Types of squats for glutes not quads

squats to grow a bigger bum

If building your glutes and achieving a round, full booty is the top priority on your fitness bucket list, then you may already know that squats can be incredibly effective. But not just any squats – if you’re performing squats, you need to make sure that they’re targeting the glute muscles if you really want to see results. After all, squats don’t just work your glute muscles, they also work your lower back and your quads, aka the muscles in your thighs. So, how do you make sure your squats are targeting your peach and not just building unwanted thigh muscle?

It’s simple: you need to make sure that you’re working on your form, while also performing the right kind of squats that isolate the glutes.

In this guide, we’re going to look at some key pointers to keep in mind when doing squats, as well as go over some of the best types of squats for targeting those bum muscles. If you want to ensure that all your hard work is going straight to your booty instead of your thighs, keep reading!

How to isolate the glutes during squats

Before taking a look at alternative types of glutes, we’re going to first look at how some simple changes to your form can help you fire your glutes instead of your quads when performing a traditional squat.

So, how can you actually isolate the glutes while performing the movement? Here’s how:

  1. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes facing forward and slightly pointed outwards (in line with your knees). Make sure your back is kept straight.
  1. Keeping all of your weight in your heels, slowly lower into a squat position until your hips reach below parallel (i.e., so that your hips are at least as low as your knees). As you lower yourself, keep sending the weight back into your heels rather than letting it shift forward towards the balls of your feet. This will help target those glutes!
  1. Once you reach this point, pause briefly before pushing back up to standing. This pause will help ensure that you are engaging your glutes throughout the entire movement.
  1. As you return to standing, focus on squeezing your glutes and pushing through your heels as opposed to merely using momentum or relying on your quads.

By following these steps and focusing on proper form, you should be able to effectively target those glute muscles while avoiding over-engaging the quads during your squats.

Best Squats for Targeting Glutes

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that not all squats are created equal, especially if you’re looking to grow and build your booty. Here are the five best squats we’d recommend if you’re looking to grow and lift your glutes:

Single leg squats

The single-leg squat is great for targeting the glutes, as well as improving your balance and coordination since you’ll be relying more on one leg rather than two. Stand on one foot with your other lifted in the air and lower into a single-leg squat, before returning to standing. Don’t be discouraged if you find this move tricky – it can be difficult to perfect. While it is difficult, the great thing about a single leg squat is that you target all three glute muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.

Pistol Squats

Similar to a single leg squat, the pistol squat is an advanced move that will require a lot of strength and balance to master. Start by standing on one leg with the other stretched out in front of you. Then, lower into a single-legged squat position before returning to standing. If you’re struggling to get the hang of this one, don’t be afraid to use a wall or other support to help you maintain your balance. Just like the single leg squat, the pistol squat is great at working all three of your glute muscles. As your body is relying on one leg, all three glute muscles activate and work together to support your body through the movement, meaning a turbo-charged burn for your booty. Expect to wake up with sore muscles after this one!

Jump Squat

A jump squat is a great way to get those glutes working and add some cardio into your workout routine while you’re at it. Start with feet shoulder-width apart, sink down into a squat position as low as you can go, and then explode up into a jump, landing softly back in the starting position. You’ll want to ensure that you’re wearing appropriate trainers for this type of squat, as you’ll be putting enormous pressure on the balls of your feet during the movement. Jump squats are great for warming up those glute muscles and prepping them for some hard training.

Bulgarian Split Squats

This variation of a squat focuses more on balance than strength, so it’s perfect if you’re just starting out or want to add some variety to your routine. Start with one foot positioned on a step or bench and the other on the ground. Lower into a single-leg squat, then return to standing before repeating on the other side. Again, this movement can be enhanced by adding some form of resistance, but only do so when you’ve mastered the move with your bodyweight alone.

Squat pulses

Squat pulses are a perfect burn-out movement for finishing up any workout. To perform this move, begin by putting yourself in the starting point of a squat position, with your legs bent and your weight in your heels.

Begin pulsing up and down for as many reps as you can manage, but don’t go higher than a couple of inches – the burn comes when you hold the movement for as long as possible. For the ultimate burn, you’ll also want to lift your body slowly and keep the movement as controlled as possible. What’s great about this type of squat is that you can really put all of your weight into your heels during the movement, which will isolate and fire up your glutes.

And there you have it!

If you want to target your glutes and avoid overdeveloping your thighs, the key is to focus on form, and diversify the types of squats that you’re performing. Add weights progressively, and you’ll be rocking a perfectly round peach in no time!


I’m Chloe – a body confidence writer here at House of Peach! I help women to feel fabulous in the body they’re in and feel amazing in gym wear – regardless of their body shape and type. Unleash Your Peach.

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