How to Gain Weight in Buttocks and Thighs (Do You Need to Lift Heavy?)

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How to Gain Weight in Legs

Gaining weight in your buttocks and thighs can be challenging, especially if you’re not sure what exercises or foods you need to be eating to hit your goals. But, the question is, can you gain weight in your glutes and thighs without gaining weight in your stomach?

Luckily, I gained weight the wrong way first, learned from my experience, and gained weight the right way a year later to let you in on exactly what you need to do to grow your glutes fast.

To gain weight in your buttocks, thighs, and legs, you need to perform different variations of hip thrusts, deadlifts, and lunges. These exercises target the main muscle groups, such as the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and quads. Along with strength training, you will need to eat in a surplus of calories to improve your strength, build, and grow your muscles.

Depending on your activity level and experience in the gym, your workouts, and how much you eat will be things to consider. Let’s go over the things you need to know and tips for getting the most out of your workout.

Can you grow your butt?

Before we dive deep into how to grow your butt, I have to mention that genetics play a role in where fat is stored first on your body and where your body gets rid of fat first. 

But regardless of genetics, yes, you can grow your butt. 

This just means that the possibility of your training and nutrition looking different from someone else’s is highly possible, depending on your goals. 

With that being said, to grow your butt, you’re going to need to focus on two things:

  1. Strength training exercises
  2. Nutrition

How many squats should you do a day to get a bigger butt?

Who hasn’t heard of or tried the 100 squat challenge? I can’t say I have done it, but I do have friends who’ve brought it up in conversation. Is this you?

The first two muscle groups squats target are your quads and hamstrings, maybe one more than the other, but this all depends on your stance. 

The third muscle group is your glutes. 

So while yes, squats do work your glutes, the squats’ main focus are your hamstring and quads. 

After years of squatting and the heaviest being 195 pounds back in 2016, my glutes have never been shaped the way they are now (they look better now), and I don’t come close to squatting 195 pounds these days. 

These days I’m lucky if I come close to the squat rack or lift heavier than 135 pounds. 

Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be squatting at all, but I’m saying that there are other exercises you can do to grow your butt. 

And as far as quads and hamstrings go, there are plenty of other exercises to work those muscles as well if squats are not your favorite exercise or have back problems.

Here’s a list of exercises:


  • Leg extension 
  • Bulgarian Squat
  • Leg Press


  • Stiff Leg Deadlift
  • Hamstring Curl
  • Leg Press

I would love to get back on the squat rack and feel strong again, but my back hasn’t been feeling 100%, and I’d much rather focus on making that feel better and find alternative exercises to work the same muscle groups that squats work. 

How to gain weight on hips, thighs, and bums

We’ll talk about nutrition later because it’s key to growing growing and growing your muscles, but here I want to talk about the exercises that have worked for me.

It’s like your biceps; you can’t grow your biceps if you don’t work on them. So what exercises are going to help you grow your hips, thigh, and bums?


  • Abductors
  • Adductors
  • Side lunges
  • Fire hydrants


  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Single leg deadlifts
  • Step Up’s


  • Hip Thrusts
  • Deadlifts
  • Glute Bridge
  • Frog Pumps

Also, leg day can’t be every day because your body needs to rest and recover, but 3 – 4 days work great.

How long does it take to grow your glutes?

Let me tell you, when I was losing weight, I spent months doing all the same exercise I do now for my butt, and while heck yeah, my glutes had a great shape, they didn’t really grow.

If you’re dieting, I recommend moving up to your maintenance calories and staying there for a while.

Or moving from eating at your maintenance calories into a surplus for a least six months. 

Related Article: The Complete Guide to Calculating Your Macros (for Beginners)

What is the quickest way to gain weight?

The quickest way to gain weight is to eat in a surplus for at least six months, work on progressive overload by tracking your exercises, trusting the process, and sticking to it.

The more you fall off track, the longer it’ll take for you to reaching your goals.

I know gaining weight can feel scary or intimidating, but trust me, you’ll feel so much stronger in the gym, your energy will be through the roof, and after a while, you won’t deal with feeling hungry.

I’ve slowly been eating in a surplus since late June after dropping 17 pounds since March. Three and a half months later, I’m growing and weighing around 147 but feeling tighter than ever, especially in my stomach.

Related Article: The Best Tips for Counting Macros: Even If You’ve Never Tracked Macros Before

Do you need to lift heavy to grow glutes?

Lifting definitely makes a heck of a difference because you’re moving up in weight, but with everything going on, you can still achieve great results if you’re working out from home. 

