If you’re asking how many inches can glutes grow, you’re not alone. My own wife, for one, asked me the same question a few years back when I first brought her with me to the gym.
There are a bunch of factors around this — but basically, you can expect to grow your bottom at least 2 inches in a year.
However, some people may only take 3-4 months to get those results and add around 5-6 inches to their butt by the time the new year rolls around. Some people grow muscles faster and deposit fat in all the good places better than others. That’s just how it is.
In any case, these things take time but there are little tidbits you can pay more attention to, to know if you’re doing things right.
How fast can you build glutes?
With the right exercises and a decent diet, you should already be seeing results in about 4-6 weeks. These changes will be subtle though, so other people likely won’t notice them. Probably not even if you point them out.
But, if you stick with good, active habits for around 3-4 months, these changes should be more evident.
In any case, how long it takes to get a bigger butt all depends on how you take care of your body.
The duo of exercise and proper nutrition is largely considered the best way to go about growing your glutes. I personally think this way, too, as I think the end result looks (and, uhmm, feels) more appealing.
Although, as your butt is made of both fat and muscle, you can also make it look better with food alone. This works whether you weigh more than the average person or if you’re a little more slender than most.
This brings us to the next part of this piece.
6 Effective tips for growing glutes
Eat the right food at the right amounts
First of all, fat is systemic. Meaning, there’s no such thing as spot reduction nor can you choose where exactly you want to add weight (unless, of course, you go under the knife but that’s not the point I’m trying to make here).
The trick is gaining/losing enough weight to make your butt look bigger. Where you draw the line on these things is entirely up to you.
I recommend setting your eyes on calorie-dense foods that are high in protein like chicken and eggs, as well as those that are packed with fiber like brown rice and quinoa. Avoid junk food as you will only be loading up on calories but have very little nutrition.
We’ve got a more extensive list of super foods that make your butt bigger but, basically, protein and fiber are both satiating, giving you more control over your own appetite. This helps you gain/lose weight more controllably.
Plus, if ever you’re working out on those glutes (which I highly recommend), you’re going to need protein.
Wake up your glutes before every gym session
Speaking of working out, maybe you’re doing some training already. But, if nothing seems to be working, it might be because your glutes are hardly doing any work at all.
This happens mostly because you sit around all day that your gluteal muscles almost literally forget how to work. That’s where the term “gluteal amnesia” comes from, after all.
In this case, exercises that are supposedly great for your derriere — like squats, deadlifts, and hip thrusts, for example — become largely ineffective.
So, before doing any of these large lifts, do lighter warm-up movements that help you activate your glutes, like clamshells, glute bridges, donkey kicks, and fire hydrants.
Switch up your lifts
With your glutes now activated, doing heavier lifts should now be more effective. But, if you truly want to add inches to your glutes, you’re going to have to switch up your exercises from time to time.
This seems to work for a good majority of people, so it may very well for you, too.
For your reference, here’s what a study says are some of the best exercises that work your gluteus maximus (your biggest glute muscle):
- HIp thrusts
- Belt and split squats
There are other variations of these exercises as well but if you want a simple way to make them more effective, doing them 1 leg at a time seems to be the best solution — and the results of multiple studies have already hinted at this.
For example, one study shows how you activate more of your glutes when you do single leg squats versus bilateral squats.
With that said, the different varieties of these exercises, as well as other glute exercises, should give you plenty of options to choose from.
Squat wider, squat deeper
“Normal” squats are done shoulder-width apart. That’s fine and all but if you want to target more of your glutes, widening your stance is the way to go because it puts your hips at a more externally rotated position which then activates more of your glutes.
Also, one of the keys to muscle growth is using the muscle throughout its full range of motion. Standing back up when your thighs aren’t yet parallel to the floor when doing your squats goes against this concept and takes away at least some of your glute-building potential.
Give yourself some time to recover
A big factor to how many inches can glutes grow is how much time you give it to recover.
You see, you do some damage to your glutes every time you workout and you need to give it time to repair itself if you want it to grow. How much time, you ask? Research says 48 hours.
That means not working out your glutes everyday. Every other day should be fine though.
Catch some ZZZs
On the topic of rest and muscle recovery, getting the appropriate amount of sleep is crucial.
Per study, lack of good quality sleep leads to lower levels of the hormones IGF-1 and testosterone. This, in turn, disrupts protein synthesis and retards muscle recovery.
That being said, aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep per day to maximize your glute’s growing potential.
4 Signs your glutes are growing
Now, let’s say you’re working on getting your diet and exercises right. Here are a few things you can watch out for to know whether or not it’s working:
Your progress pics actually show some progress
Before you start any body transformation journey, you’re going to want to have a “before” photo. If you’ve already started and don’t have one, that’s alright. Take the photo now and compare that to another photo of yourself down the line.
However, when you take the “after” photo a few weeks/months following your “before” photo, make sure to wear the same clothes (underwear and all) and take the picture at the same place and time, under the same lighting and angle. You want your photos to be unedited, too.
If you can’t find even subtle changes after 3-4 months, I think it’s safe to say what you’re doing isn’t effective.
The measuring tape says so
I mean, I can’t think of a more accurate way to know if your glutes are growing other than actually measuring your glutes.
Just a few points though:
- Measure the widest parts of your bottom.
- Take multiple measurements at once. I suggest taking measurements at least 3 times then getting their average. This makes it more accurate.
- Measure monthly.
On that last point, I think measuring the circumference of your butt on a daily, or even weekly basis is useless because your gluteal muscles won’t grow that fast.
Moreover, the monthly measurements won’t show that big a difference even if you’re doing your exercises and diet perfectly. Don’t be discouraged. Keep on working on it and in a few months to a year, you should be getting a higher number on the measuring tape.
You’re getting stronger
There’s a difference between training for strength versus training for mass but, generally speaking, these 2 come together. If you’re getting stronger, you’re probably gaining muscle, too, and vice versa.
Having said that, you should be getting your biggest jump in both mass and strength within your first 6-12 months of working out your glutes. In the fitness community, we call this “noob gains”.
If you’re not getting significantly stronger in this time frame, I sincerely think you need a trainer to physically check out your execution and nutrition.
After the “noob gains” phase, the rate your glutes gain strength and mass should decline. This is normal, but you should still be able to pack on more weight to your lifts for at least a few years.
If you aren’t, go back to the tips section of this article to see what you can do.
Your glutes feel sore a day or two after
A lot of people ask me, “if your glutes are sore, are they growing?”
So, before these fitness experts come at me, I want to clarify that soreness isn’t necessarily a requirement for muscle growth. I get that, okay? I legit went to school for this stuff.
Soreness, however, can be a sign.
According to the NHS, muscle soreness “is a type of muscle conditioning”, which means you mostly get sore when you’re switching up your exercises or routines. Eventually, your muscles adjust to the new movements and loads, and the soreness gradually gets less intense every time.
Furthermore, there’s this thing called eccentric overload — a type of training method where you prolong the lengthening (i.e. eccentric) part of a movement to apply more stress (i.e. overload) to the muscle. This type of training is a well-known way to cause muscle soreness and, consequently, trigger growth.
In that sense, getting sore muscles a day or two after switching up your exercises or after doing eccentric overload can be considered a sign that your workout is, well… working.
Let me sum the whole thing up for you:
You can probably grow your glutes at least 2 inches. However, setting individual genetics aside, it largely depends on how seriously you take your diet, exercise, and recovery. If one of these is missing, you won’t be able to max out those booty gains.
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