- On a recent episode of “Red Table Talk,” Willow Smith said she considered a Brazilian butt lift, but opted to hit the gym for glute gains instead.
- A personal trainer said it’s possible to build a bigger butt with exercises like squats and lunges.
- For maximum gains, add rest to your workouts, don’t chase soreness, and eat enough calories.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Willow Smith recently shared that she considered a Brazilian butt lift, but worked out instead.
NYC-based personal trainer Jessica Mazzucco told Insider it’s possible to build a bigger booty and an overall athletic physique with the right exercises and good nutrition, instead of opting for potentially risky surgery.
The butt lift or BBL entails removing fat from certain areas like the stomach and injecting it into the rear to create a fuller appearance. Known as BBLs, the surgeries are increasingly popular but also dangerous.
Mazzucco said growing glutes for a full, lifted booty comes down to two factors: activating the right muscle groups with consistent, proper exercise, and fueling your body to build muscle.
Start by warming up your muscles with dynamic stretching and resistance bands
The first step in a glute workout is warming up and targeting those muscles with dynamic stretching and resistance bands exercise like clamshells and “monster walks.”
It’s especially important to wake up your glutes if you’re sedentary, since you may not be used to engaging those muscles, according to Mazzucco.
“It’s harder to build that butt if you’re sitting all day,” she said.
Focus on compound movements like weighted squats and lunges
Mazzucco specializes in glute gains (her signature program is called “Plump Your Rump”), and said weight training is a great strategy to build a booty.
Heavy barbell movements that work the whole body are ideal for building overall strength and muscle, in addition to targeting the lower body.
A sample booty workout would include the following movements, for three sets of 12 reps each:
- Barbell back squats
- Barbell reverse lunges
- Barbell curtsy lunges
- Barbell hip thrusts
If you have limited equipment, you can do bodyweight variations of the movements: bodyweight squats, lunges, curtsies, and glute bridges. Alternatively, use heavy household objects (such as jugs of water or laundry detergent). Mazzucco recommends increasing the sets from three to five when doing light or no weight, to keep the intensity up.
Rest and food are crucial for building muscle
Circuit training, or cycling between exercise with little to no rest, is a popular workout style, but it’s not ideal for building muscle, according to Mazzucco.
If you want to max out strength and muscle gains, it’s important to add rest periods so your muscles can maintain the right intensity for growth. She recommends one to three minutes between sets.
Mazzucco also said it’s important to get enough calories and carbs. Many people mistakenly eat too little when trying to make gains, depriving the body of energy it needs to build muscle, she said.
Aim for fatigue, but not excessive soreness
A good muscle building workout should challenge you, but not leave you too tired to walk the next day, Mazzucco said.
“Soreness isn’t an indicator of a good workout. If you’re sore, you’re not able to keep doing workouts and you’re delaying those booty gains,” she said.
Instead, pick an intensity that leaves you feeling tired about 75% through a set (at rep either or nine of 12) and pushes you to really work for the last few reps but doesn’t prompt muscle failure.
Target the glutes at least twice a week
With proper rest and nutrition, you can see progress by training a muscle group twice a week, Mazzucco said.
However, if you have time, you can boost your results by training three or even four times a week, as long as you’re still recovering enough from your workouts to keep the intensity high.