How to Grow vs How to Shrink Your Butt

Some of us are interested in how to grow the butt. Others of us are learning how to shrink the butt. Many of us are looking to lift, tighten and sculpt the butt. Whatever your glute goals are, I am going to help teach you how to reach them!

how to grow and shrink your butt

  • how we build muscle and lose fat
  • how to grow your butt
  • how to shrink your butt
  • why you need to also focus on food

First things first, in order to reach our goals of growing or shrinking our butt, we need to understand the underlying processes: muscle hypertrophy and fat loss
MUSCLE HYPERTROPHY: in order for us to gain muscles, we need to break down our muscle cells. Seems odd, right?! During our workouts, we can achieve muscle breakdown… the muscle fibers are literally “damaged” during exercise. Then, through proper rest and with good nutrition, those muscles recover, building back up bigger and stronger. This is how we see “results.”
One important thing to note… muscle breakdown doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of effort. It requires heavy lifting and progressive training, so be sure your workout plan takes that into consideration!
FAT LOSS: fat gain and fat loss are systemic processes. The greatest take away is that we cannot pick and choose where these processes occur. For example, we can’t gain weight and say “put this weight on my boobs” haha – I wish. Similarly, we cannot spot target or pick where we lose fat. It happens overall throughout the body. Typically, the first places we gain are the last places we lose. This is important to remember when wanting to “shrink the butt.” 
Growing your glutes is a challenge because putting on muscle is a challenge. BUT, it is possible, especially through weight training. Just like with any other muscle group, we must focus on muscle hypertrophy in order to increase muscle mass on that backside. Here’s what I’ve found to work.
GLUTE PRE-EXHAUST: you know this is one of my signature training styles and something I include in the new Fall Challenge and many of my plans because it ignites those glutes. The idea of a glute pre-exhaust is that you begin your workout with a few glute isolated exercises like cable kickbacks or donkey kicks or glute bridges. The exact exercises aren’t as important as is feeling the movement and getting those glutes fired up. Then, you begin your regular leg workout. Because the glutes are already “exhausted” they are forced to work even harder in the leg workout. I find this very effective for making a leg day glute focused.
TRADITIONAL POWERLIFTING EXERCISES: this one came through a lot of trial and error in my personal journey. If you want to grow your glutes, stick to the staples like squats and deadlifts! For a long time, I did all sorts of step ups, curtsy lunges and cool-looking glute exercises I saw on Instagram (those are great but have their time and place!). The traditional powerlifting exercises are ones that target the legs and glutes so intensely that other exercises don’t seem to compare. For this reason, when I’m focused on growing my glutes, I always include squats and deadlifts (or some variation) in every leg workout.
HEAVIER LIFTING: especially with those traditional powerlifting exercises, challenge yourself with weight. The idea here is that we are always progressively training to see results. Progressive training is about doing something just a little bit “more” than the previous workout. While there are many ways to progressively train, in this example, we would be increasing the weight just a little bit week to week. This extra challenge helps grow those glutes.
Verrrrry few of any of us have too much muscle on our butts. The “issue” in wanting to shrink our butts is not that we need to do less weight training rather we need to tighten up our nutrition. A combination of reducing body fat through food and adding in strategic butt training approaches will do the trick!
FOCUS ON OVERALL BODY FAT REDUCTION: okay, so spot targeting is a complete fitness myth (despite what magazines/marketing attempt to “teach” us – grrrr). Spot targeting is the idea that we can pick and choose where we lose body fat. For example, ab exercises will NOT decrease belly fat. Exercise can only increase muscle mass not directly decrease fat. So, we can’t do a particular butt exercise to shrink the glutes. 
What we can do, however, is focus on decreasing overall body fat to eventually blast fat on that booty. We do this through healthy eating and exercise. If this is your goal, stick to your healthy lifestyle in the gym and in the kitchen. I will share that from personal experience… this goal is reached much more effectively through the work you do with nutrition. 
PLYOMETRICS/CARDIO/RUNNING: this is a personal tip from my training… I don’t know the science behind this (or if there even is any), but when I add in cardio… more specifically running into my routine, my butt seems to look its best. I’m not a huge runner so don’t overwhelm yourself here. A light jog or even a run/walk mixture will make for a great addition to your regimen. Also, plyometrics which many of my plans have do a great job at sculpting the butt.
Truth is that training is just half of the equation and how we eat determines if we will reach our goals or not. If you’re looking to grow your glutes, it’s important to focus on eating enough “good stuff” to facilitate muscle recovery – like protein. If you’re looking to shrink your butt, portion control and the macro combinations of each meal plays a part. 
I cannot emphasize enough how much my Eat Your Way Lean Meal Plan has helped me see results. It’s the difference between struggling to see results and seeing results naturally. I highly recommend it if you’ve been feeling stuck with food and/or your results. 


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lauren gleisberg's glute guide



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