A 7-Day Kickstart Plan for a Stronger, Rounder Butt

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You can't build a rounder butt overnight, but there are steps you can take that will help you work toward growing a bigger and stronger backside.
Image Credit: Deagreez/iStock/GettyImages

While you won't exactly see a perkier backside after just a week of doing squats every day, you can make considerable changes in seven days that will help you work toward achieving a bigger, rounder butt.

The reality is that there's no such thing as "spot training," so if you want to build a stronger and more well-rounded booty, you'll need to target more than just the glute muscles but also your hips, quads and core.

"As the largest muscle group in the body, the glutes play a very important role in mobility and balance, while also supporting the movement of the pelvis," says Crystal Widmann, a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)-certified personal trainer based in Philadelphia.

"Strong glute muscles, in conjunction with strong abdominal muscles, provide support for the lower back and improve posture. All of this makes strengthening the glutes an integral cross-training plan for just about any athlete," Widmann says. "As with any workout plan, it's important to focus on strengthening the entire body for optimal mobility and function."

Why Strong Glutes Are So Important

Establishing strong butt muscles creates a solid foundation for whole-body strength, improving mobility, balance and spinal stability. When you have strong glutes, you'll have more power to do a range of moves, from jumping to running, and you'll be able to fire up your less-used muscles — like your hamstrings — to achieve better alignment for loading the joints.

Your glutes are comprised of three muscles: the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus. The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle of the three and plays a big role in extending and rotating the hip. On the other hand, the gluteus medius and minimus are smaller muscles that are responsible for hip abduction (moving the leg away from the midline) and pelvis stability.

Below, Widmann shares a seven-day plan for sculpting a strong backside. This exercise plan will help you target all three glute muscles, as well as your core, hamstrings and quads. We also offer some expert diet tips to help you improve your eating habits and support your goals of growing a rounder butt.

Start With These 6 Exercises for a Bigger, Rounder Butt

Thought you'd get out of doing squats? Nope. They're actually one of the best exercises of all time for getting a rounder butt. However, they're not the only component.

In Widmann's plan, she includes six different butt exercises that also train the inner and outer thighs and core. Together, these moves will help you shape an enviable backside and strengthen a variety of other muscles groups while keeping you safe from injury.

Move 1: Glute Bridge

  1. Lie face-up on a mat with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Walk your heels toward your butt so that you could almost touch them with your hands, arms extended at your sides.
  2. Squeezing your glutes, hamstrings and inner thighs, lift your hips off the floor so that your body forms a diagonal line from your knees to your shoulders. Be sure to avoid over-arching the lower back.
  3. Pause here for a moment before lowering your hips back down to the ground.

Tip

If you feel the bridge more in your hamstrings, angle your toes slightly outward to better target your glutes.

Move 2: Donkey Kick

  1. Start on all fours in a tabletop position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Keeping the 90-degree bend in the right leg, slowly kick the right heel back and up toward the ceiling with the foot flexed.
  3. Squeeze the hamstring and the glute as you lift the right leg up and then lower it back down.
  4. Be sure to engage your core throughout the movement to protect your lower back.

Move 3: Body-Weight Squat

  1. Start standing with your feet hip-distance apart.
  2. Extend your arms out in front of you and slowly bend your knees as you push your hips back to squat down. Focus on lowering your body as if you were going to sit on a chair.
  3. Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor, or as low as you can go comfortably while maintaining good form. Keep most of your weight in your heels with your knees over your toes, your gaze straight ahead and your shoulders back and down.
  4. Pause for a moment at the bottom of your squat.
  5. On an exhale, reverse the motion by pressing through your heels to return to standing. As you stand, lower your arms back to your sides.

Tip

When you sink down into the squat, be mindful that your hips don't sink lower than your knees and your knees don't pass your toes.

Move 4: Clamshell

  1. Lie on your right side with your knees bent at 90 degrees and positioned slightly in front of you, stacking your left hip directly on top of your right. Your knees should be approximately a fist's distance apart throughout the exercise. Allow your head to rest on your right hand with your elbow bent.
  2. Squeeze the outer thigh and glute as you lift the left knee away from the right knee. Then, squeeze the inner thigh as you lower your left knee back down.
  3. Engage your core throughout the entire movement.

