Use the squat machine to build a shapely, toned butt.
Squats are well-known for being one of the best thigh-building exercises around. Barbell squats target many of the muscles of your lower body, including your quads, calves, hamstrings and your glutes, or butt muscles. If you're not confident squatting with a free bar or don't have access to one, you can use a squat machine instead. This functions in a slightly different way, but can still be used to build your butt.
Squat machines build up the booty muscles, particularly when done with heavy weights.
Know the Basics
When you train a muscle, the fibers worked become damaged and develop tiny tears. Your body then initiates a repairing process, when new protein strands, known as myofibrils, are created. The more myofibrils you build and the more they grow, the bigger the muscle becomes. While your genetics determine how quickly you build muscle, if you're constantly putting a muscle under stress and increasing your weights and reps, the muscle will get bigger.
Understand the Specifics
One of the main muscles worked when you perform a machine squat is the gluteus maximus - the biggest of your butt muscles. The main muscle group used, however, is the quadriceps. Using a squat machine over a free-weight squat can be a benefit or a hindrance, depending on whether you're actively looking to build your butt or not. As the V-squat, or lever-squat, machine requires less balance and stabilization than a barbell squat, your glutes aren't utilized as much.
Bust the Myth
Adding squats to your routine won't suddenly increase the size of your butt, notes exercise physiologist Tom Kelso on the Breaking Muscle website. The size of your glutes is also determined by your genetics and muscle-building potential, Kelso adds. Butt development also depends how hard you train. If you're looking to build your glutes, you should strive to constantly increase the weight you're lifting on the squat machine. If you're sticking with the same weights, reps and rest periods all the time, it's unlikely you'll see any real growth, as your muscles aren't being challenged.
Build the Butt
To make your butt bigger, you also need a surplus of calories. Unless you're a complete beginner and haven't partaken in a resistance program before, you won't build muscle unless you're eating enough calories to grow. For those after gargantuan glute muscles, strength coach Mike Robertson recommends including different variations of the squat. Front squats, box squats, speed squats, safety-bar squats and Olympic-style squats all hit the glutes and require more butt stabilization than using a squat machine.