Big butt, small butt, round butt or a flat butt – there are many different shapes for a booty. Many of you know already that with the right exercises, your glutes can be shaped full and round. And yes, it involves more than some brisk walking on the treadmill. For a well-trained bum, heavy strength training is needed. But how do you build that perfect toned butt without growing your legs?
The gluteus muscles are used for stretching and rotating your hips. They also help to move your legs away from or toward the center of your body, movements that are also used during leg and glute exercises. Think of squats, lunges and romanian deadlifts, exercises which are known and widely used as butt-shaping exercises. However, what these exercises have in common is that the focus of these exercises is primarily on the quadriceps (the muscle on the front of your thigh) and hamstrings (the muscle at the back of your thigh). By doing these exercises, you do not only stimulate your buttocks to grow, but also your legs. So, what if you don’t want to grow your legs? What exercises can you do to grow your booty without increasing your leg size?
You want your legs to stop growing, but your butt isn’t big enough?
If you keep doing squats and lunges and keep increasing your strength, your quadriceps will continue to grow. If you keep increasing your strength with all hamstring exercises, your hamstrings will continue to grow. If you want your legs to stop growing, you have to stop increasing your strength during these exercises. The stronger you get the more muscle mass you get. So to make your legs stop growing, you have to stop getting stronger during leg day.
If you want to grow your booty, you have to activate those muscles in the right way. You have to get stronger and make constant progress during glute exercises. You can’t grow that perfect round booty without increasing your strength. You need to train heavy and you need to keep getting stronger to let your muscles grow. As with all your muscles, this also applies to your buttocks. By increasing your sets, reps or the weight you are using during the exercises, you keep making progress. Keep increasing your exercise intensity and push yourself harder. Make sure your butt becomes stronger, because it won’t grow if it doesn’t increase in strength.
As you might have noticed, the options for exercises decrease rapidly when you do want your glutes to grow but don’t want your legs to grow. You need to do less squats, lunges, leg presses, leg extensions, step-ups or Bulgarian squats, because they activate your quadriceps too much. Even the hip thrust activates your legs in such a way it will grow your legs. Also, no Romanian deadlifts, leg curls, glute ham raises or back extensions, because they lead to too much hamstring activation.
Are there exercises to get a toned butt without growing your legs?
Fortunately there are still some options left. Here are some examples for glute-specific exercises to get that round toned butt without growing your legs.
I just got back from training legs! Glutes are probably my favourite muscle to train because I want a nice big round perky booty! What is your favourite booty exercise? Barbell Glute Bridges are mine along with deep wide squats. This exercise can be performed either laying on the ground or resting your back on bench like this. I alternate between the two. I find with the bench you can get a much better range of motion by lowering your hips right to the floor & then pushing through your heels & raising your hips up & squeezing your glutes. Try this for 3 sets of 6-12 reps and you will feel the burn! 🍑🍑🍑💪💪💪 #glutes #barbellglutebridges #glutebridges #hipthrusts #barbellhipthrusts #gluteexercise #glutesthatsalute #bootybuilding #allthebooty #exercise #exercisedemo #training #gym #workout #jademead #JPorter #JPorterClothing #jptback #fit #fitness #fitgirls #fitchicks #girlsthatlift #girlswhosquat #girlswithmuscle #igfit #igdaily #femalefitness #legs #hamstrings
This exercise doesn’t activate the quadriceps as much as the barbell hip thrust does. Make sure you keep getting stronger by adding more weight or reps during your workout sessions. Without getting stronger you won’t grow more muscle mass. And without more muscle mass, your butt will not get any bigger, rounder or tighter.
2. American deadlift
Does anyone do this style of deadlift? If you don’t you should!! The American Deadlift ADL popularized by “The Glute Guy” @bretcontreras1 is one of my favs. I like to add this a few times per week in my glute program. I feel like it’s a great accessory! Really squeeze the booty at the top of the movement! Yes! #adl #americandeadlift #bootywork #squeezeglutes
This exercise activates your glutes more than the Romanian deadlift does. And remember, to get more muscle, you have to train heavy. So go heavy and grow that booty.
I swear I have terrible luck with gyms. You know my gym closed suddenly about a couple moths ago. Now this gym is closing next month 😑. And i really liked it here, I am mad that I paid in full for 12 months at this gym to only use 2 month of it 😭😭😭. . . First one. Cable pull throughs. Bent legs will work more glutes than hamstring, whereas straight legs will involve more hamstring and less glutes. Go as heavy as you can without being pulled back. . . Single RDL. To work on stability as well as that small left butt cheek. Followed by cable front squats and hip thrust bc it’s a must ✊🏼. . . . . . . . . . . . . . #bootybuilder #bootygainz #legday #frontsquats #cablesquats #pullthrough #gluteworkout #bootyworkout #gymrats #peachbuttsunite #tianfitty #tfitty #beachbody #weightgainjourney #squatbooty
Make sure you activate your glutes during these exercises to tighten up that butt.
4. Single leg foot elevated hip thrust
Probably my favorite body weight glute isolation exercise is the elevated supported single leg hip thrust. This exercise works great by itself or as a superset in a workout. Heather is performing it using Partial and full range in the same working set. #fitness #health #womenwholift #fitmom #bodyweighttraining #unilateraltraining #glutepump #supersets #elevatedhipthrust #mindmuscleconnection #progress
This one is though! But you will feel the burn and you will grow that round booty.
5. Hip abduction movements
Do you work your legs in MAT based exercises?? Sure do! And without doing SQUATS or LUNGES! My next few posts will include numerous ways to strengthen, tone and stretch your legs. You won’t need any equipment or props and the exercises are part of our standard repertoire. Stay tuned! This first vid caters to beginner/intermediate level. Increase reps to feel the 🍑🔥Side leg series… #matwork #sidekick #hipabduction #legcircles #staggeredlegs #bothlegstogether #sidebend #glutes!
To grow that perfectly round, toned butt without growing your legs, you should add exercises to your workout program that activate your glutes as much as possible while activating your legs as little as possible. Make sure you keep getting stronger during the glute exercises by adding weight or by increasing the number or reps or sets, because this is the stimulus your butt needs to grow. So work your ass off to get that round butt that you have always dreamed of!
Credit: Jeanet Wolf, www.virtuagym.com