Today we are going to talk about squats and how they are not the key to growing a big booty. Are you mind blown yet? In fact, squats will grow your quads more than your butt!
Now this doesn't mean to just quit squats, if you are trying to grow a bigger butt, you also want to grow your legs as well. But squats shouldn't be the core of your glute days. To grow a bigger butt you need to do more exercises that actually focus on your glutes, and to do these exercises with increasingly higher weights. Luckily, T- Nation has created a "cheat sheet" of butt/leg exercises that show glute engagement ratio. Here is the list:
If you don't understand all the lingo in the charts that's ok, I have deciphered it for you. Look at the exercise all the way to the left and the "Peak %" number. As you can see hip thrust in every variation has 180-235% peak activation. This is exceptionally higher than squats and most other exercises that are on the list. Here are some variations:
Basic Hip Thrust:
This is the simplest variation, just lie on your back and push hips forward. At the peak of this exercise squeeze your glutes as hard as you can. To add more variation, you can elevate your feet by putting them on a bench or weight.
Weighted Hip Thrust:
This can be done with a dumbbell or a plate. This is the same as the basic one, but with added weight. Keep the weight in your pelvic area and squeeze glutes as hard as you can at the top. To add more variation, you can elevate your feet. Another variation is the weighted hip thrust with the bar (as seen below):
Banded Hip Thrust:
This is the last variation of the basic hip thrust. This one includes a resistance band. It has the same concept as all the ones above except this has the extra resistance of the band. Squeeze at the top of the exercise and elevate feet for more variation.
Single Leg Hip Thrust -
This variation will isolates each leg. If you are doing it on the floor, push one leg up as high as you can and squeeze at top of the exercise. You can even elevate one leg (on a bench or medicine ball) to increase intensity. Another way you can do this on the bench, rest your elbows and back on a bench enough to be able to move up and down. Rest on one leg while the other one is in the air, lift body up, squeeze glutes at top of exercise and come back down to repeat
Including more hip thrust in your routines or having glute routines that revolve around these thrust will help you grow bigger glutes and build that round butt of your dreams. Make sure to increase resistance or weight, as you get stronger and it is imperative to squeeze at the top of every hip thrust!