Growing the booty, AKA the gluteal region is one of the many goals for so many people into fitness and exercise. When I first ventured into the world of exercise and workouts, my main goal was growing my booty. Although I have come a long way since then, now understanding the general importance of being fit, strong and healthy, growing my glutes is still one of my major goals.
Having that ‘perfect’ backside is the goal of so many out there, especially the ladies. Many of us have actually started working on it, with the squats and the lunges, but growing your glutes is much more than squats and lunges. Do you feel like you have tried everything but there is still no progress? Then hopefully, this article will be of some use.
First, you need to understand these muscles. They are generally referred to as glutes as they are the superficial and main muscles that compose the buttocks. They are actually 3 muscles: the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.
The gluteus maximus: it is the largest muscle in the human body and is the major part of your butt. Its main function is to help you spread your legs, turning and extending them. They work with the medius and minimus to complete these movements. It also serves as a cushion for our sacrum when we sit.
The gluteus medius: this muscle is located near the outer section of the hip bone. It kind of looks like a pork chop. its main job is to stabilize your pelvis when you walk or lose your balance. Without it, we will pretty much be staggering around all day
Gluteus minimus: it is, as the name implies, the smallest of the three muscles. It is located deep to the medius and works with the medius to keep you properly balanced
To keep the strength of these muscles, they need to be used constantly. As there is an increase in the sedentary lifestyle, these muscles are becoming neglected. When we sit almost every time, our glutes do little or no work at all and begin to lose their strength. If we do not train our glutes by performing the activities they are designed for, they would basically just shut down. As these muscles resign, smaller, weaker muscles in our bodies are forced to do their work. One of these muscle is the erector spinae. Perhaps, this is the cause of an increase in back pain. Another muscle forced to do the work is the hamstring muscle. Hamstring pulls are now a popular injury or accident. These things are caused by the weakness and lack of good shape of the gluteal muscles. Neglected, unused and weak glutes will give you a folded, saggy look. Your butt would lack fullness, definition, and curve.
Training these muscles to do more of what they are meant for is where exercise comes in. Your glutes are muscles and you will have to train them as you train other muscle groups, but with a bit more strength and intensity. Many movements and exercises done at the gym actually work the glutes well. There are, however, only effective if you know how to activate your glutes. Glute activation exercises have the ability to get your glutes burning. By working the glutes constantly in various ways and fueling the muscle cells to inspire growth, you will be able to reshape and grow your booty. Activating your glutes is the first critical step to grow your glutes. You have to feel that burn. You may not feel it at the beginning but you need to keep going. These glute-activating exercises are:
- Pile squats
- Sumo squats
- Jump squats
- Split jump lunges
These activation exercises are intended to let you isolate and focus muscular tension on your glutes so that you do not work the wrong muscles. If you mostly feel the tension in your lower back or hamstring, keep pushing and you will soon feel them in your glutes
Growing your glutes is affected by so many factors that determine how fast and how easy it will be for you to get them bigger, rounder and popping. Some of the factors that influence butt growth are:
1. Diet: if you spend days in the gym, working and firing up those glutes, it won’t mean a thing if you do not back it up with the right diet. Working out these muscles breaks down cells, as you break them down, the muscle produces more cells to make up for those broken down. Its all mitosis. As you break down a cell, a new one is produced and it divides and produces more. If you do not eat sufficiently, these muscles won’t have enough energy that it needs to keep growing. All that exercise and time spent in the gym may become wasted. The best muscle growing food are food rich in protein. Fitness trainers recommend eating about your body weight in grams of protein per day to be sufficient for your body. That is, if you weigh 180 pounds, you need to eat about 170 – 180 grams of protein. Having a protein shake between meals is an easy way to get the amount you require. You could also opt for protein supplements.
2. Frequency and intensity: how often you work your glutes and how much intensity you use will determine your glute growth. You need to set days aside for glute training and not just squeeze in 10 minutes of glute time after about 45 minutes of exercise.
3. Types of exercise you do: the type of exercise you do will determine your outcome. It you choose exercises that target the thigh more and grow them more, your glutes may grow, but with a bigger thigh, you may not get the look you are opting for. And while most of these exercises grow the glutes, some work more to tone than to grow them.
