If you have been trying to gain glute muscle but feel like your glutes aren’t growing, keep reading to find out why this could be happening.
First, before I start this post, I just want to say that there’s no reason you need to grow your glutes. Strong glutes are important to keep your hips and low back healthy but the size of your butt really doesn’t matter. That being said, I know a lot of women out there do want to see their glutes grow and if that’s the case, that’s ok too. We are all on our own journey and have our own personal goals. If this is something you’ve been working on and are not seeing results, I hope to help you with this post.
I think a great part about seeing changes in your body is not so much about trying to fit some perfect mold, it’s about seeing the hard work you put in paying off. It’s about seeing your body becoming stronger.
It’s also important to love your body at wherever you’re at today. Appreciate all the magnificent things that your body does for you. Your body is much more than it’s physical appearance.
Ok, I know this isn’t supposed to be a “love your body” post, but I think with a topic like this that it’s important to remember.
5 reasons why your glutes aren't growing
The glute muscle can be a pain in the ass sometimes to see muscle changes, literally. This muscle commonly becomes weak for many different reasons. When your glutes becomes weak and you don’t re-train them properly, other muscles start to take over for them and now you’re left feeling like your glutes aren’t growing.
Bring in the quads and hamstrings.
#1: Your quads and hamstrings are overactive
The quads and hamstrings are the muscles that take over for the glutes when they’re weak.
Strength in the quads and hamstrings is also important but it isn’t ideal for them to do most of the work with motions such as squatting and deadlifting. We want the glutes to be doing their part as well since they are the main muscle that performs a motion called hip extension.
#2: Your glute med is weak
There's more to the glutes than just the glute max
The glutes are much more than just the gluteus maximus (the biggest glute muscle). There is also the gluteus medius and minimus.
The gluteus medius (glute med) is located at your outer hip and is SUPER important in stabilizing your hips. This muscle keeps your hips and pelvis stable when walking and when you are standing on one leg. This muscle also is very commonly weak which leads to an increased risk of low back and hip injuries.
If you only perform exercises that work the glute max and ignore the glute med, this could be limiting your glute gains.
Also, if a muscle is weak and you’re performing weight lifting activities such as lunges or single leg dead lifts, this is going to throw off how optimally your glutes activate.
#3: Poor glute activation
If you feel like your glutes aren’t growing, you may need to go back to the basics.
It’s very possible that your glutes aren’t activating properly. In this case, you need to go back to some glute activation exercises for a little bit to teach the glutes how to activate properly.
#4: You're not eating enough
As females we always tend to think we need to keep our calories low. If you’re trying to see glute gains and put on muscle, you need to be taking in enough calories. Putting on muscle means gaining weight so make sure you’re eating enough. I know that this can be a struggle for some but remember, the scale just shows a number. It’s not about this number, it’s about how you feel.
Also, make sure you are getting enough protein. The amount of protein you should intake changes based on things such as age and activity level.
#5 You're not challenging the muscle enough (lifting too light)
I’ll be honest, I made this mistake for a while.
To grow muscle and to improve strength you need to challenge that muscle.
For hypertrophy (gaining muscle) it’s recommended to do between 8-15 reps of an exercise. (I usally do 8-15 reps and 3-4 sets of each exercise.)
At the end of the 8-15 reps, your muscles should be pretty fatigued. If you do 15 reps and could easily bang out 10 more, you’re not lifting heavy enough.
As always, progress weight slowly to prevent injuries from occurring.
Everyone is different
Keep in mind that everyone is different. We all have different body types and some people gain muscle more easily than others. I know it’s easy to get frustrated if this is your goal and you don’t gain muscle easy but that’s where learning self love is so important. It’s also important to recognize and give credit to yourself for small accomplishments.
Even if you don’t see the changes you want but your goal was to go to the gym 4 days a week and you did that every week for a month, celebrate that. That’s awesome and your body is thanking you even if you don’t see physical changes yet.
Maybe I should write a full post on loving your body after writing this….but I hope this helped answer your question of why your glutes aren’t growing.
Remember self love guys!
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