Last Updated on June 16, 2022 by Femniqe
So you started training your glutes for a while now but you noticed something; they aren’t growing.
You tried different workouts you found on Youtube and even tried that special diet everyone is raving about.
More time has passed until one day you look in the mirror and really ask yourself “Why is my bum getting smaller despite exercise?”
Well lucky for you, today you’ll discover the common mistakes people make when trying to grow their glutes.
If you’re working out regularly and doing all the right exercises to grow your butt bigger and rounder, but it seems to be shrinking, don’t worry. You’re not the first person to have this problem, and you certainly won’t be the last.
Once you fix these mistakes, you’ll start seeing growth.
There are a few things you can do to avoid a shrinking bum. Remember that the human body is complex and not everything that should be straightforward is.
10 Reasons Why Your Bum Is Getting Smaller With Exercise
1. Your Protein Intake Is Too Low
Protein is the building block for muscles. Without a sufficient amount of protein in your daily diet, your glutes will struggle to grow.
Firstly, you should eat between 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilo of body weight per day to increase your glute mass.(1) Foods that contain higher sources of protein are lean meats, beef, chicken, salmon, tuna, eggs, and some dairy products like cheese.
So for example, if you weigh 130 pounds, your minimum daily protein intake would be (130 x 1.2)156 grams.
A well-balanced diet will help you make progress with your glute gains. It can be hard to maintain a balanced diet, but meal prepping can help.
Make sure you have enough food to last for 4-5 days, so you don’t have to worry about what you’re going to eat every day.
2. You’re Not In A Calorie Surplus
A calorie surplus is when you consume more calories than you burn in a day. To build gluteal muscle, you must be in a calorie surplus.
This is because when you are in a calorie surplus, your body has extra energy to put towards building muscle.
If you are in a calorie deficit, your body will be using its energy to simply maintain itself, and it will be very difficult to build muscle.
For most people an extra 10-20% calorie surplus per day is more than enough to support muscle gain.(2)
3. You’re Doing Too Much Cardio
Too much cardio will eat away the gains you worked so hard for.
If your main goal is to grow bigger and rounder glutes, cardio should be kept at a minimum.
This doesn’t mean you should cut it out completely, but just to do it a little less than you normally would. Too much cardio will eradicate muscle tissue.
If you feel like you need extensive cardio in your workouts, the stair climber and elliptical machines are great machines to use.
It’s an excellent way to burn fat without losing any of your gains. Once you’re more comfortable with the machine, you can start incorporating squats and crossover steps.
4. Your Glutes Aren’t Being Challenged Enough
For some reason a lot of women think that lifting heavy weights will make them look bulky, but that’s far from the truth.
Actually, it makes your entire body look more toned and lean. So every other workout session, try to increase the amount of weight you lift.
Just start off with light weights and gradually increase the load every few weeks to keep challenging the glutes.
Plus, you also burn calories while weight training, so if you love doing cardio like the treadmill, you can burn fat while building your glutes.
5. Your Diet Doesn’t Have Enough Complex Carbs
Now remember, not all carbs are bad for you.
In fact, cutting back on carbs too harshly may be the reason your bum isn’t growing. When you are low on carbs, you are not giving your muscles the glycogen they need to hit the weights hard.(3)
This can negatively affect glute muscle growth and make you feel weak during workout sessions.
You should keep complex, slow-digesting carbs in your diet plan such as oatmeal, whole grains, quinoa, beans, real wheat bread and fruit.
Make sure to limit the processed starchy junk foods, those just slow down your progress.
6. You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep
You need quality sleep to grow your glutes. A lack of sleep increases the level of stress hormone cortisol in your body, which harms the human growth hormone.(4)
This makes it harder for your body to store glycogen, and all of these things can inhibit muscle growth. Not sleeping also means you’re not training at your best, so you won’t make any progress.
Aim for 7-8.5 hours of sleep each evening. Keeping your stress levels low before you go to bed is also important.
You should shut down all electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime. If you have trouble falling asleep, you might want to try taking a hot bath or shower before bed.
7. Your Glutes Aren’t Activating
This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make during your workout sessions. Your glutes need to be warmed up properly before any kind of heavy lift.
It is important that you activate your gluteal muscles before beginning a workout.
This is because most glute exercises require the use of your legs. By activating your glutes, you will be able to get the most out of these exercises.
It’s best to do this after stretching and before starting your workout.
In order to get your glutes firing properly, you can do banded lunges or squats. These exercises will help to activate your glutes.
Additionally, doing donkey kicks and glute bridges are also great exercises to help get your glutes firing.
Another important factor to consider is your hip mobility. If you are sitting down frequently throughout the day, your hips will become tighter and this can cause your glutes to shut off.
Here’s a great stretching routine in the video below to loosen up your hips.
It’s important to keep your hip mobility in mind in order to keep your glutes firing properly.
8. You’re Overtraining The Glutes
Overtraining not only puts you at risk for injury and workout boredom, but it can also hinder your progress.
Many people mistakenly believe that the harder they train their glutes, the bigger the gains.
However, this is not true.
If you do not take time away from the gym, your body does not have time to rebuild itself, and as a result, you will not see the results you want.
9. Your Body Is Dehydrated
Many people do not pay enough attention to staying hydrated.
Without enough water, the digestive process does not work well. Then your gluteal muscles do not get the nutrients they need to grow.
Also, when you’re not hydrated properly you cannot workout as hard at the gym. This makes it harder to grow your glutes.
10. You’re Not Patient Enough
I know you want fast results but the body does things at its own pace.
Your job is to be consistent with the training and diet and the rest will happen naturally. Making changes to your glutes take time, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results within a few weeks.
Make sure to set realistic goals and focus on making small improvements week by week or month by month.
Creating a goal for your body shape is a good way to stay motivated when working out, but it’s important to be realistic.
The Bottom Line
So just to recap, if you notice your bum is getting smaller with exercise the reasons could be:
- Your protein intake is too low
- You’re not in a calorie surplus
- You’re doing too much cardio
- Your glutes aren’t being challenged enough
- Your diet doesn’t have enough complex carbs
- You’re not not getting enough sleep
- Your glutes aren’t activating
- You’re overtraining the glutes
- Your body is dehydrated
- You’re not patient enough
Fix these issues and without a doubt your glutes will start growing.