4. Genetics: genetics play the hugest role when it comes to muscle training in general. Some people find it easier and faster to grow muscles and they start to see improvement in a really short period of time while some people train for a really long time and may not see that much of an improvement. If all other factors affecting muscle growth are kept constant, the results will still be different for two different people as a result of differences in genetic make-up. Seeing little result can be discouraging, trust me, I know. The key is to keep going and never give up. You will notice some changes. It may not be as immediate as you may like it to be, but remember, little progress is better than no progress. Study your body and find what works best for you.
Tips to growing and maintaining your gluteal muscles:
1. Avoid fasted training: fasted training means exercising on an empty stomach. If you are looking to burn lots of fat and you don’t mind losing muscle in the process, then fasted training is the way to go for you. However, if you are trying to build any muscle group, including your glutes, you need to avoid fasted training. This is because in fasted cardio, your energy source is low and your body starts to use up fat stores to gain energy. In the process, it also gets some from your muscle. So, if you have managed to grow a little bit of muscle in your gluteal area, you will end up losing this muscle. Instead eat a little something before your workout so that you have enough energy source to keep you sustained throughout your workout.
2. Activate your glutes: as mentioned above, glute activation is very crucial to growing your booty. You need to perform some glute activation reps before any major exercises of lifting. This way, you will shift the focus to your gluteal region instead of your thighs or legs.
3. Forget the squats: well not entirely. But from recent studies, its been proved that squats are, after all not the most efficient exercise for muscle growth. Donkey kicks, leg raises, glute bridges, and other leg kick back exercises have proven more effective in growing the glutes. The squats are one of those exercises that tones and lift the booty but doesn’t necessarily grow them. However, different squat variations work in different ways.
4. Increase your intensity: when you start booty exercise, you should begin with body weights and as many reps as you can. As time goes on, it gets easier and you do not really feel the burn anymore. When this happens, you begin to make things harder for your booty. Increase number of reps, sets, etc. and when these become boring or tiring, bring in the weights. you could use some resistance bands, dumbells, ankle weights, etc, to increase the weight your booty has to bear. This will make it stronger and make your exercise routines tougher.
5. Switch it up: when you start a particular routine for your booty, you need to keep doing that routine for while for it to work. The moment you notice things are way too easier or it gets boring, change the routine entirely. Surprise your booty. If you workout your booty and you don’t feel the strain and burn, you haven’t worked them enough. Pick a totally different routine. This way, you would work your glutes from different angles. But do not switch up too early. You have to perform a routine for a while before you begin to see changes.
6. Set time aside: you need to have at least one booty day per week. On this day, you focus your entire training on your booty. Throwing in 10 extra minutes during your daily exercise to work your glutes would not do much good. You need to devote time for your glutes. Set two days aside for them and do everything booty on that day. Also eat lots of healthy protein and muscle growing food as your muscles need nourishments too survive.
7. Have enough rest time: resting your glutes is just as important as working them. Some trainers say you should not work your glutes more than 2 days a week as it needs time to heal. But this varies depending on how much work you put into your glute days. If you are not putting in too much, then you should have 3-4 glute days. Just make sure that they have enough time to rest so that they heal and grow nicely. You do not want to overwork the muscle so much that it exceeds its capacity and becomes too weak and possibly die.
8. Squeeze those glutes: one reason our butt exercises don’t work is because we feel to shy to perform them correctly. One of the important parts of glute exercises is in the squeeze. Squeeze those butt cheeks in so much. It may look weird and uncomfortable in the gym but think of the outside gym look you are trying to achieve and squeeze away!
9. Stay away from bad dieting: when growing your glutes, your body needs as much nourishment as possible to maintain the muscle growth. Cutting back on food is not the way to go. If you do not eat enough, your glutes have nothing to feed on and they become weak. Eats lots of protein with carbs and healthy fat food to grow that booty.
10. Reduce cardio: too much cardio can lead to your energy stores being used up and muscles re one of them. You may still perform cardio to keep your body toned and to burn fat but do not over do it, else you may burn your hard-earned muscles as well.
11. Give it time: as I said earlier, genetics plays a very important role in the growth of the buttocks. Some find it easy while some find it a lot harder. You need to be patient. Slow progress is better than no progress. The change will come, you just need to keep working for it. Track your progress. Try on those pants you love so much and see how your butt is beginning to fit in nicely. take those mirror side shots monthly and compare them. There might not be much difference in a month apart but you will notice a difference after a while. The key is to never give up.
Please note, I am not a fitness trainer or a professional in anyway, these tips come from experience and little research. These are just my personal thoughts and opinions and they are not perfect in anyway. I hope they help you achieve your booty goals. Good luck!