Do Squats Make Your Thighs & Butt Bigger?

Two females workout in gym with barbell
Do squats really make your thighs and butt bigger? (Image: jacoblund/iStock/GettyImages)

Allow yourself to display the self-confidence and power that a bigger booty and thighs can give by building muscle in your lower body. Through a good workout routine, including basic squats and variations of, you can create the glutes and thighs that you seek.

The squat is a compound exercise, meaning it involves more than one joint action and recruits more than one muscle. Compound exercises, in turn, cause maximal gains in size. Squats primarily target the quads, hamstrings and glutes—i.e. the butt and thigh muscles. However, you contract other muscles to keep your body in good alignment and to assist with the lift, including the erector spinae, rectus abdominis, gastrocnemius, soleus and obliques.

How to Squat

Pay close attention to your form during squats. Without a focus on body alignment and a failure to move through a full range of motion, your gains will be compromised.

How-To: Hold a barbell across your upper back with a wide grip and stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your core tight, back straight and gaze fixed forward, slowly lower yourself down by bending your knees. While lowering yourself down, push your butt back as if you were sitting in a chair. Stop when your thighs parallel the floor, rise back up in a steady motion and repeat.

Choosing Your Resistance

To make adequate gains in size, you need to use a heavy weight. A standard Olympic barbell weighs 45 pounds and it has room on the ends to add weight plates. These range from 2 1/2 to 45 pounds. You also have the option of holding dumbbells at your sides to do squats. These range from one to more than 100 pounds. Regardless of the resistance you choose, aim for a weight that is so heavy you can only perform eight to 12 repetitions.

Slim girl in sportswear doing sit-ups outdoors in the morning
Build those thighs with squats. (Image: iprogressman/iStock/GettyImages)

Squat Variations

A standard squat targets the thighs and glutes, but by altering your leg position, you will shift the emphasis on your muscles. You perform a sumo squat with your feet in a wide stance and toes turned out at an angle. This places more emphasis on the inner thighs and butt than the conventional squat. Additional squat variations to include are:

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.