How to Build the Perfect Toned Butt without Growing Your Legs
Big butt, small butt, round butt or a flat butt – there are many different shapes for a booty. Many of you know already that with the right exercises, your glutes can be shaped full and round. And yes, it involves more than some brisk walking on the treadmill. For a well-trained bum, heavy strength training is needed. But how do you build that perfect toned butt without growing your legs?
The gluteus muscles are used for stretching and rotating your hips. They also help to move your legs away from or toward the center of your body, movements that are also used during leg and glute exercises. Think of squats, lunges and romanian deadlifts, exercises which are known and widely used as butt-shaping exercises.
However, what these exercises have in common is that the focus of these exercises is primarily on the quadriceps (the muscle on the front of your thigh) and hamstrings (the muscle at the back of your thigh). By doing these exercises, you do not only stimulate your buttocks to grow, but also your legs. So, what if you don’t want to grow your legs? What exercises can you do to grow your booty without increasing your leg size?
You want your legs to stop growing, but your butt isn’t big enough?
If you keep doing squats and lunges and keep increasing your strength, your quadriceps will continue to grow. If you keep increasing your strength with all hamstring exercises, your hamstrings will continue to grow. If you want your legs to stop growing, you have to stop increasing your strength during these exercises. The stronger you get the more muscle mass you get. So to make your legs stop growing, you have to stop getting stronger during leg day.
If you want to grow your booty, you have to activate those muscles in the right way. You have to get stronger and make constant progress during glute exercises. You can’t grow that perfect round booty without increasing your strength. You need to train heavy and you need to keep getting stronger to let your muscles grow. As with all your muscles, this also applies to your buttocks. By increasing your sets, reps or the weight you are using during the exercises, you keep making progress. Keep increasing your exercise intensity and push yourself harder. Make sure your butt becomes stronger, because it won’t grow if it doesn’t increase in strength.
As you might have noticed, the options for exercises decrease rapidly when you do want your glutes to grow but don’t want your legs to grow. You need to do less squats, lunges, leg presses, leg extensions, step-ups or Bulgarian squats, because they activate your quadriceps too much. Even the hip thrust activates your legs in such a way it will grow your legs. Also, no Romanian deadlifts, leg curls, glute ham raises or back extensions, because they lead to too much hamstring activation.
Are there exercises to get a toned butt without growing your legs?
Fortunately there are still some options left. Here are some examples for glute-specific exercises to get that round toned butt without growing your legs.
- Barbell glute bridges. This exercise doesn’t activate the quadriceps as much as the barbell hip thrust does. Make sure you keep getting stronger by adding more weight or reps during your workout sessions. Without getting stronger you won’t grow more muscle mass. And without more muscle mass, your butt will not get any bigger, rounder or tighter.
- American deadlift. This exercise activates your glutes more than the Romanian deadlift does. And remember, to get more muscle, you have to train heavy. So go heavy and grow that booty.
- Pull-throughs kettlebell swings. Make sure you activate your glutes during these exercises to tighten up that butt.
- Single leg foot elevated hip thrust. This one is though! But you will feel the burn and you will grow that round booty.
- Hip abduction movements. Like the seated abduction or the band standing abduction.