication, time, and energy. So you don't go down the wrong path, we've gathered some of the most common myths when it comes to booty gains — and we busted each and every one of them.
You Have to Do Squats
Squats are a great exercise to incorporate into your routine, especially if you want to create a stronger lower body. However, squats aren't the best exercise to continuously focus on if you want a juicy ass. "Your glutes are not the prime mover in a squat," Beachbody Super Trainer Autumn Calabrese told POPSUGAR. "They're an assistor muscle. Your quadriceps and hamstrings are your prime movers."
Rather than spending most of your time squatting, Autumn recommends you work on glute bridges instead. "Put a barbell across your hips or put two dumbbells on your hips if you want to add weight to grow [your butt], but you have to get into hip extension in order to get that muscle firing," she explained. "That's where your glutes are the prime mover."
Additionally, Jason Walsh, a celebrity trainer who has worked with Jessica Biel, Emma Stone, and Alison Brie, recommends the hip thrust above all else when it comes to matters of the booty. This exercise "really isolates" your glutes, so you never have to doubt you're putting in serious work for your butt.
A Big Butt Is All About Looking Good
Some people may roll their eyes when you tell them you're working on your booty, as if you're being vain and a bit silly. But a little-known fact is that working on your ass is about so much more than looking good. Jason explained that stronger glutes result in less chronic pain. "Lower-back pain [comes] from dysfunctional hips and usually that means that you've got really weak glutes," Jason said. "The glutes are big, and they've got a huge job, and if the hips aren't stable, all that extra movement and friction travels up that kinetic chain into the lower back."
Even if you don't have any lower-back pain right now, making your glutes stronger will prevent experiencing any pain in the future. So think of it as a win-win: you're using functional movement to protect your body, and you look damn good in skinny jeans.
Bodyweight Exercises Are Effective
Unfortunately, bodyweight movements aren't nearly as useful as we like to think when it comes to booty gains. Dee Gautham, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and NPC bikini bodybuilding competitor, tells all of her clients that adding weights to their workouts is essential for building their glutes.
"Muscle growth occurs when you put your muscles under stress and tension," Dee told POPSUGAR. "So if you want your booty to grow, you gotta stress it out with the resistance training!" While bodyweight exercises certainly have their time and place, you're better off spending more time weightlifting.
You Have to Cut Calories
Anytime we want to see a significant change in the body, we automatically think we have to start a new diet, or at least reduce the amount of daily calories we take in. But you have to actually eat if you want to see any muscular changes in the body. Bikini competitor and fitness expert Marta Mielczarska, NASM, CPT, FNS, knows this firsthand.
In an Instagram post, she explained how your diet affects your booty. "All your diet needs to be on point and you need to eat A LOT," she wrote. She said the only way to "put on muscle mass is a surplus" of calories. In other words, she certainly didn't grow her own butt by skipping meals or cutting calories. So don't worry about dieting or cutting out any food groups! Eat clean, whole foods — your body needs them while it's growing muscle.
It Helps to Do a Lot of Cardio
It may sound like a smart idea, but doing lots of cardio could actually stunt your booty growth. Madalin Giorgetta, a personal trainer in Australia, totally gave up cardio and instead spent all of her attention on weightlifting. The result was a visibly stronger, bigger butt. When you spend all of your energy on cardio, you don't give your muscles the chance to build and grow. That's not to say you can't ever do cardio, but you shouldn't focus on running or cycling every single day.
Product Credit: Model @blairintheair