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Great Butt-Thickening Exercises

author image Ryan Mess
Ryan Mess earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Cal Poly SLO, where he played rugby. His fitness expertise bloomed during his college and semi-pro rugby career. And since then, he has been training everyone from youth to professional athletes to grandparents in all things fitness and health while still competing.
Great Butt-Thickening Exercises
A woman running up stairs. Photo Credit: lzf/iStock/Getty Images

Building a thick butt, or well-developed glutes, involves exercises based on flexion and extension of the hip against resistance. Movements like squats, lunges, glute bridges, and single leg squats are the best gym movements for building your glutes. And when you want a day away from the gym, hill sprints and bleacher sprints will hammer the back of your legs, especially your butt. A round bubble butt is often genetic, but these exercises will build the muscle back there whether or not you were born with a badunk.

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Drop it Like a Squat

Humans are born as expert squatters, but tend to develop tight hips from sitting in chairs everyday. Try sitting less, then start squatting 10 sets of 10 reps two to three times per week, as heavy and safely possible. Safely means that your spine stays neutral, or straight, and vertical and your feet remain flat on the ground without any wavering in the heel. Lower your bum all the way to your calves, then return to the standing position without your torso ever bowing forward. This will put your glutes through a maximal stretch and contraction, building the muscle.

A Lunge is a Butt's Best Friend

Walking lunges is the best weighted exercise for the glutes due to squat-like range of motion and the added demand of working one leg at a time. While standing, stride forward, land, and lower your back knee softly to the ground with your torso vertical. Your front shin should also be vertical with your heel planted. Drive your front foot down, chest up, and step through to the next lunge without stopping midway. Lunge once or twice a week holding dumbbells or carrying a bar across your shoulders for six sets of 10 to 20 lunges.

Glute Bridges Make the Booty Scream

Your butt will burn more during glute bridges than most other exercises. Sit on the ground with your feet flat and press your shoulders back into a sturdy bench. Lean back and drive your feet down hard into the ground, raising your hips into the air. When you are at the top, drive your feet down harder and squeeze your butt, then lower down and repeat. Do four to six sets of eight to 12 reps once or twice a week. You can add weight by placing a weighted bar across your pelvis and holding it while you drive it to the sky repeatedly.

Single-Leg Butt Blaster

Single-leg squats engage peak glute activation, but only through perfect technique, which takes time to learn. You must squat on one leg with a 100 percent neutral spine for the glutes to engage maximally. Too often, people hold onto an anterior support and fail to maintain that neutral vertical spine, shifting the focus away from the glutes. It is therefore recommended that you squat back onto a box well below the height of your knee with your free leg out front, for four to six sets of 10 reps twice weekly. This way you are not afraid to fall and can maintain posture.

Get that Sprinter Butt

Flat ground, uphill, stairs and bleacher sprints should be performed at least twice a week. The velocity and downward force of sprinting places the glutes on high demand. Start with 10- to 30-second maximal-effort sprints with 30 seconds rest. Increase the work volume as you improve. Never run long-endurance if you want a thick butt; compare sprinters to long-distance runners to see why. Other great butt-thickening exercises like deadlifts, single-leg deadlifts, jump lunges, sled-pulling forward and laterally, and box jumps should be added between the main movements throughout the week for variety.

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