You’ve been squatting religiously for months to perk that bum up. “Squat for the booty” they said, so you did but… nothing. Yeah, your thighs are changing a little, but the butt isn’t moving!!! Why???
Your booty has amnesia. What?
Yes, amnesia isn’t just something the brain gets… glutes get them too. You could be squatting and deadlifting for months without barely using your glutes because your legs and surrounding muscles have taken over.
The glutes can be a lazy muscle and decide to shut off if they aren’t being utilised and the surrounding smaller muscles have to take on the work load that the stronger glutes were made for. This means that even though we are lifting and putting in the work at the gym we probably experienced more growth in the legs than the butt. 
Coaching in Asia meant that I had the responsibility to fill up the booty area of many jeans. Most women want to have a perkier or bigger butt but they don’t always want the big super strong looking thighs to come along with it. I get it, that look isn’t for everyone so here is how I focus on growing the booty without growing the legs too much.
1) Release the hips: If you want to be able to use the glutes more in your lifts, that requires depth in squats or any hip extension movements. Without the mobility in the hips, achieving depth won’t happen so we have to loosen up the hips first before our glute training sessions and regularly if you’re pretty tight. We do this by using a tennis / lacrosse ball and a foam roller. You can download my free #ByeOfficeBooty guide for a more detailed process here. 
2) Activate the gluteals: This is where we “wake up” the booty to go to work! We use body weight exercises with high reps and lots of mind power. Mind muscle connection is really important in this process, and any lifting exercise for that matter. It increases the efficiency of the exercise significantly. Keep repeating “BOOTY BOOTY BOOTY” for every rep until you really start feeling it. Once again, there are examples in the #OfficeBooty download available for you.
3) Hit the weights: Even though you can build a booty without weights, the results are going to be slower and maybe not as impressive. Using a combination of dumbbells, barbells, cables and bands really help work all angles to give you that nice round peach. If your focus is simply wanting to have a better looking butt and not so much strength (glutes are VERY important for strength training) I like to focus on the 8-12 rep range for the bigger lifts and 15-30 rep range for smaller / lighter exercises. Of course what is bigger and lighter will change for you over time because you will get stronger so keep that in mind. Here are the main exercises I always rely on:
  • Bigger lifts: Barbell hip thrust, sumo deadlifts, conventional deadlifts, Deep squats.
  • Smaller exercises: Goblet squats, dumbbell sumo squats, walking lunges, hyperextensions, donkey kicks, single leg hip thrust variations (foot elevated, back elevated, glute bridge).

The glutes can never be trained by themselves as exercises will use it’s surrounding muscles. However, we can use the exercises that are most effective in recruiting the glutes and focusing less on the thighs since they will be worked no matter what. 

Implement these steps and I’m pretty sure you’ll start feeling the difference of how much more you recruit your gluteals in your workouts and also day to day life. With better recruitment and proper nutrition to fuel your workouts, that booty will be growing in no time!
Cari Li
p.s. If you’re just starting out, I have a free home workout guide called Better Booty for the Noobies. It doesn’t require any equipment and has instructions for your weekly workout.
Author: Cari Li
The Co-Founder of The Good Curves and Owner of,  an online Lifestyle Coaching company focused in women’s fat loss solutions. She has a huge passion for enabling women to find ways to live their happiest and healthiest life through simple lifestyle changes. Her love for travel has allowed her to gain a special perspective on life that she enjoys sharing with the many women she meets along the way as she strives to improve the lives of women everywhere. Follow her: 
Instagram: @Cari_Li
Facebook: @CoachCariLi

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