Does doing squats make your butt bigger…?
Well, they can. But they don’t necessarily.
It’s how you do the squats that will determine if you just get nicely toned Glutes (ones that’s don’t sag), or whether your posterior becomes larger and more pronounced.
The rule of thumb years ago was only to go down so your thighs were about parallel to the floor if you wanted to gain strength in the glutes and quads (butt and thigh muscles), or to what would be approximately the height of the seat of a chair. There used to be warnings in the men’s weight lifting magazines not to drop all the way down so your butt rested on your calves at the bottom of a squat, as that would give you an overly large and protruding posterior. It was even suggested in some magazines to use an actual chair initially when doing squats to get used to the approximate height you wanted to limit your squats to if you wanted to avoid having an overly large rear end. Personally, I find a mirror works just as well for that purpose.
Of course, these days some women think it’s sexy to have a large rear end, or a “bubble butt”, and some women even go so far as to have implants put in to give them the appearance of having that large butt they think attracts men to them.
So, the basic answer is – it’s how low you go that will determine the way squats will affect your rear end (I’ll add a little bit more detail about this for you in a minute).
The other factor that’s involved is whether you use weights when doing squats or not, and how you use those weights if you do. The difference comes down to whether you use the heaviest weight you can handle and do lower reps, or whether you use a lighter amount of weight with higher reps. The heavier weight with lower reps will develop more muscle mass, while higher reps with a lighter weight will produce less mass but more muscle tone. See…?
So, now that you know the factors involved –
1. if you want to increase the size of your glutes (and thighs), use heavy weights with low reps and drop down so your butt touches your calves to maximize the amount of muscle growth in those areas.
2. If you want to tone your glutes and thighs and not increase the size of those muscles to any noticeable degree, then use lighter weights with higher reps, and never drop down beyond where your rear end would be if it were to be just making contact with the seat of a chair.
So, those are the basic rules as far as using squats to either tone your muscles or increase their size in general.
Now, if you’re just looking to tighten things up, to look more fit and firm when you put on those skinny jeans, or when wearing a bikini, there’s really no need to use weights at all other than your body weight. (So, that would fall under the lighter weights with higher reps category, see..?) and watch yourself in a mirror, only going down to about a sitting position and then right back up.
Personally, I do 100 squats at a time myself with no weights at all, just my body weight, only going down to about chair height… but honestly, when I first started doing this my thighs would just burn so much I could only do 20 – 25 or so at a time, and space it out over 4 sets, taking a break between each set to let the incredible burn subside. After a week or so , I increased it to 2 sets of 50, and found that if I did them slow, taking about a second or so on the drop, and then taking another second or so to stand back up, I could handle it fine, but if I tried to just knock them out in rapid succession, it would just burn too much as I tried to make myself power through it, and I’d be sore for a couple of days afterward. That burning sensation is the body not being able to wash away the lactic acid fast enough, and there’s really no need to do them fast. The results come even if you do them at a slower pace.
Once I could do 50 in a row, and after a couple of weeks they were no problem, only then did I up it to 100 in a row, and those I did, again, at a slower pace, slow enough that it didn’t make me breath heavy. Now, I can do 100 squats at a time one after another, and can do 3 or 4 sets of them, without being sore the next day at all.
Also, it’s always a good idea to do some quad stretches to warm up before doing squats, whether with or without weights, as well as a minute or so of quad stretches to cool down afterwards, as well. Taking the time to do this helps to eliminate any muscle tightness or soreness in the days following your workout that might otherwise occur.
On occasion, like in the spring when I’m looking to add a little extra size to my thighs for the summer months, I use a leg extension machine with heavy weights, and keep the reps between 5–8 or so. Doing this allows me to focus the effort on the quads (the thigh muscles) and avoids using the glutes at all, and eliminates any possibility of increasing the size of those muscles at all.
Hope you find the info useful… and I wish you happiness with the results you will soon be seeing…! 😉