Bootylicious for the summer: How to grow glutes in the gym

Jennifer Lopez attends the 2019 Oscars. (Photo: Frazer Harrison, Getty Images)

Summer is around the corner so you have just enough time to build a butt. 

More people opting for cosmetic surgeries to enhance their derriere, and Brazilian butt lifts have increased in popularity despite their high mortality rate.

But if you want a behind like Jennifer Lopez or a booty like Beyoncé, you don’t have to go under the knife to achieve that look. With the help of fitness experts’ tips, here’s how you can get a bodacious butt without dropping thousands (or risking your life) on cosmetic surgery.

What to eat for a bigger booty

Whoever said carbs were bad for you obviously never thought about how essential they are for booty growth.

“The carbs, that’s the important thing,” says personal trainer Austin Dotson. “For someone wanting to increase the size of their glutes, they must increase their carb intake so they can create mass.”

Personal trainer Cashawn Sims says her favorite carb for glute growth is a sweet potato. She suggests keeping a well-balanced diet, filled with healthy fats like salmon, pistachios, peanut butter and greens like cabbage and brussels sprouts. 

Building a butt in the gym isn't easy, but it is doable. (Photo: MARTY MELVILLE, AFP/Getty Images)

“You also want to drink your protein shake 30 minutes post workout — it makes a huge difference when you consume your protein,” Sims says. “Eating before the gym is important as well because your workout will burn the food off, and then your post workout meal is strictly going to your booty versus trying to feed your whole body.”

Getting enough calories to sustain your muscle growth is also important, says personal trainer James Smith. 

“When looking at muscle growth, the key drivers would be adequate calories and protein,” Smith says. “The quality of someone’s diet from veggies, sleep, sunlight exposure and other factors are also huge.”

Exercises to grow your glutes

You can’t just eat your way to a bigger butt unless your genetics are set up that way – and even then you’ll probably want to hit the gym to tone up the booty. Squats are good, but there are so many other exercises that can help as well. . 

Dotson recommends doing dead lifts, glute bridges and donkey kick backs, but he also warns against performing these workouts improperly. It’s important to have correct form so that you can get the most out of your workouts. 

You should be doing glute focused exercises that work all parts of the muscle, Smith recommends, but barbell hip thrusts are “king.”

“The glutes are a muscle just like any other, they must be trained in isolation and compounds for best growth,” Smith says. “You’ll need load, intensity, volume, frequency and, most of all, the knowledge of how to contract, program and the right cues when moving in the gym.”

Separating your workout days is also important, according to Sims, who regularly posts about her bootylicious journey on her Instagram @cookieeedough. She suggests breaking the booty up (figuratively) and focusing on different parts of the upper, middle and lower glutes each day.

“Some days you want to hit all three for a powerful jam packed workout, but separating them and focusing on the burn individually helps you learn what workouts target what, making the separation of the exercises easier,” Sims says. 

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How long do I have to work out before I see results?

There’s no straight answer to this as it all depends on the individual’s consistency with working out, diet, genetics and sleep schedule. 

“There is really no time frame, as we all know Rome wasn’t built overnight,” Dotson says. “It takes time, effort and patience. Also, genetics plays a huge part in formations of the body.”

If you are consistently hitting your workouts, getting adequate protein and have a good nutrition plan, you could start seeing changes at the end of your first week.

“But it can take a few years to be exactly where you want to be,” Sims says. “I personally had the most noticeable change in my first 3 months of my booty building journey where I went from 32 inches to 36 inches in my glutes. But be patient with your journey and don’t rush it or get frustrated.”

The key thing to remember is to never compare your progress to anyone else’s as we’re all unique. Some people may find it easier to have a bodacious booty while others will struggle to build muscle. 

Happy booty building!

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