How to Get Bigger Glutes

Laura Williams, M.S.Ed.
bigger glutes

Not everyone naturally gains weight or muscle in their glutes, and if you struggle to add size to your backside, you may have to put in a concentrated effort to make that happen. Plan on practicing resistance training at least two times a week, focusing largely on lifting heavier weights with your lower body.

Exercises to Help Get Bigger Glutes

You can get bigger glutes one of three ways: gaining muscle, gaining fat or a combination of those two things. If you think that gaining fat will be the easier way to add size to your derriere, think again. Some people naturally gain weight in their lower half, while others do not. If you don't naturally put on weight in your butt and hips, trying to gain fat in your butt could just leave you with a bigger waist or plumper arms. It will take more effort to increase muscle mass in your glutes, but you'll have more success targeting the exact areas you want to shape and tone.

At least twice a week, on non-consecutive days, lift weights with a major focus on your butt and thighs. Perform compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups. These types of exercises include all variations of squats, lunges and deadlifts. After performing compound moves, target your glutes specifically with hip extensions and bridges.

A butt-targeting workout may resemble the following:

  1. Barbell squats - Use the squat rack to perform this exercise. Load the barbell with a weight you expect to be able to lift only 8 to 12 times. If you don't know how much you can lift, start light and add weight as needed. Place the barbell across your shoulders and perform a squat, keeping your chest upright and your heels flat on the ground. After performing a set, rest for 30 to 60 seconds, then repeat two more sets. You want to make sure that you're working each set to exhaustion. By the time you've completed the last repetition, you shouldn't be able to perform more squats while maintaining proper form.
  2. Walking dumbbell lunges - Hold a dumbbell in each hand and perform walking lunges, taking at least 10 steps with each leg. Like the squat exercise, you should be holding enough weight so that the last lunge you perform takes you to exhaustion. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds and perform two more sets.
  3. Plie squats - This exercise will target your butt from a different angle. Hold a barbell across your shoulders or hold a single dumbbell between your hands, hanging down in front of your body. Spread your legs wide and point your toes outward. Concentrate your weight in your heels and bend your knees, squatting down while keeping your chest upright. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions, rest, then repeat two more sets.
  4. Curtsy lunges - Curtsy lunges will target the outside of your buttocks and your hips. You can perform this exercise while holding dumbbells or you can use your body weight only. Step your left leg at an angle behind your right leg, placing the ball of your left foot two to three feet behind your right foot, and slightly to the right of your right foot. Keep most of your weight on the heel of your right foot and bend your knees, lowering yourself toward the ground while keeping your chest upright. Return to center, and perform the same exercise on the opposite leg. Continue lunging until you've performed 10 to 12 repetitions on each side. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds, then repeat a second set.
  5. Deadlift - Deadlifts effectively target your buttocks and hamstrings when performed correctly; just remember, this movement must be initiated by your legs, not your back or upper body. Stand holding a barbell in both hands in front of your body, your legs hip-width apart. Sqeeze your glutes and tip forward at the hips, running the barbell in front of your body until it almost reaches your knees. Make sure your torso remains straight and stable throughout this movement. Starting the upward motion from your butt and hamstrings, pull your body back to standing. Repeat 8 to 10 times, rest, then perform a second set.
  6. Quadruped hip extensions - Also known as donkey kicks, quadruped hip extensions really target your glutes. Kneel on your hands and knees on the ground and lift your right leg off the ground, keeping your knee bent at a 90-degree angle while extending your foot toward the ceiling from your hip. When the sole of your foot points toward the ceiling, reverse the movement and repeat 12 to 15 more times, then alternate legs. Perform two to three sets.
  7. Bridge - The bridge primarily targets your butt, but you'll probably feel it in your core and hamstrings as well. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the ground until you form a straight line from your knees to your shoulder blades. Hold for five seconds, then lower your hips back toward the ground. Perform 15 to 20 repetitions, rest then repeat.

Improve Your Results

Working out won't result in bigger glutes all by itself. You also need to consume a healthy diet with approximately 100 to 200 calories more per day than you need to maintain your weight. This will put you into a state of positive caloric balance, enabling you to gain both muscle and size. After each workout, make sure you eat a protein-rich snack within two hours - milk or chocolate milk make an excellent choice. This two-hour window is the timeframe in which your body best responds to muscle growth, and the added protein will help your body build and repair your skeletal muscle.

Don't expect results overnight. It may take weeks or months before you start seeing major results, but you should begin noticing small changes in your body shape within 8 to 12 weeks of starting your plan.

How to Get Bigger Glutes