The 7 Best Exercises for Building a Bigger Butt, Fast

Bulgarian split squats are a great exercise to increase butt size.
Image Credit: Kanawa_Studio/E+/GettyImages

You can get lots of things quickly — a pizza, a haircut, anything from Amazon Prime. But changing your body shape (like increasing your butt size) takes time and hard work.

Wondering how to get a bigger butt with exercise? Well, to make your butt bigger, you need to do muscle-building exercises that target your glutes — including your gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, the three muscles that make up your buttocks.

Lucky for you, these seven moves — the best exercises for a bigger butt, period — do just that.

1. Back Squat

Do squats make your butt bigger? Absolutely! It works all three glute muscles as well as the quads and hamstrings to build your butt and thighs. Plus, it's is a compound exercise, meaning it involves more than one joint action and recruits more than one muscle, which causes maximal gains in size and strength.

Plus, you can easily modify it or make it more challenging suit your fitness level. But technique is super important to prevent injury. If you've never squatted, learn the basic technique first before adding weight.

How to Do a Back Squat

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Skill Level All Levels
Region Lower Body
  1. Duck under the bar and position yourself so that it rests high on the back of your upper shoulders. Make sure the bar rests on the meaty party of your shoulders, not on your neck, and grasp it on either side for stability.
  2. Stand up beneath the bar to take its weight on your legs. Step back into the squat rack/squat cage so that the bar will clear the racking pins, and set your feet shoulder-width apart. Adjust your position, if necessary, so that you're stable and balanced.
  3. Bend your knees as you move your hips back and down, as if you were sitting in a chair placed behind you. Keep your chest up, your back straight and your knees over your toes.
  4. Lower until your thighs are parallel with the ground (or as low as you can comfortably squat while maintaining good form).
  5. Press through your feet to reverse the motion and return to standing.

Tip

For squats to increase butt size, you have to make sure you're engaging the glute muscles. Concentrate on squeezing the glute muscles and driving down with your heels as you come up from the squatting position.

You must also drop your thighs to parallel or below if your knees are healthy to get your butt to activate. Partial squats, or squats in which you put most of your weight into the balls of your feet, will develop your quadriceps more than your glutes.

Using resistance — like dumbbells, a barbell, kettlebells or a medicine ball — during your squats will get your glutes to fatigue more quickly. This leads to the breakdown of muscle fibers and prompting your body to repair with thicker and stronger fibers, thus increasing your butt size.

However, it's important to always perform the squat variation that feels best for your body and fits your current strength levels.

Choose a level of resistance that fatigues you in one to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions with proper form. For even faster results, go heavier and aim for 6 to 8 reps. Perform squats 2 to 3 times per week, allowing 48 hours between sessions for recovery.

How you position the resistance also matters. Hold a barbell across the backs of your shoulders to emphasize the glutes. Position dumbbells or kettlebells alongside your hips as you squat down. A single medicine ball may be held at the front of your chest as you squat — but squat deeply or else you'll emphasize your quads at the front of the thighs more than your glutes.

Lastly, while a standard squat targets the thighs and glutes, by altering your leg position, you'll shift the emphasis on your muscles. Perform a sumo squat with your feet in a wide stance and toes turned out at an angle. This places more emphasis on the inner thighs and butt than a conventional squat does.

More Squat Variations We Love for Every Fitness Level

2. Lunge

Lunges are one of the best exercises for a bigger butt. Doing a combination of stationary lunges, side lunges and walking lunges hits all of your glute muscles and keeps your routine from getting boring, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

How to Do a Lunge

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Skill Level All Levels
Region Lower Body
  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Take a big step forward with your right foot.
  3. Bend both your knees to about 90 degrees, with your back knee hovering just above the ground.
  4. Press through your front foot to rise back to your starting position.
  5. Do a set on one side, then switch to the other.

Tip

For walking lunges, continue in a forward motion, doing a lunge with your right foot forward, then stepping forward and lunging with your left foot.

For side lunges, take a big step out to the side with your right foot. Bend the right knee to squat down but keep the left leg straight. Step back to center and repeat on the other side.

And just like with squats, you can add weight with a barbell across the backs of your shoulders or by holding dumbbells at your sides.

3. Donkey Kick

The donkey kick (aka quadruped hip extension) can be performed on the floor, in the gym using a lever machine or by adding a resistance band looped around your legs just above your knees. Unlike some of the other exercises for a bigger butt on this list, this is an isolation exercise, so you'll want to perform it alongside other compound moves.

