In this article, we are going to address the topic of how to do squats properly for a bigger bum. If you’re trying to build bigger glutes by doing squats and getting nowhere, maybe it’s because you’re not doing them properly.
We will share with you the most common mistakes people make when performing squats, and teach you some easy techniques to guarantee you are activating your glutes properly. We will get your booty fired up and ready to benefit from every set so that your quads aren’t stealing all the action.
Most people do not get any benefit out of doing squats when it comes to building bigger glutes. Your quads are getting all the action while your glutes are being left behind. No pun intended.
How to do Squats for Glutes and not your Quads?
Performing squats does not automatically mean you are activating your glute muscles to grow bigger glutes. Most people are getting a great leg workout, but unfortunately missing their glutes entirely.
So hopefully we can help show you how to do squats properly to get that bum to fire up and grow bigger.
Don’t be misled by the squat hype promoted on the web, especially social media sites such as Pinterest and Twitter. The squat exercise is not the ultimate butt building exercise. Yes, you heard correctly. The primary muscle groups targeted when performing squats are the quadriceps, better known as the leg muscles, and then the glutes.
Unfortunately, most people will never stimulate the glutes properly during this exercise. Your form, execution, and glute activation are everything when trying to build bigger glutes. Therefore, if you do not have all of these in check your squat workouts could be giving you little to no results when it comes to building bigger glutes.
Are your Squats Leaving your Glutes Behind?
Using incorrect form will pretty much leave your bum untouched and your quads doing most of the work. This could result in bigger quads and no butt. Not exactly what we’re aiming for. Don’t believe me? Have you ever been to the gym and seen a guy squatting three or four plates on each side and notice his huge quads, but wonder why he has no glutes?
I have seen many!
You would think that his glutes should be huge. It’s because he is not doing the squats correctly to build glute muscles. Otherwise, he’s not interested in developing glutes and solely doing squats to build big quads.
If your goal is to build bigger glutes, let us first note some of the most common mistakes made when performing squats and then explain how to do squats properly.
Common Mistakes when Performing Squats for Glutes
Just going out there and performing 3 to 4 sets of 10 to 12 heavy reps on a squat rack or freestanding barbell will not be effective if not performed correctly. Many of you make the same mistakes week after week, month after month. So much time is wasted, and so little progress is made.
So lets first go over some common mistakes you might be making so we can quickly correct them if needed. The following tips will help target your glutes better and increase glute activation. As a result, your glutes will be doing more of the work and your quads less. As it should be.
3 Mistakes to Avoid when doing Squats for Bigger Glutes
#1 Not Squatting Deep Enough
Probably the most common and most critical mistake is not going deep enough into the squat. Most will go to about a 45-degree angle, which is not even parallel to the floor. A 90-degree angle would be parallel and much better to activate your glutes, however even lower than that would be more effective at targeting your glutes.
#2 Too much Weight Compromises Form when Squatting for Glute Growth
I believe the second most common mistake is using weights that are too heavy to perform the exercise correctly. You will not be able to go deep enough to target your glutes if you stacked the bar too heavy. Going extremely heavy for the purpose of building bigger glutes should not be your objective. Going a bit lighter, performing the exercise with proper form so you feel the exercise, and maybe even slowing down your movement will be much more effective. You must create a mind to muscle connection to get those glutes fired up.
#3 Wrong Foot Position when Squatting
Your foot position is also a very important factor when doing squats. If your feet are positioned too closely, your quads will receive most of the action. Also, if you are performing this exercise with a smith machine rather than with a free standing barbell, place your feet slightly forward so your knee does not extend beyond your toes when performing the squat. If done incorrectly, this will put tremendous stress on your knees, while at the same time prevent you from performing a deep squat.
Glute Activation is Essential for a Bigger Bum
There are more ways to activate your glutes than form and execution. As mentioned earlier, glute activation when performing squats can be very difficult for most. And many times using proper form and execution may still not be enough to get the true benefits of squatting for bigger glutes. There are however a couple more ways you can almost guarantee glute activation either before or even while actively performing squats.
Hip Resistance Bands are Ideal for Glute Activation
A great way to get your glutes fired up and responsive prior to performing your squat routine is by doing a few glute activation exercises with hip resistance bands. Although these bands are great for toning your glutes, and not necessarily building bigger glutes, they are perfect for getting your glutes pumped with blood and creating that mind to muscle connection. To activate your glutes and get them ready for squats try the following glute activation exercises.
