Health & WellnessWeight Loss

Do Squats Make Your Butt Bigger?

do squats make your butt bigger
Posted on

Yes, squats can make your butt bigger, but how much bigger and in what shape depends on your genetics and lifestyle choices.

The way squats make your butt bigger is by making your glute muscles in what the medical community calls “hypertrophy.” Hypertrophy is an increase in the growth or volume of muscle cells, to give you an “award” winning look (source).  In addition to the increase in size from hypertrophy, exercise increases the size of both your skeletal and cardiac muscle fibers and causes them to accumulate protein (source).

Muscle strength and muscle size are not the same thing though. If you want to make your muscles bigger (size) then you need to increase “volume load” on a regular basis (source). Think of volume load as a multiplication equation: Reps * Weight = Volume Load.

This means you need to increase either the number of reps or the amount of weight you lift per rep to grow bigger muscles (up to your genetic limit that is). For inspiration, Kim Kardashian does 1,000 squats a day (source). That’s an extreme example, but the results for her and her genetic makeup speak for themselves as her booty is a signature feature.

Other factors that influence butt size

Regardless of how many squats you do per day, genetics influences how big (or small) your butt can get. You inherit between 30-85% of your muscle strength and 50-80% of your lean body mass composition (source). “Butt,” this still leaves room to beat mom and dad in the gym.

Another way genetics influences how big your butt gets is in how your body stores fat. Different people store fat in different parts of their body (source). This matters in two ways:

  1. Where your body stores fat influences the size of different body parts. Unless you have 0% body fat, it has to live somewhere. So, if your fat likes to live on your derriere, you’ll naturally have a bigger rear end than if your fat likes to live closer to your shoulders.
  2. The size of different body parts influences the perception of the size of other parts.

Size is relative. Think about a piece of broccoli. To an ant, it looks like a giant tree and a broccoli garden is an entire forest. Now apply this logic to your body composition. A smaller waist will make your butt appear bigger.

Nutrition plays a huge role in butt size as well. Muscles like protein, and while you can grow muscle size while restricting calories (source), you will grow faster with a bit of a caloric surplus (source).

For those of you just starting out on your exercise journey, a little bonus for you. You’ll grow muscle faster than those highly tuned athletes (source). And because muscle burns more calories pound-for-pound than fat tissue (source), you’ll burn more calories as you build more muscle.

Different squats for different butts

Shape might matter to you as much as size, and different types of squats will have different effects on the muscles in your butt.  Choosing squats that can work your gluteal muscle groups more or demand more from them will engage these muscles more and help you get more gain. Here’s a few of our favorite glute growing squats!

Glute Focused Squat Machine Squats

Using a squat machine like ours is great for working your booty.  The machine helps you hold proper squat form, and because it is a glute focused machine, you’ll be engaging the right muscles vs. wondering if they’re being engaged.  And if you choose our machine over another, you’ll gain access to our custom workouts, app, and more to keep you, and your glutes, reaching your goals. 

Bulgarian Split Squats

Bulgarian split squats are great for building your butt with an added emphasis on toning your hips. That’s because the unilateral nature of the exercise along with the added effort to balance heavily engages your hip abductor muscles that run along the outside of your hips.

Sumo Squats

You might not want a sumo seized rump, but sumo squats will get you growth in your glutes while toning your inner thigh groin muscles because of the wide leg stance in this exercise.

Now that you know how your genetics, nutrition, and squats work together, you can tailor leg day for maximum “hypertrophy” to get that “medal-worthy” rear end. So yes, squats can make your butt bigger, but only if your genetics allow for it, and you make the right lifestyle changes to work with your body.

Back to blog