Squats Are NOT The Best Booty Building Exercise

There. I. Said. It.

Now before you get your knickers in a twist…

In this blog post you will discover

– How I think they became popular.

– A awesome study that backs me up.

– 4 actions the glutes perform.

– A list of the top glute building exercises.

How I Think Squats Became Famous For Glute Building

A really popular girl on Instagram, with wicked glute genetics, came out and stated that squats were her favourite booty exercise…

… for no reason other than her butt looked good in the bottom of her squat.

Girls then caught on, spread the word, and the 30 day squat challenge was born – probably with a price tag too – smart marketing?

I remember at PT school, almost 10 years ago, I learnt a very basic formula for which muscles are used during particular exercises.

That being…

Knee dominant exercises target the quadriceps (front of the thigh).

– Lunges
– Step ups
– Squats

Hip dominant exercises target the posterior chain (hamstrings & glutes).

– Deadlift
– Glute bridges
– Good mornings

So even something I learnt at PT school – which BTW is VERY basic health & fitness education – didn’t classify squats as a glute exercise.

But Don’t Just Take My Word For It

A recent study tested what muscles were activated during the above parallel squat, below parallel squat and front squat.

(Because another common claim was if you squatted below parallel you would get more glute activation)

The study concluded that “squat depth did NOT influence glute / hamstring activation.

However, there was a trend for deep / front squats to cause increased quadriceps activation.”

Don’t get me wrong, there is SOME glute activation during squats.

But it’s only about 20-40%.

That’s because they involve 1 of the 4 actions that the glute performs.

The 4 Actions The Glutes Perform

These are the 4 boxes that need to be ticked in order for it to be a complete booty exercise…

1. Hip extension – think of Romanian deadlifts and squats.

2. Hip hyperextension – think of donkey kicks.

3. Hip abduction – think of standing cable hip abduction

4. Hip external rotation – think of clamshells.

The Top Booty Building Exercises

Obviously there’s not many exercises that tick all 4 boxes at once.

Therefore you do have to pick a few to achieve a complete glute building plan.

Here’s the best ones…

– Deadlift.
– Sumo deadlifts
– Romanian deadlifts (single and double leg).
– Single leg hip hinge.
– Cable pull throughs.
– BB hip thrusts (single and double leg).
– BB glute bridge (single and double leg).
– Back extentions.
– Bent knee back extensions.
– Bent knee reverse hyper.
– Donkey kicks (weighted).
– Stand / lying or seated cable / band hip abductions.

So Does This Mean You Shouldn’t Squat?

No you SHOULD still squat – it’s a great overall lower body exercise.

But don’t expect your booty to grow from this exercise alone.

You need to incorporate a combination of the above exercises with a wide variety of heavy, medium and light reps.

Thats’s how you build a booty that turns heads.

In fact, if you’d like a program that not only helps you build a booty but your overall physique…

Then you might like my Strong Curve program.

It’s for girls who love to lift and want to build a strong, fit and athletic hourglass figure – so not skinny or thin (there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just not who the program is for).

It’s 100% free on the house as a way of saying thank you for visiting my site.

To get free early bird access to the Strong Curves workout program simply click here.

About The Author

Grant Lofthouse

Grant Lofthouse is the creator of the Girls Who Lift program which is a dependable and consistent strength and nutrition system that breaks your fat loss, muscle building and strength plateaus by customizing your program beyond the typical ‘eat less and move more’ model. He has clients in every state of Australia and regularly acts as an online coach to girls who lift.