Move 5: Fire Hydrant

  1. Start on all fours in a tabletop position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Keeping the right leg bent at a 90-degree angle with your foot flexed, slowly lift and open your right leg out to the right.
  3. Squeeze the outer thigh and glute as you lift the bent right leg out to the side while keeping the knee in line with the hip.
  4. Slowly lower your right leg while squeezing the inner thigh.
  5. Be sure to engage your core throughout the movement to protect your lower back.

Move 6: Split Squat

  1. Start with your right leg behind you on the edge of a bench (or a couch or chair) and take a step forward so that your left foot is right under your left hip.
  2. Bend both knees and slowly lower down until your back knee is hovering just a few inches off the floor.
  3. Squeeze the left hamstring and glute as you press through your left heel to stand back up.
  4. Engage your core throughout the movement to protect the lower back.

Tip

Be mindful that the standing leg knee shouldn't go past the toe.

Your 7-Day Kickstart Plan for a Rounder Butt

Building a rounder butt starts with strengthening the glutes, hips and thighs with exercises like the glute bridge.
Image Credit: DjordjeDjurdjevic/iStock/GettyImages

Ready to rock your six-pack of butt exercises? Follow Widmann's seven-day plan below. Once you've completed the week, go back to the start, or begin to increase the intensity with more sets and reps. The goal of these exercises is to work every inch of your glutes and build core and spinal stability for better overall mobility and performance.

Make sure to balance these exercises with at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise over the next seven days, per the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. You can split it into five, 30-minute workouts.

Day 1

  • 15 glute bridges x 2 sets
  • 10 fire hydrants x 2 sets per side
  • 10 squats x 2 sets

Day 2

  • 10 donkey kicks x 2 sets per side
  • 10 split squats x 2 sets per side
  • 15 clamshells x 2 sets per side

Day 3

  • 15 glute bridges x 2 sets
  • 10 fire hydrants x 2 sets per side
  • 10 squats x 2 sets

Day 4: Rest

Day 5

  • 10 donkey kicks x 2 sets per side
  • 10 split squats x 2 sets per side
  • 15 clamshells x 2 sets per side

Day 6

  • 12 glute bridges x 3 sets
  • 8 fire hydrants x 3 sets per side
  • 12 squats x 3 sets

Day 7

  • 8 donkey kicks x 3 sets per side
  • 8 split squats x 3 sets per side
  • 12 clamshells x 3 sets per side

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Boost the Intensity

In addition to adding reps and/or sets, Widmann suggests adding load to the exercises to increase the challenge. After all, the more resistance that your muscles work against, the bigger they will grow.

  • Glute bridge: Hold a pair of 3-pound weights at your hips.
  • Donkey kick: Hold a 3-pound weight behind the working leg.
  • Squat: Hold a 5-pound weight in each hand.
  • Clamshell: Wrap a light or medium resistance band around the thighs, about two inches above the knees.
  • Fire hydrant: Hold a 3-pound weight behind the working leg.
  • Split squat: Hold a 5-pound weight in each hand.

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Adjust Your Diet

Although butt-building exercises will help you strengthen your glutes, it's helpful to focus on your diet as well to lower overall body fat, which can help those butt muscles stand out.

Looking at your meals for a week is a good way to begin healthy habits, according to Kristen Smith, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a registered dietitian for Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta.

Everyone has different nutrition needs based on their age, activity level and health, but there are a couple of main strategies that can assist you in lowering overall body fat and building muscle. Here's what Smith recommends:

  • Track your calories: To lose a pound in a week, you'll want to consume about 500 fewer calories per day, according to the Mayo Clinic. Download the MyPlate app to keep track of how much you're eating and how to design your meals with appropriate portion sizes.
  • Fill up on fiber: Adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet not only provides a wealth of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but they also offer great fiber content. "Foods with increased fiber can help slow digestion and keep you feeling satiated for longer periods of time," Smith says. "That can help with fat loss overall."
  • Pile on the protein. Focusing on getting adequate amounts of lean protein, such as chicken, fish, grass-fed beef, eggs, dairy and beans and legumes, can help keep your blood sugar levels stabilized and provide your muscles with nutrients for repair and growth.

Over time, making these dietary changes and combining them with daily activity, like glute-focused exercises, will add up to major booty gains. In just a few weeks, you'll start to see some firmness and roundness in parts of your glutes that used to look less toned. But more importantly, you'll improve your performance, have more energy and find that everyday movements and tasks are a lot easier.

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