Chances are, at some point, you've taken to doing squats in your room with the hopes of getting a bigger bum to rival Beyonce. You may even have gone to a gym class that promises to build the pert, round bum of your dreams - but there's a good chance you've made some mistakes along the way.
And you wouldn't be alone; almost everyone could use a helping hand when trying to get a bigger bum. But even if you don't have the cash to invest in a personal trainer, there are some issues you can easily correct, with a little helping hand.
David Wiener, Training Specialist at leading fitness app Freeletics, spoke with Cosmopolitan UK about the mistakes everyone makes when trying to perk up those bum muscles - and explained how to resolve them:
1.You’re not focusing on form
Well, this one sounds kind of obvious - but you can't just go all-in and assume you've got your technique just right. Do you know how hard it is to get a perfect squat?
"Failing to focus on your form is one of the main reasons for not reaching your body goals," says Wiener. "When it comes to training your glutes or attempting to build a bigger bum, form is crucial."
So, er, how do we do that?
"To make sure you’re properly training this area you need to be sure you’re engaging your glutes and performing each move properly," he explains. "If you’re trying to build a bigger bum then you’ll certainly be familiar with the squat, but before focusing on how deep you’re squatting or how low you’re getting, make sure your body is properly aligned with your head facing forwards, your shoulders back and your feet shoulder length apart.
"Once you’ve nailed the basics, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to effectively train these muscles."
2. You’re only really using one or two exercises
"Squats, lunges and deadlifts are by far the most-used exercises for training the glutes, but to see results you need to exercise a larger part of the glute area," says Wiener.
So that squat challenge won't give you buns of steel, you say?
"You can build more muscle by adding variations to simple squats and lunges can help you to make sure you’re targeting the full muscle group, for example lateral squats, side lunges and hip thrusts.
"If you’re only really squatting and lunging to build your bum, the chances are you’ll also get bored. Keep your workouts fun and exciting by switching it up regularly, your body won’t know what to expect and that will help to accelerate results."
3. You’re not using enough resistance
If it's starting to feel easy for you, chances are you're not putting in the work you need.
"The glutes are a big muscle group and as such they can take a lot; likely more than you think you can handle," explains Wiener. "If you really want to build this area, then you need to make sure you’re pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and add some heavy resistance.
Yep, that means getting familiar with the weights. "There’s no need to be intimidated by bigger weights, if you want to make significant changes in this area then you need to push yourself. If you’re using more resistance don’t be alarmed if you can complete fewer reps, in the long term, this approach will help you to see a difference."
4. Your diet is all wrong
You know they say "abs are built in the kitchen"? Yeah, turns out that kind of applies for the rest of your bod, too.
"If you think because you’re training hard that you can eat whatever you like, then I’m afraid you’re mistaken," says Wiener. "It’s true what they say, you cannot out-train a bad diet and even if you’re trying to gain size, what you eat really matters.
"To build muscle and burn fat you need to stick to a healthy diet which is packed full of vegetables, lean protein and good fats. Lean protein will help your body to repair and build the muscles fibres which are torn during training, helping them to grow bigger and stronger."
5. Your goals aren’t realistic
We're all guilty of going too hard too quickly from time to time, but sometimes slowing down a little is really the best thing you can do.
"In this day and age, we’re surrounded by images of the perfect body which results in unrealistic body goals and ideals which simply are not achievable," says Wiener. "You can only work with what mother nature has given you, and if you’re failing to hit your goals, maybe it’s time to stop and think that they might not be realistic for you and your body type.
"That being said, the glutes react well to consistent and varied training so most people will be able to add size and definition to this area, but only in proportion to their body as a whole."
6. You’re doing too much cardio
Okay, this we can get on board with.
"To build muscle tone, you must incorporate strength training into your exercise routine," Wiener explains. "Too much cardio could hold you back from gaining size, but to ensure a full body training regime cardio should be included alongside resistance training. For maximum benefit, try keeping cardio and strength training on different days - and if you are combining them in the same workout, do your strength training first.
"If you’re not entirely sure where to start, fitness apps like Freeletics offer custom training journeys which are tailored towards your goal, showing you exactly what you need to do for optimum results."
7. You’re skipping rest days
No matter how soon you want to feel transformed, it's super important not to go too hard. "If your heart is set on meeting a certain goal then you may think you’re wasting time by resting and taking days off from visiting the gym," Wiener says. "The glutes are the largest muscle group in the body, and all of that heavy lifting means the body needs time to repair in order to build and grow.
"Not taking regular rest days could also result in injury which definitely won’t help you on the way to a bigger backside. You should be aiming to take at least two rests each week to give your body the chance to recover from intense training."
Now that, we can do.