If you want to grow a butt, one of the first suggestions you hear or read online is to do squats. But Beachbody Super Trainer and creator of 80-Day Obsession Autumn Calabrese wants you to think twice before doing squats for a bigger booty. POPSUGAR spoke to Autumn about the "misconceptions of butt exercises," so sit back and take notes. Your glutes will thank you for it.
"You see a lot of people saying, 'Do the squat challenge to grow your butt,' and that was one of the biggest things I want to squash the idea of with 80-Day Obsession," Autumn told us. "Your glutes are not the prime mover in a squat. They're an assistor muscle. Your quadriceps and hamstrings are your prime movers."
So while you're definitely getting some major benefits from doing squats — "You squat for great legs!" — they're not the main thing you should be doing if you want a bodacious ass. "Your butt will get a little something out of [squats], but you want a good butt? Glute bridge," she said. "Put a barbell across your hips or put two dumbbells on your hips if you want to add weight to grow [your butt], but you have to get into hip extension in order to get that muscle firing. That's where your glutes are the prime mover."
Slowly step away from the squat rack, and get your butt on the floor for a glute bridge. Autumn says this is her "favourite exercise to start with because it's one of those exercises that allows you to get that muscle firing properly, and you can do a million different variations."
You can do normal glute bridges, glute bridges with resistance bands around your thighs, single-leg glute bridges, and glute bridges with added weight on your hip "so you can build a little more muscle back there." This is also a good exercise for anyone who has lower-back issues or isn't comfortable doing heavy squatting. "You're in a very safe position because you're lying on your back with your feet flat on the ground," she told POPSUGAR.
"I also love the sliders," Autumn said. If you want an additional exercise to get you one step closer to booty gains, grab a slider and head to a wooden surface. Put the slider under your right toe and slide your foot behind your body diagonally, into a curtsy lunge. "Lay your chest forward toward your thigh, and you just pulse, pulse, pulse," she explained. "You can dial it up by holding weights in your hands when you do it if you're looking to grow your butt."