4 Butt Exercises to Activate your Glutes
To perform the following exercises you will need hip resistance bands which will be placed around the knee area. When performing the exercises it is critical that you push your knees apart at all times. When done correctly, this is a sure-fire way to get those glute muscles fired up. And trust me, you will feel the burn.
- Glute Bridge – 30 reps
- Seated hip abduction – 30 reps
- Squats (bodyweight only) – 30 reps
- Lateral-walk (5 each way) – 30 reps
Your bum will surely be pumped and ready for action at the end of this routine. Another great method is to use these resistance bands while actively performing your squats.
Check out the following video where Annabelle Hayes demonstrates her glute activation routine using resistance bands to effectively fire up your glutes before you hit the squat machine. This video will give you a better visual of how these glute activation exercises are performed so you can be better prepared for doing your squats for a bigger booty.
Make sure to check out my review on inexpensive yet effective glute building machines for your home or apartment.
I highly recommend watching this 10-minute glute activation routine.
Just as a side note. These resistance bands can also be used while actively performing squats and other resistance exercises for your glutes such as leg presses. Give it a try and see how it works!
How to do Squats Properly for a Bigger Bum
To do squats for a bigger booty you must engage your glutes and fire up those butt muscles to avoid letting your quads do all the work. Here is a list of my top 8 tips to follow to do squats properly for a bigger bum:
#1 Go Deep
Go deep so your legs are at least parallel to the floor. Lower is even better. This will give you more of a stretch in your glutes while performing the exercise and it will activate more muscle fibers. If you do these correctly, you should start feeling a good pump after about the second or third set.
Also, when going deep it is not necessary to go extra heavy. Form and execution are much more important than going too heavy. And it is much safer and easier on your back.
#2 Proper Form
Don’t compromise your form with weights that are too heavy. You must create a mind to muscle connection and concentrate on the glute muscles you are using. Slowing down your reps can work wonders. If you go too heavy, your quads will take over and may start dominating the exercise.
#3 Proper Foot Position
Position your feet at least shoulder width apart, and if using a smith machine place your feet farther in front of you. This will help you go deeper and avoid putting to much stress on your knees. Additionally, it will engage your glutes more and your quads less. The closer you position your feet, the more your quads will take over.
#4 Go Heavy and Light
For size, go heavy while using a strict form for 8 -10 reps, but also go light for higher reps in the 20 range. Your glutes and quads seem to respond quite well when performing both.
#5 Slow Down
It also helps to slow down your motion on the negative and use explosive moves on the positive. This forces more blood into the target muscle area and is better at stimulating growth.
#6 Feel the Stretch
Try to feel the stretch at the bottom of each rep. This will help engage those glute fibers more than anything else and will lead to a better pump.
#7 Activate your Glutes
Not activating your glute muscles prior to a workout session or during a workout is probably the main reason why your glutes may not be growing. So make sure to use the glute activation techniques mentioned above. And if needed, invest in some cheap hip resistance bands. They are easy to use and will guarantee your glutes are fired up and being utilized for your next squat routine.
#8 No Cardio
Don’t exercise for too long. You don’t want to make your glute workout a cardio session. Approach your glute workout like a bodybuilder would for gaining size. Hit them hard for 30 to 45 minutes or so and stop. Intensity is key, and not duration. Save cardio for another day.
Obviously, to build a bigger bum you must know how to do squats properly. You can achieve this by using various techniques and methods to guarantee glute activation. Both form and execution are also a critical factor when performing squats.
One very effective and proven way to activate your glute muscles is by using hip resistance bands, sometimes referred to as booty bands. They are great for performing isolation exercises that directly target your glutes. However, they are also ideal for activation your glutes before doing our squat routine. The icing on the cake so to say.
I hope you enjoyed our post on how to do squats properly for a bigger bum. As I like to say to everyone, don’t give up, be persistent, and master your fitness goals one day at a time. There is always something new to learn.
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With over 30 years of experience in strength training and fitness, Mark LaRue is the founder of Fitness Mastered, a blog to help educate fitness enthusiasts of all fitness levels, age, and gender. We write topics that range from weight training and exercise routines to weight loss strategies, motivational videos, and home workout machine reviews, to name a few.