Yes, even if you don’t have an at-home gym. 

I wish I had one. During my weight loss, I worked with bands and a 15-pound dumbbell.

how to commit to working out from home

Related Article: 6 Tips to Bang Out Your Home Workout (Even When You Don’t Have Motivation)

Why is my butt getting flatter?

Have you been lifting like crazy in the gym working on your hip thrusts, dead, lifts, lunges, and all those other band exercises, yet you’re still asking yourself where the glute gains are?

It’s probably one or two of two things.

1. You’re not tracking your home or gym workouts.

If you’re not working on progressive overload, you’re kind of missing out big time. Why? Because progressive overload is when each time you go back and do an exercise. Your goal is to either go for an extra rep, set, go up in weight, hold a little longer, whichever. 

But let’s be honest, sometimes there are days where you go into your workout ready to crush it, and then there are days where you’re lucky you even made it to the gym.

And this is why it’s important to track your workout. So you can go back and see how many reps, how many sets, and how much weight you used last time. 

Don’t cheat yourself.

Sometimes I’ll even add little notes like “that hurt,” “the last rep was awful,” “slippery hands,” or “that was too easy,” etc. haha, so when I look, I can see how much progress I’ve made. 

Where to track your workouts:

  1. Notebook
  2. Google Sheets – I’ve been tracking my workouts this way for forever. Just download the app on your phone.

Related Article: 3 Things You Need to Know About the Best Workout Program

2. You’re not eating in a surplus of calories

When I was first losing weight, I used my fitness pal to track my calories, and now that I am eating a surplus of calories, I am shocked at how just as useful it is now that I am in a bulking stage.

No, seriously, the idea of tracking eating in a surplus of calories never crossed my mind. 

But the truth is, sometimes your days can go by quick, and bam, next thing you know, your day is over, or your body may feel like you ate a lot, but you really haven’t.

This has happened plenty of times. 

Tracking my food on myfitnesspal has helped me:

  1. Choose foods higher in calories to help me reach my goal
  2. Space my foods out throughout the day, so I don’t feel so full after a meal
  3. Reach my calorie goal and not under eat so often
  4. Not overeat like crazy just because “I’m in a bulking” phase
    1. (if you want to see what happened when I did eat everything and anything when I first got out of a diet, check this post out on How to Go From Skinny Fat to Fit (Cutting or Bulking) so you don’t do the same thing)

And speaking of food, let’s talk about the foods that will help make your glutes bigger.

myfitnesspal app

Related Article: Your Simple Beginner’s Guide to Myfitnesspal

What to eat for glute gains

Your glutes, thighs, and legs are muscle, and just like any other muscle group, if you want to see growth, you should work your way up or start eating at maintenance calories immediately and get out of a deficit. 

But if you want to see real growth, you will need to eat in a surplus of calories. This means you should be eating more calories than you burn – yes, this means you will gain weight. 

And to avoid gaining excess body fat, keep track of your weight if you can and try and stay within gaining 1 -2 pounds per month. 

The past couple of months, I’ve been eating at around 2450 calories, and while this sounds great (trust me, it is), sometimes it can be hard to get in all my calories. So here’s a list of foods that have helped me reach my daily calorie goal.

Food that goes straight to your bum

  • Red potatoes
  • Bread
  • Tahini
  • Banana’s
  • Avocado
  • Beans
  • Peanut Butter
  • Nuts
  • Rice
  • Pasta

More foods high in calories that make you thick are: 

  • Chia seeds
  • Oils
  • Sauces
  • Dates

You have to remember that genes play a role, and to be really real, there are no foods that go straight to your butt. Sorry! It’s true. Unless your genes have your body set up like that. If so, lucky you, haha.

To be honest, I only started struggling on the days I craved a crunchy salad. Salads are filling yet can be low calorie, making it hard to eat more if you have to. 

If this is you and an easy way to make a salad high calorie, top it off with tahini, balsamic glaze, and sprinkle nuts or seeds on top. 

Conclusion for How to gain weight on hips, thighs, and bums

Gaining weight in your leg, thighs, and glutes is possible no matter what genes you were born with.

The key is to stick to a workout program long enough to track your progress (a least four weeks of the same exercises, eat for your goals, and in this case, for growth, it means to eat in a surplus of calories.

And most important of all, trust the process.

And if you’re working out at home, check out how to grow your glutes at home with resistance bands below.

Related Articles to How to Gain Thighs and Hips

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How to Gain Weight in Buttocks and Thighs (Do You Need to Lift Heavy?)

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