Let’s be honest, how many of you have tried to grow your butt size only to find that you are growing your legs instead? I mean you start working out with the intention of seeing that peach grow now your pants are too tight on your thighs after a few weeks.
Girl you are not alone! The problem is that most of the exercises that trainers and people tell you will work your butt actually utilize your quads and hamstrings more. While squats and deadlifts are great for getting bigger butts they focus mainly on your thighs.
In fact one of the most common questions women ask is “How can I grow my glutes without building up my legs?”
The answer is to do exercises that target the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus versus your thighs. When you build up your butt muscle WITHOUT adding size to your upper thighs you will have better contrast and look more appealing. Basically this also helps that booty pop in those jeans.
Not Looking to Grow Leg Mass
If you are working out to increase buttock size then the last things you would want to increase would be your thighs. If your legs and thighs increase as much as your booty, the glutes are simply not going to stand out even if it is getting bigger.
Some women have larger quadricep and hamstring development. You might see this with someone who does crossfit or is a former athlete. Overdeveloped thighs can make your life miserable if it’s not the look you are going for. Pants are harder to fit and buying clothes just becomes difficult and in many cases unless you want bigger thighs it takes away even if you have a nice butt.
One of the things we do here is help women achieve a nice overall physique. While building muscle is key we do so without creating excessive muscle mass in any area.
Squats and Deadlifts Not So Fast
While we do recommend adding both squats and deadlifts to your workout routines if looking to build muscle and legs some tend to overdo it when it comes to the tushy. We do believe these two lifts pack on muscle unlike any other exercise. However if growing your buttocks and not your legs are the goal they shouldn’t be the FOCUS.
What about lunges? Well same for lunges they work the hamstring and quads well. They help build leg mass in addition to growing the glutes. Again if the overall goal is lower body mass then all three of exercises should be included.
In general if you don’t want to get bigger thighs or already have the perfect legs and are just looking to BOOST THAT FATTY then you will want to limit exercises that hit the quads and hamstrings hard.
Bigger Butt Not Bigger Thighs and Legs
If you want to avoid bigger legs while growing your bum then here are a list are exercises to do at a minimum or stay away from completely.
- Leg Presses
- Split Squats
- Step Ups
- Glute Ham Raise
- Good Mornings
Again let’s be clear, these are all good exercises. They are great for muscle building, building bigger legs and even helping to grow your glutes. However, if your focus is solely to build a bigger BUTT then these focus too much on the quadriceps and hamstrings.
“If your thighs bulk easily… it makes sense to spend a period of time focusing on exercises that grow the glutes without building up your legs in ANY way.
In the beginning let’s just focus on a sexy booty to thigh/leg ratio.
So What Exercises Should You Do?
Well now that you know which exercises to stay away from here are the ones that will help grow the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus to give you that peach bum.
Glute Bridges with Barbell
These are not Hip Thrusts though they look similar. You want to make sure that you are doing barbell glute bridges and NOT barbell hip thrusts. They work similar muscles but the hip thrusts focus more on the thighs.
The major difference between the hip thrusts and the bridges are the fact that the thrusts are done with the upper back on an elevated bench whereas the glutes bridges are done with your back and shoulders pinned to the floor.
Oh how we love the kettlebell. In fact one of our more popular workouts is the KBHWP. This program teaches you how to torch calories away at home with just one kettlebell. Okay back to the kettlebell swings. These swings do work the hammies but not as much as they target the glutes. Your rear-end will be the main driver of moving the weight with the squeeze at the top.
Since you really want to work the derriere and the nature of the kettlebell it’s ok to use heavy weights here. Please make sure that you feel the glutes engaged as you swing.
Single Leg Foot-Elevated Hip Thrusts
The single leg foot elevated hips thrusts are a great exercise for targeting the glutes. By working each side separately you can provide maximum training stimulus as you isolate your glutes unilaterally.
Since you want to build up your butt muscles you will want to push these sets to or as close to failure as possible. If you find that these are super easy for you to do and you can do a lot of reps do them after other exercises. This will help exhaust the glutes before doing the hips thrusts.
Many women love this because they actually also hit the lower glutes. This is the area where the hamstring and glute tie known as the UNDERBUTT. That area that creates a crease or fold between your butt and the back of your thigh.
If you are truly looking for booty gains this exercise will work wonders if done correctly. Since you are wanting to work just the glutes and not the legs its all about control, form, and targeting. This exercise forces you to be in control and works some of the same muscles if not the same ones as the kettlebell swing.
These movements are great for beginners since it requires slow and controlled movements. When performed properly this exercise is extremely safe and will plump up those butt muscles. Also known as a great compound exercise that trains the powerful muscles of the posterior chain.
These include the hamstrings, the glutes, and the low back.
It is considered to be a great introductory variation to the deadlift, and one of the best exercises to learn glute activation.
Final Thoughts on Glute Building without increasing Leg Size
Glute training is not just for looks but sure helps the butt look good. Having strong glutes is important for lower body strength, hip stability and spinal health. Here are a few thoughts when you don’t want to increase your thigh size but do want to increase the buttocks.
- Please limit the amount of exercises like squats and deadlifts that require activation of the hamstrings and quads.
- Focus mostly on exercises that isolate the glutes.
- Use cardio machines like the ellipticals to work the gluteus maximus without pumping up the legs too much.
- Pay attention to proper form to make sure the exercise is actually working the buttocks as much as possible.
- If looking to increase butt size you need to perform sets as close to failure as possible. By doing so you will encourage muscle growth in the buttocks region. If firming the glutes is the goal then you want to stop well short of failure.
These are just a few of the many butt building exercises you can add to your workout routine. Remember it is okay to add squats and deadlift type of exercises as well. These are a great starting point and with some hard work and proper eating you will see noticeable improvements in just a couple of months.