Like every other part of your body, how your butt looks depends on a variety of factors. Outside of diet and exercise, genetics is probably the biggest one. However, in case you haven’t noticed yet, bigger butts are a thing now.
Today, it seems like every person at the gym, both man and woman, is doing all sorts of butt-enhancing exercises and even those who aren’t into fitness are aiming for a thick, curvy figure.
So, how long does it take to get a bigger butt, you ask?
Well, everybody reacts differently to diet and/or exercise, so there’s really no set time frame. However, about 4-6 weeks is enough for most people to see changes. The clear difference happens months later. I’d say around 3-4 months.
“But, what if I don’t want to workout?” Getting a bigger butt is possible that way, too.
How to get a bigger bum without exercise
Unless you go the implant route (which I personally don’t recommend), the secret that nobody wants to hear is that you have to put on more weight.
The percentages are different for everyone but all glutes are made of both fat and muscle. And since you don’t want to workout for those muscles, you’re left with gaining fat.
Unfortunately, there’s no magic pill or food that will only make your butt bigger and leave everything else unchanged. When you gain fat, you gain fat everywhere.
Having said that, the trick is to gain enough weight to increase the size of your bottom but still feel comfortable in your own skin. Where that gray area is, is entirely up to you.
In any case, what I recommend are calorie dense food that can also tone down your hunger. This way, you gain weight more controllably. Sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and mayonnaise are good examples but we’ve got a list of other super foods that make your butt bigger you might want to check out.
What are the best exercises for a bigger bum?
First of all, I think it’s awesome you’re taking this route. It’s hard work and it takes time but, in my opinion, exercise (and proper nutrition, of course) gets you the best results.
Second, forgive me for stating the obvious but the best exercises for a bigger bum are the ones that challenge the movements of your gluteal muscles, particularly your gluteus maximus and medius. That means exercises that mostly make hip extension, abduction, and external rotation harder.
Here are a few of the best examples:
1. Hip thrusts
Over the years, I’ve noticed a significant rise in both men and women who do this exercise. But, how long does it take to see results from hip thrusts?
That depends on a lot of factors but I can almost guarantee that adding this to your butt routine will get you faster results.
Start by leaning your shoulder blades against a bench (or your bed/couch if you’re working out at home), knees bent around 90 degrees, and your feet flat on the ground. Placing your arms across the bench helps for stability.
Next, activate your core, squeeze your glutes, and lift your hips off the ground until your torso and thighs form a straight line.
This is a great exercise for your butt because it works your glutes more than both your hams and quads. Plus, it’s easy to make it a weighted exercise (which is crucial for muscle growth but we’ll get to this later).
2. Glute bridges
Glute bridges are similar to hip thrusts because they both work the same muscle groups and have similar movements (i.e. raising your hips off the ground).
But, with glute bridges, you start with your torso flat on the ground instead of having to lean on some sort of platform. Feet stay flat on the floor with your knees also bent at a 90-degree angle. Lift your hips off the floor until it forms a straight line with your torso, then slowly go back to the starting position.
Compared to hip thrusts, there’s less distance for your hips to travel doing glute bridges. That’s the disadvantage but it’s a particularly great butt workout if you’re new to exercise because it helps you learn how to properly activate your glutes.
What makes lunges so great for your butt is its versatility. With any form it takes, it works out a good majority of your leg muscles.
A forward or walking lunge will have you take a big step forward, bend your knees to lower your body until your rear knee almost hits the floor, then prop yourself right back up. The reverse lunge, as you might expect, will have you take a big step back but everything else is the same.
Both these types of lunges end in the same position, so they generally work the same muscle groups. These are also the best lunge types to target your gluteus maximus.
On the other hand, the side or lateral lunge works best for targeting your gluteus medius.
Let’s say you’re doing a side lunge to the right.
Start with your feet standing hip-width apart, then take a big step to the right. Lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor, then go back to the starting position. The lateral movement engages your gluteus medius but it also needs help from your quads and gluteus max.
4. Squats (wide stance variations)
Virtually everyone at the gym does squats but here’s the thing: not all squat variations are equal. So, if you’ve been doing a type of squat that doesn’t maximize glute recruitment, you’re probably one of the many people asking:
“How long does it take to see results from squats?”
In terms of strength gains, you can see results in as little as 2 weeks from any form of squats. That’s just from you getting better at the movement. In the fitness industry, we call this newbie gains.
