3 Often-Overlooked Ways to Build a Better Butt

Daisha Graf doing a single-leg glute bridge on a yoga mat near the beach
Squats aren't the only way to build a better booty. (Image: Chloe Millar/LIVESTRONG.COM)

If you’ve been following along with the LIVESTRONG.COM 30-Day Squat Challenge, you’ve officially made it to week 2! (If not, start from the beginning and go at your own pace.) You might feel a little sore, and that’s OK. Be proud of yourself for the progress you’ve made so far.

You may have heard the saying, “You can’t get the butt you want by sitting on the one you have.” And while that’s pretty much true, there are three ways to improve your booty that may actually involve sitting down. Here they are:

1. Eat Right

Just as abs are made in the kitchen, so is your booty. You’re doing a lot of squats, working up a sweat and really taxing your muscles, so you need to fuel your body properly.

While all macronutrients (carbs, fat and protein) play an important role in a solid nutrition plan, if a bodacious backside is your primary goal, focus on upping and improving your protein and fat intake. Generally, the ratio you want to aim for is 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent fat and 30 percent protein. But every body is different, so you may need to play around with your ratio a bit.

That doesn’t give you license to eat steaks and cheese all day, though (don’t we wish)! Make sure they’re coming from quality sources. For protein, which helps rebuild muscle, go for eggs, chicken and salmon (or quinoa, lentils and almonds if you’re a vegetarian). For fat, opt for avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds.

2. Take Rest Days

Surprise, surprise! Muscle isn’t actually built in the gym or during your workouts. It’s built when you’re resting between your workouts. When you’re doing a ton of squats, you’re actually causing micro-tears in your muscle fibers (which is partly why you feel so sore the next day).

Your muscles are designed to repair these tears and get stronger — kind of a “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” thing. But if you don’t take rest days, your muscles never get the chance to fully recover, and you’ll continue breaking down muscle without giving your body time to build itself back up. So your gains will plateau and you run the risk of some really unpleasant symptoms of overtraining.

Consider this your permission to take it easy every once in a while (every four days for the purposes of this challenge). Because it’s not only your body that needs it, your mind does too. Clock out and give yourself permission to relax.

3. Stretch and Foam Roll

On that note, if you really can’t sit still on your off days, make it an active-recovery day by doing some stretches and foam rolling. Don’t know where to start? Try these:

Top view of Eye of the Needle yoga pose
Be gentle with your glutes — they do so much for you. (Image: Adobe Stock/fizkes)

What Do YOU Think?

Have you being doing your daily squats? Have you joined our challenge Facebook group? What do you think so far? Are you sore? Are you doing any modifications or variations? Share your stories and questions in the comments below!

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