Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


What can I do to increase the size of my butt?
March 17, 2009 7:58 PM   Subscribe

I need a bigger butt.

It's not that it's flat, it's just small and it doesn't help that I don't have much in the way of hips. Trying to find pants that fit is a nightmare, and I don't look proportionate because of my large breasts. Are there exercises I can do at the gym or at home to make my butt look bigger, without making it look mannish? Having a smaller waist would probably help someone with the proportion area but I don't really have that much there to lose. Or should I just except my fate?
posted by MaryDellamorte to Health & Fitness (41 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Take your gluteus to the maximus.
posted by netbros at 8:02 PM on March 17, 2009


Netbros, maybe you meant to link to the padded panties section, not the butt lift section. I would rather go about this the natural way. It just seems like it would be too expensive and and a pain in the butt to worry about special undies.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 8:07 PM on March 17, 2009


Yeh, sorry Mary. I meant the pads, not the lifts. Here's some exercises instead.
posted by netbros at 8:17 PM on March 17, 2009


A good tip is to keep your buttocks clenched pretty much constantly, but particularly when walking. This will be tricky at first, of course, and you'll feel silly.

Also, just sort of flex them when you are standing around, alternating from left to right. It's actually pretty fun.
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:21 PM on March 17, 2009


You can't control where your fat grows, so your only choice is to increase muscle mass. Doing a quick search for gluteus maximus exercises brought this page, and plenty others.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 8:25 PM on March 17, 2009


I asked my college professor this last month (she also teaches fitness). She told me to get on a treadmill with the incline at a minimum of 8% and walk (not run or jog) as quickly as was comfortable with really digging my heels in with each stroke.
posted by Ugh at 8:36 PM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do squats. Then do more squats. Then do some lunges. Do them with weights, and do them often and correctly.
posted by MadamM at 8:43 PM on March 17, 2009


Ride you bike more...the pedal kind not the motorized kind.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:10 PM on March 17, 2009


I actually ride my bike a lot (less in the late fall and winter) but even in the summer time when I ride it almost everyday, I don't see much of a difference. I have a good shape to my butt which probably comes from the bike riding but I want it bigger. There aren't very many hills here in Richmond, maybe that's why I don't get much of a workout from the bicycle.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:59 PM on March 17, 2009


Squat
posted by holympus at 10:22 PM on March 17, 2009


You need to do squats and deadlifts. You need to do them with a barbell, with proper form, and with progressively increasing weight. You can learn proper form from Starting Strength. There's a DVD now, too, which I've heard is quite good.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:27 PM on March 17, 2009


Also, in case you decide to squat without researching proper form first, which I wouldn't recommend, keep in mind that to hit your glutes effectively you'll need to use the low-bar position and squat to at least parallel. And don't use a Smith machine.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:31 PM on March 17, 2009


seconding the bicycle. maybe try a bigger gear. but not too big that your struggling.
posted by Taurid at 11:31 PM on March 17, 2009


Squat.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:43 PM on March 17, 2009


Sure, athletic girls have nice butts because of hypertrophy of the muscles in the area, look at any of the female sprinters in the recent olympics, Allyson Felix, Lolo Jones or Shelly-Ann Fraser.

Glutes are important to develop, but there are a few other hip extensors, the hamstrings are particularly important.

Sprinting, squats, lunges, and deadlifts will all serve your purpose well. The deeper you squat (particularly past parallel), and the lower you start your deadlift from the more you'll activate the hip extensors.

Walking on a treadmill on an incline will be less effective than running; bicycling will probably work the knee extensors (quads) more than the hip extensors.

Here is a routine for the glutes designed by charles poliquin who has trained more than few dozen olympic medalists.
posted by zentrification at 12:15 AM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Squats are good, as mentioned above.

The narrator of this documentary noted that doing a lot of "Hindu push-ups" (shown in the linked video at about 1:18) made his behind "something of a Japanese landmark" (about 2:09 in the video).
posted by ignignokt at 2:41 AM on March 18, 2009


Dude, what he says in that video is that the more pushups he does, the more his ass sticks up in the air. In other words, his form goes to shit. Hindu push-ups have nothing to do with your glutes, I promise you.
posted by creasy boy at 4:42 AM on March 18, 2009


On the bike, try to change the muscles you're using. Instead of flexing your leg, concentrate on working your ass muscles into driving down the pedal.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:43 AM on March 18, 2009


For what it's worth as a data point in your quest for a fine booty, my wife runs about 20 miles a day on an elliptical machine with the incline set as high as at will go. It took her already nice booty to a level of super-latina-stardom previous unknown by the human race.
posted by JFitzpatrick at 6:44 AM on March 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


the lower you start your deadlift from the more you'll activate the hip extensors.