How to Do a Donkey Kick

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Skill Level Beginner
Body Part Butt
  1. Start on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Extend your right leg back with the knee bent to 90 degrees and the sole of the foot pointing toward the ceiling.
  3. Raise your leg until your thigh is parallel with the floor.
  4. Pause, then lower your leg.
  5. Do a set on one side, then switch legs.

4. Step-Up

Step your way to great glutes with step-ups, which you can also perform laterally, according to the ACE.

How to Do a Step-Up

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Skill Level Intermediate
Region Lower Body
  1. Stand in front of a chair or bench.
  2. Step up with your right foot, transferring your body weight into your right leg and leaving the left leg passive.
  3. Extend your hips all the way at the top, then lower back down with control.
  4. Repeat, then switch sides.

Tip

Add weight by holding a dumbbell at each side. You can also progress to a higher step to increase how hard your glutes work during each rep.

5. Hip Thrust

If you embarrass easily, you might want to skip these in a crowded gym. But if your desire for a bigger butt is greater than your pride, this is arguably the single-best best exercise for a bigger butt.

Before you add weight, get the technique down. Then you can either place a dumbbell or barbell across your pelvis to increase the challenge.

How to Do a Hip Thrust

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Skill Level Intermediate
Body Part Butt
  1. Sit on the long edge of a weight bench. Walk your feet out until your upper back only is resting on the edge of the bench.
  2. Lower your hips down and keep your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  3. From this starting position, raise your hips up until they're in line with your knees.
  4. Pause for a second, then return to the starting position.

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6. Bulgarian Split Squat

A Bulgarian split squat is a squat variation that looks a bit like a lunge. As the name implies, your legs are placed in a split position, one in front of the other, instead of together. And because it's a compound exercise, it helps promote maximal gains in size and strength. In addition to the glutes, you also work your quads, hamstrings and calves.

How to Do a Bulgarian Split Squat

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Skill Level Advanced
Activity Body-Weight Workout
Region Lower Body
  1. Stand in front of a bench or step that's about knee-high.
  2. Lift your back foot and rest it on the bench behind you. Place your front foot about 3 feet in front of the bench.
  3. Lower your body until your front thigh is nearly horizontal, taking care to keep your front knee behind or in line with your toes.
  4. Using your glute muscles, push back up to the starting position.
  5. Do all your reps on one side before switching legs.

Tip

Start the exercise with just your body weight while you learn the form. As you progress, you can add dumbbells or a barbell to increase the difficulty of the move and get a bigger butt.

Doing the Bulgarian split squat with poor lifting mechanics will not only compromise your size gains, but it'll also increase your chances for injury. The exercise is advanced so it's important to pay attention to detail. Always move through a full range of motion, never use momentum and keep your body in correct alignment.

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7. Romanian Deadlift

This deadlift variation builds not only your glutes, but also your hamstrings. The result: a strong, and strong-looking backside.

Perform it with a barbell for a high-intensity burn. Or, if you're new to deadlifts, first master your technique using lighter dumbbells.

How to Do a Romanian Deadlift

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Skill Level Intermediate
Activity Barbell Workout
Region Lower Body
  1. Stand tall, keeping a neutral back and holding a barbell against your thighs. Your knees should be slightly bent and shoulder blades should be in a down and back position.
  2. Without allowing your low back or shoulders to round and without locking out your knees, hinge forward at your hips as you control the weight bar as it lowers down to the floor.
  3. When you feel the tension increasing in the hamstring muscles in the back of your thighs, pause for a second or two before returning to the starting position by pushing your heels into the floor and thrusting your butt forward.
  4. At the top of the motion, your back should stay neutral and your shoulder blades should remain in the set position.

Tip

Begin with a lighter weight and only progress when you are able to comfortably complete the exercise with proper form.

How to Get a Bigger Butt With Exercise

With exercise, how quickly you'll get a bigger butt depends on your body type, genetics and, most importantly, training frequency and intensity.

If you're serious about increasing your butt size, you have to train hard, continually adding weight and volume to your workout. According to the ACE, you should sets in the 8- to 12-rep range to encourage hypertrophy (muscle growth). Do 3 to 5 sets per exercise and lift a weight heavy enough that the last reps of your last sets are very challenging.

Concentrate on contracting your glute muscles during the exercise. Brace the muscles throughout the exercise and squeeze them at the top of each exercise to get a bigger butt— for example, when you rise up from a squat or lunge. This will get you the most bang for your buck.

Ready to build your glutes? This at-home Pilates workout requires zero equipment and takes just 10 minutes.

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