5 Booty-Building Mistakes Hindering Your Glute Growth Goals

Don't make these glute building mistakes if you want to see the best results.
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Great glutes aren't born great, they grow great. And if you're training with a well-rounded glute routine, this musing probably rings true. But if you're rushing your reps or neglecting your hip thrusts, you may not be growing the great glutes you'd like.


Before your next glute day, read about the five most common booty-building mistakes you'll want to avoid at all costs!

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1. You're Doing Only One Glute Workout a Week

Training frequency and consistency play a huge role in muscle growth, says K. Aleisha Fetters, CSCS. If you're only giving your glutes one day of training each week, you're depriving them of the attention they need.


For optimal glute growth, incorporate glute-dominant exercises in your workout routine between three to five days each week, Fetters says. Instead of completely burning out your glutes on one day of training, spread your exercises across three to five.

Also, don't forget to vary your exercises, reps, sets and tempo each day. This will help you target all the different parts of the muscle. Just make sure you're performing the same exercises week to week, Fetters says. That way you can more easily track your progress.


Read more: 4 Exercises to Make Your Butt Look Bigger — No Squats Required

2. You Rush Your Reps

Muscle burn isn't comfortable but you don't want to rush through your reps, Fetters says. Consider slowing down the eccentric part of an exercise (when your muscle elongates). This increases your glutes' time under tension, which boosts glute activation and growth.


Generally, the eccentric portion of most leg exercises is where you lower the weight toward the ground. For example, in a squat, you'd lower down for a count of three, hold for one, then raise back up in one count. This helps you eliminate momentum to encourage more muscle growth.

This is also where your mind muscle-muscle connection is key, Fetters says. As you slow down your exercises, "make sure you're actually feeling it in your glutes. If not, take the time to fiddle with your set-up and technique so that you feel maximal tension in your glutes."



3. You're Avoiding Glute Isolation Exercises

Given their application to everyday life and movement, it's no shock functional exercises have become the forefront of strength training. But that doesn't mean you should abandon isolation exercises completely.

Adding some isolation glute exercises to your leg or glute days will help you zero in on those muscles, Fetters says. Donkey kicks and fire hydrants are two moves that deserve a space in your regular glute routine.


Donkey Kicks

  1. Start on all fours (optional: loop a resistance band around your thighs above your knees).
  2. Keeping your knees bent and hips squared to the floor, lift one leg straight out behind you, your foot flexed like you were stamping your footprint on the ceiling.
  3. Lower back down to the start.

Fire Hydrants


  1. Start on all fours (optional: loop a resistance band around your thighs above your knees).
  2. Keeping your knees bent and hips squared to the floor, lift one knee out to the side like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant.
  3. Lower back down to the start.

For these exercises, you'll want to use less resistance but perform more reps, like 12 to 15 reps per set. This makes them the perfect complement to the heavier compound movement exercises (squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts) you're usually doing.


4. You're Only Moving in One Direction

The exercises you're probably doing most, like lunges, are in the same forward-and-back plane of motion. But if you want to develop all of your glute muscle fibers, especially in the glute medius and minimus, you need a larger range of movement.

Adding more lateral (side to side) and rotational movements will do the trick, Fetters says. Try lateral band walks or lateral lunges to your repertoire of glute exercises. These will be challenging because they're not how you usually move, but you'll see the results!


Lateral Band Walk

  1. Begin with a resistance band around your legs, placing it just above your knees.
  2. Start with your feet separated in order to keep tension on the band and maintain a long, tall spine by bracing your abs.
  3. Bend your knees in a quarter squat and keep your feet parallel to each other.
  4. Leading with your left heel, step to the side, stretching the band. Be sure to step with your whole leg without extending your lower leg below the knee.
  5. Remain in a partial squat as you step, then follow with your right foot, returning to the start position while keeping tension on the band.

Lateral Lunge

  1. Stand tall with both feet together.
  2. Step out to the left side a few feet and bend your left knee. Sit your butt back and don't let your knee go past your toes.
  3. Press through your foot to return to standing.
  4. Do all reps on one leg before doing the same on the right side.

5. You're Not Doing Hip Thrusts

There's a reason the hip thrust gets unparalleled praise where glute growth is concerned. In comparison to the standard back squat, hip thrusts have been shown to promote more glute activation, according to a December 2015 study published in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics.

"Your glutes are the most powerful muscle group in your body," Fetters says. "If you want to spur change, you need to give them a challenge." Add a few sets of heavy hip thrusts to one of your glute days and you'll see (and feel) the results.

Read more: Why Hip Thrusts Are Better for Your Butt Than Squats