Judging by all the squat challenges on YouTube and #fitspiration from celebs like Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce, it’s safe to say that bigger butts are in these days. The good thing about this is that it encourages people to eat healthy and do plenty of beneficial strength training exercises like deadlifts and squats. Unfortunately, some of these exercises require gym equipment. However, there are still plenty of butt workouts at home you can try with minimal equipment.
All about Glute Muscles
You’ve most likely heard of the gluteus maximus, which makes up most of the muscle mass in the butt. However, there are three glute muscles in total—gluteus minimus, gluteus medius, and gluteus maximus. Working the gluteus maximus is great, but if you want to really tone and shape the butt as well as put on muscle mass in the area, focus needs to be extended to all three glute muscles.
The gluteus maximus is the largest of the three. It is the topmost layer of all the muscles and is mainly used for extending the upper leg. The gluteus medius lies under the gluteus maximus and is smaller than the maximus. The gluteus minimus is the smallest glute muscle and lies under the gluteus medius. The main function of these other two glute muscles is to stabilize the legs during running and walking. They are also used for the internal and external rotation of the thighs.
What to Know about Butt Workouts at Home
There is a lot of misinformation spread online about glute exercises and what to do to get a bigger and more toned butt. For example, some people swear by squats, while others don’t find them to be the most effective.
It’s important to note that butt shape is primarily determined by genetics, so it is also important to be realistic about your goals. What glute exercises can do, however, is enable you to make the most of your genetics.
To get good results from glute exercises, it’s important to carry out glute activation. This doesn’t have to be limited to when you’re doing the exercises, but also when you do normal things like running, walking, or climbing stairs. Doing mindful contractions of your glutes during these actions will help you get better results from glute exercises.
A lot of people don’t just want bigger butts; they also want slimmer thighs. In this case, it is important to note that different glute exercises have differing glute activation levels. For example, squats have a relatively lower glute activation percentage compared to quad activation.
So, while squats are great for growing glutes, they will also grow your quads just as much. If you want to know how to get a bigger butt without growing your legs, the first thing to do is research how much glute activation there is for each exercise.
Equipment to Invest in for Butt Workouts at Home
While you may see people posing with heavy weights at the gym on “glute day,” you don’t need heavy or expensive gym equipment to get good glutes. Exercises for the butt are simpler than you’d think.
It’s perfectly possible to perform deadlifts, squats, and lunges with dumbbells to get good results. For example, here’s a tough butt and thigh workout that uses dumbbells:
Other great equipment to invest in includes ankle weights and resistance bands. Resistance bands are super simple and affordable, yet so effective. They are great for things like clamshells and glute kickbacks. Ankle weights are perfect for adding extra challenge to fire hydrants and glute kickbacks. Of course, you also shouldn’t underestimate the power of at-home kettlebell workouts for a bigger butt.
Great Exercises to Include in Your At-Home Butt Workouts
Single Stiff Leg Deadlift With Dumbbells
Deadlifts are amazing exercises that target glutes, core muscles, and other leg muscles.
To do this, balance on your left foot, making sure you’re standing on a stiff left leg. Keep your right foot off the ground with the right leg bent slightly. Place your dumbbell close to your standing leg.
- Keeping your left leg as stiff as possible and with the right leg extended, reach down to pick up the dumbbell with one arm. When you’re reaching down to pick up the dumbbell, your spine, head and extended leg should ideally form a straight line as shown in the video.
- As you lift up the dumbbell, bring your extended leg back down to the initial position while still balancing on your stiff left leg. For this movement, you should be using your hip joint as a pivot about which your body and extended leg rotates.
- Keep increasing the weight as you get more comfortable with the exercise for continued progress.
Standing Kickback with Ankle Weights
- While balancing on your left foot and keeping the left leg slightly bent, bring your chest down to a horizontal position so that it’s almost parallel to the floor.
- Kick back your bent right leg back so that it’s extended behind you.
- Once you develop flexibility and become comfortable doing this, start strapping ankle weights to your extended leg. This makes your glutes work harder to balance.
Donkey Kickbacks with Resistance Bands
- With a resistance band wrapped around both your thighs just above the knee, get on all fours on a yoga mat.
- Balance on your elbows and knees with your arms and bent legs perpendicular to the floor. It’s important to keep a neutral spine and not an arched back.
- While still balancing on your elbows, slowly extend one of your legs outwards. As your leg reaches the top, contract your glutes as much as possible. Hold for a few seconds and bring the leg back down.
Of course, there are plenty more great exercises you can incorporate into your booty building workout.
Growing a bigger butt is more about working smart than working hard. You can do all the possible squat challenges on the internet, but your body needs variation and progressive challenges to build muscle as you do your butt workouts at home.
Overall, the key to a great body is to lead an active and healthy lifestyle, with particular attention to protein and mineral intake. Most importantly, don’t forget to give your body a break with enough time to recuperate.