Are you talking about doing platform deadlifts, or hip position for a normal deadlift? Because starting a deadlift with your hips lower than the correct position, which is about a half-squat depth, does nothing but make your hips rise before the bar moves, contributing nothing to the pull. There's only one correct position from which to start a deadlift.
posted by ludwig_van at 7:21 AM on March 18, 2009


To some extent you should accept your fate. Large breasts, fairly lean waist, flat butt is not a totally uncommon female body shape and does not look unbalanced or unattractive. Though I understand that women's clothing can be difficult, there are probably some really flattering/hot looks for you.

Not that I'm trying to talk you out of working out and building some muscle (that effort is almost never wasted), but the women I've known with your complaint were mostly being their own worst critic.
posted by samsm at 7:29 AM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I dont think muscle mass will help. Even if you do manage to put some mass on there you said you didnt want a "mannish" butt. I think a lot of muscle might give you that impression. Butts are mostly fat and you cant control where fat goes. Its genetic.

Seconding "being your own worst critic."
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:52 AM on March 18, 2009


Deadlifts, too. Squats and deadlifts.

Regarding having a "mannish" butt, it's not like you're going to start lifting heavy and then one day you will have the ass of the Hulk. If you don't like where your butt is going, then just stop lifting.

It's probably the healthiest solution for your problem, and as a bonus will also give you great legs!
posted by schroedinger at 7:58 AM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


The women and men I've seen with the most amazing butts have been rollerbladers.
posted by jamjam at 8:35 AM on March 18, 2009


Also, just sort of flex them when you are standing around, alternating from left to right. It's actually pretty fun.

I was standing behind a coworker who was doing this. It was probably one of the most disturbing experiences that I've had at work.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:51 AM on March 18, 2009


Seconding jamjam's rollerbladers observation. Also figure skaters. And it's a low-impact, aerobic exercise you can do with friends or alone.
posted by kandinski at 9:07 AM on March 18, 2009


Squat, Squat, Squat. Chicks who squat have the best asses. (Have you seen Losehina Kingston's butt?)

Barbell squats in the low-back position are the best to activate the posterior chain. Check out the book Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe.
posted by tiburon at 10:57 AM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Butts are mostly fat and you cant control where fat goes. Its genetic."

Both of these statements are wrong.
posted by tiburon at 10:59 AM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Butts are mostly fat and you cant control where fat goes. Its genetic."

Both of these statements are wrong.


Actually, only one part is wrong. A butt is definitely muscle, but you don't have much control over where your body deposits its fat. Working a particular part of the body will build muscle there, but fat is burned from all over the body.
posted by explosion at 11:39 AM on March 18, 2009


if you ride your bike, try sliding your saddle back a bit. this will concentrate your effort more on your butt than your quads. stay seated if you do encounter a hill. don't use a higher gear, because that could (will) injure your knees.
posted by klanawa at 11:54 AM on March 18, 2009


Jumping on the squat band wagon. I have developed a healthy squatter's ass and have worried that it would be considered womanish, though the missus assures me that is not the case. ;)

Speed skaters and rollerbladers do have enormous butts (and crazily developed legs in general). It must be remembered that competitive speed skaters (and presumably rollerbladers) also lift lots of weights to develop their bottoms. Lots of squats, there.

Lunges, too. I see far more people doing lunges, and I think that many people are scared of the squats (because of many rumors and misconceptions) and opt for the seemingly less "technical" lunges. They're great, but probably won't do for you what you want as quickly. Have fun! There's nothing like getting under a huge load and squatting it!
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 12:56 PM on March 18, 2009


Ludwig_van:

I had platform deadlifts in mind, but picking up something like a sandbag, or dumbbells where you have to start from a lower position would work as well. I somewhat disagree with you on "does nothing but make your hips rise before the bar moves"... proper deadlift form requires you to keep the trunk angle constant from the bar, and raising the hips first would violate that principal being bad form all around. Additionally, there are two common styles of powerlifting, the 'normal' shoulder stance and sumo stance, both of which have different starting positions...
posted by zentrification at 4:09 PM on March 18, 2009


Oh and the people who commenting you don't have control over where your fat is deposited, that's not exactly true. There's a fair body of research to suggest hormonal levels significantly contribute to where fat is stored on the body.

For example, people with high cortisol levels tend to have more abdominal fat, people with insulin resistance have more fat around the midsection, women with elevated progesterone levels often have more fat deposited on the back of their upper arms, upper back fat also seems to correlate with insulin resistance.
posted by zentrification at 4:11 PM on March 18, 2009


Oh and the people who commenting you don't have control over where your fat is deposited, that's not exactly true...

