Exercises to Gain Mass in the Butt, Hips & Thighs

Man Doing Squats
Man doing squats (Image: Ibrakovic/iStock/Getty Images)

Build significant muscle mass in your butt, hips and thighs by incorporating lower-body weight-training exercises into your workout regimen. To build muscle, according to the American Council on Exercise, your workouts should feature primarily compound exercises, which are ones that involve movement at multiple joints. In addition to completing effective exercises, your workouts should include the number of sets and reps designed to build muscle size.

Variety of Squats

The squat is a compound exercise that targets your quads at the front of your thighs, your glutes and your calves. There are a variety of squats you can incorporate into your workouts. Back squats are done with a barbell on the back of your shoulders. Front squats involve holding the barbell at the front of your shoulders. The squat can also be completed with a pair of dumbbells, which are either held at your shoulders or down by your sides. With the weighted implement set, position your feet to hip-width apart. Simultaneously bend your knees and push your butt back behind you to lower your hips to the floor. Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, extend your legs to return to a standing position.

Mix of Lunges

Lunges are compound exercises that work your quads, glutes and calves while requiring each of your legs to work independently. You can do front lunges, which involve getting into a staggered stance by stepping forward with one foot and then switching legs after each rep. Back lunges are similar, but involve stepping back with one foot. During walking lunges, instead of stepping forward or back and then returning your foot back to square, you continue to step forward in between lunges. From the staggered stance, keep your torso erect as you bend your lead knee to lower your back knee toward the floor. Stop just before your knee touches the floor and then come up out of the lunge.

For the Hamstrings

The other major muscle in the upper leg is your hamstring, which is a collection of three muscles at the back of your thighs. The straight-leg deadlift is a compound exercise that primarily works the hamstrings. It can be performed with a barbell or a pair of dumbbells. Hold the weight down in front of your thighs. With your feet at hip-width apart, keep your back and knees straight as you bend forward at the waist to lower the weight toward your feet. Extend back up to a standing position.

Keys to Gaining Mass

While squats, lunges and deadlifts will effectively target the major muscles in your butt, hips and thighs, to put on muscle, they’ve got to be done at an appropriate volume. Complete three to five sets of six to 12 reps of each exercise, resting 30 to 90 seconds in between each set. Use a weight that makes completing six to 12 reps challenging.

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