Specifically for building a bigger butt though, you’ve got to squat with your feet wider than hip-width apart (about shoulder-width or wider should be good) and your toes slightly pointing outward. The position naturally puts your hips in an abducted and externally rotated position which activates more of your gluteus maximus.
Some examples of squats with this stance include goblet squats and, to a much more exaggerated degree, sumo squats.
Also, don’t forget about depth. Every time you squat, make sure you do it until your thighs are parallel to the ground. This forces your glutes to work through a wider range of motion and really challenges hip extension .
Like squats, deadlifts are largely considered one of the best compound exercises in the world. Compared to squats though, deadlifts are generally better at working your posterior chain which, of course, includes your glutes and hamstrings.
That being said, I highly recommend the Romanian deadlift. Compared to the regular deadlift, your knees are less bent and your hips are pushed further back. This negates some of the quad action and relies more on your glutes and hamstrings to complete a rep.
The downside, however, is that you need to have significant core strength and hip flexibility. So, working on those before even attempting the Romanian deadlift is crucial if you want to increase the size of your rump without hurting your low back.
The sumo stance deadlift is another version of the deadlift that does good work on your butt because the wider foot placement puts your hips in abduction and external rotation. It’s easier on your back, too. You might want to consider this if you constantly have back issues.
6. Kettlebell swings
Like Romanian deadlifts, hip thrusts, and glute bridges, kettlebell swings are a hip-hinging exercise. Thus, making it a movement that requires your glutes.
Kettlebell swings are traditionally done at higher rep ranges (about 15-30 is what I recommend) which targets the slow-twitch fibers in your glutes.
Combining kettlebell swings with other hip-hinging exercises that target your glutes’ fast-twitch fibers (e.g. Romanian deadlifts and hip thrusts done with heavy weight at 6-12 reps), is always a good idea to target every inch of those butt muscles.
“I’m doing all these exercises, so why is my bum not getting bigger?”
3 things: execution, nutrition, and time.
When it comes to time…
Maybe you just haven’t been doing the exercises long enough to see results. As I said, 4-6 weeks is probably the minimum but if you want significant, natural results, it’s going to take longer than that.
Imagine, most bodybuilders have been sculpting their physiques for years before stepping on stage – and who knows what “supplements” they’re taking to accelerate the results.
Of course, I get that a lot of you don’t want to be professional bodybuilders but that doesn’t take away from the fact that muscle growth takes time. Take pictures of when you started and put it beside another picture of you after 3-4 months in the gym. I can almost guarantee you’ll see a difference.
What nutrition is needed to build muscle?
First of all, gaining weight is all about being in a caloric surplus.
This basically means eating more calories than your body burns.
“So, how many calories should I eat to gain muscle?”
Start by weighing yourself in pounds then multiplying that number by 14-17. Any number between those figures is how many calories you should eat and drink to gain weight.
So, if you weigh 135 lbs, you should ingest anywhere between 1,890 and 2,295 calories, depending on how fast your body burns through calories and your level of activity. If you still aren’t gaining weight after a couple of weeks, gradually bump up those numbers until you do.
Second of all, a good bulk of those calories need to come from protein.
Per research, you should eat anywhere between 1.2-2.0 grams of protein per kg of body weight to build muscle, while some athletes go as high as 3 g protein/kg of body weight. I personally think 1.5 g protein/kg of body weight is a good starting point.
So, again, let’s say you weigh 135 lbs (61 kg). You should eat anywhere between 73-134 g protein per day.
Third, you also need carbs and fat.
This is because of a concept called protein sparing which basically means your body uses other macronutrients besides protein (i.e. carbs and fat) for energy. For getting a bigger booty, this essentially means that most, if not all the protein you ate will be used for building muscle rather than on other bodily functions.
Carbs, in particular, have long been hailed as superior protein sparers because your body prefers carbs over fat as its primary source of energy (unless you’re on the ketogenic diet which I don’t recommend for muscle growth).
Fat, on the other hand, helps make sure you have a healthy balance of hormones, especially the highly anabolic ones such as testosterone and insulin. (And, yes, ladies. You need and have testosterone, too, albeit significantly less than us men.)
Plus, fat is packed with more calories than both carbs and protein, which is great for people who have a hard time gaining weight.
Research suggests that your carb intake should take up about 55-60% of your calories while fat takes up about 15-20%. There’s really no set value for these, however, as different fitness experts suggest different values, so use these numbers as a guide rather than a standard.