Uh... zentrification, aren't you saying that exact same thing? I don't imagine that people have much control over their cortisol levels, insulin resistance, or progesterone levels.
posted by keep it under cover at 5:33 PM on March 18, 2009


Yeah bad wording on my part; your behavior has a powerful influence on how you deposit fat on your body.

Everyone I know has the ability to cope with their stress in ways that reduce cortisol, two quick examples would be meditating ten minutes a day or eating foods that contain phosphadityl serine (or taking it as a supplement). Insulin resistance changes according to the average glycemic load of your diet, adaquate essential fatty acids and dietary magnesium intake also appear to highly correlate with insulin resistance. Progesterone levels are influenced by the type of exercise you do (blood ph after a workout is a good predictor of how progesterone will be modulated for the next 8 hours, the more acidic it is the less progesterone you produce).
posted by zentrification at 6:01 PM on March 18, 2009


To some extent you should accept your fate. Large breasts, fairly lean waist, flat butt is not a totally uncommon female body shape and does not look unbalanced or unattractive. Though I understand that women's clothing can be difficult, there are probably some really flattering/hot looks for you.

Not that I'm trying to talk you out of working out and building some muscle (that effort is almost never wasted), but the women I've known with your complaint were mostly being their own worst critic.


I don't have a flat ass, it has a nice shape, but it is small and coupled with no hips, I don't feel womanly. But you are right, I am my own worst critic. But believe it or not, I am more happy now with my body now than I ever have. I've struggled since elementary school with several different eating disorders. I can remember being at my thinnest and thinking I was grossly fat. Nowadays, I can actually look in the mirror and not hate what I see. I already have a hard enough time finding shirts that fit and I can't wear dresses...so making the lower half easier to shop for would be nice. There isn't much I can do about the top half because my breasts are all tissue, not fat.

There are a lot of good suggestions in this thread. One question about the squats, do they make your legs bigger?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:16 PM on March 18, 2009


Sure they'll make your legs a little more muscular. If you want to emphasize posterior development, I would suggest looking into squatting with a wider stance (low bar/powerlifting style squat). EMG research suggests this type of squatting works the hip extensors more, and quads less.
posted by zentrification at 10:29 PM on March 18, 2009


I somewhat disagree with you on "does nothing but make your hips rise before the bar moves"... proper deadlift form requires you to keep the trunk angle constant from the bar, and raising the hips first would violate that principal being bad form all around.

If you start the deadlift with your hips too low, e.g. from squat depth, they will rise before the bar leaves the ground. That's a fact of the lift, and it's why you should start from the right position. Anyhow, this is something of a tangent.

If you want to emphasize posterior development, I would suggest looking into squatting with a wider stance (low bar/powerlifting style squat).

It's the low-bar position that emphasizes the posterior chain, not the wide stance.
posted by ludwig_van at 12:40 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sure, there is a proper hip position for every deadlift setup, i'm just suggesting changing the setup so you start lower in the position (through either standing on a platform, or widening the grip on the bar. Poliquin and a few other authors I've read recommend the snatch grip platform deadlift as the best bang for your buck exercise for posterior development.

The data I've seen on EMG analysis of different squatting bar positions has led me to beleive it's the stance that causes most of the increased hip extensor activation. Most of the elite powerlifters, including Dr. Frat Hatfield, one of the first to squat over 1000 pounds, and Loiue Simmons of the elite powerlifting club West Side barbell, who have 9 members squatting over 1000 pounds, one at 205 pounds bodyweight.

Have you read any papers analyzing emg activation of the hip and knee extensors, keeping foot position constant while varying bar placement? I would enjoy reading them.
posted by zentrification at 3:17 AM on March 19, 2009


My understanding, gleaned from Mark Rippetoe, is that many powerlifting adaptations, like the wide-stance squat and the wide-grip bench press, are good for putting up large numbers in a powerlifting competition but not ideal for building balanced strength. That might be a good question to ask him over at strengthmill.com, though.
posted by ludwig_van at 3:18 PM on March 19, 2009


I was always a bit skeptical about whether or not a woman with a small ass could build it up with exercise, until I recently saw before and after pictures from a woman that definitely did just that from heavy squats and deadlifts. So nthing that suggestion.
If you have naturally lean legs, they are not going to bulk up much just from squatting/deadlifting. And please don't worry about getting a mannish ass. It is not going to happen. Have you ever even seen a woman with a mannish ass? I can't even think of a good example of a roided-out bodybuilder chick with one and if roids aren't going to do it...
posted by ch1x0r at 8:38 PM on March 19, 2009


« Older I'll be in New Zealand for two...   |  I have almost a year's worth o... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.