If you have trouble reaching your caloric goals, try adding more healthy fat to your diet. If you feel like you need more energy pre- and post-workout, maybe adding more carbs will work for you.
Here’s a sample calorie distribution of what your daily macros will look like for muscle growth:
Let’s say you weigh 135 lbs and use 15 as your calorie multiplier. You’d have to ingest the following to promote muscle growth:
- Total calories = 2025 kcal
- Protein = 152 g (607.5 kcal)
- Carbs = 278 g (1113 kcal)
- Fat = 33.75 g (303.75 kcal)
When it comes to exercise execution…
One reason why you’re not seeing results is that you’re probably doing your exercises wrong. This opens a whole new can of worms because there’s plenty of ways to bastardize leg workouts.
Honestly, I think it helps to have a trainer who knows what he/she is doing teach you in person but here are a few reasons why you’re exercises aren’t effective:
1. Your glutes aren’t firing (or at least not properly)
That mind-muscle connection is crucial not just so your gluteal muscles know when and how to fire, but also to prevent injuries.
Let’s say for example you’re doing deadlifts. Done right, your glutes and hamstrings should be pulling most of the weight to get your body back upright. But if your glutes aren’t firing, you recruit a lot of your spinal muscles, putting you at a high risk for injury and muscle imbalances.
The reason your glutes aren’t firing properly could either be that the muscles around your hips are too tight (common in those who sit around all day) or simply that you don’t know how to use your glutes.
In any case, stretching and foam rolling helps release tension in those tight muscles, allowing your glutes to fire when needed. Also, doing glute activation exercises such as fire hydrants, hip circles, donkey kicks, and glute bridges before your big lifts will help you “wake up” those sleeping glutes.
2. You’re not using the right weight and hitting the right rep ranges
For muscle growth, it’s been established that 8-12 repetitions work best (although some would argue 6-12 reps). However, those last couple of reps need to feel heavy enough that you won’t be able to bang out more without significantly hurting your form.
Let’s say for example you’re squatting 100 lbs for 12 reps. Reps 11 and 12 need to be so hard to do that doing an 11th rep seems impossible. If it doesn’t, the weight you’re lifting is too light.
In this case, add more plates. If your reps go down from 12 to maybe 10 or lower, that’s fine. You’ll get stronger over time, so those reps will grow – and with it comes muscle growth. In the fitness community, we call this progressive overload.
NOTE: Specifically for kettlebell swings and other glute-specific exercises that target the fast-twitch muscle fibers, aim for 15-30 reps.
3. You’re moving too fast
With exercises that have a starting and ending position, there’s going to be a concentric, isometric, and eccentric phase. The eccentric phase, or when you’re lowering the weights, is likely where you’re going too fast, so focus on that.
Slow down and control the lowering portion of your lifts to at least 3 seconds. This helps lengthen the time your glutes are under tension, which then encourages more microtrauma to your muscle fibers. When those fibers repair themselves, they end up getting bigger.
4. You’re doing too much
Speaking of repair, you’re probably not giving your muscles enough time to recover. Studies have shown that about 48 hours is how much your body needs to rebuild itself. So, doing butt workouts everyday actually impedes your growth.
Let’s say for example you’re doing glute specific exercises every Monday. On Tuesdays, work on other body parts that don’t involve your glutes (like your shoulders, for example) so they have time to recover. Come Wednesday, you can do exercises that work on your butt again.
5. You’re not doing enough
Consistency is key to muscle growth. I mean, you can’t just do squats for 1 day and expect bigger glutes next week. That’s just not how it works.
So, if you want your glutes to grow, I recommend training them 2x/week. Of course, follow the 48-hour recovery time frame and give that rump some time to heal.
In a nutshell…
So, again, how long does it take to get a bigger butt?
4-6 weeks for minute changes and around 3-4 months for significant growth. These numbers won’t be the same for everyone though and the reason why you might be progressing slower than others lies in either your nutrition or your exercise execution.
For nutrition, you’ll need the right amount of fat, carbs, and protein. For your exercises, your need to stretch, foam roll, and activate your glutes prior to your main exercises. A good majority of those workouts also need to be heavy enough that you can only do 8-12 repetitions, and they need to be done at a controlled pace to maximize time under tension.
That’s basically it. If you know someone who needs help building their peaches, share this with them, will ya? Thanks!