Is It Possible to Do Too Many Butt Exercises?

woman with back to camera lifting weights

Is It Possible to Do Too Many Butt Exercises?

If you have scrolled through Instagram in the past few years you may have noticed that butts are having their moment in society. Not only are pictures constantly being shared, but every iteration of butt exercises are being showcased endlessly for you to save and follow on your next gym day.

While many are obsessed with having the perfect butt, and do the exercises to match, is it possible to do too many butt exercises? Yes, but it gets a little bit more complicated than that. 

You actually do need most of the butt work

woman doing a deadlift

First, what muscles comprise the butt? The three main muscles are the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. Based on the name, you may have guessed the gluteus maximus is the largest of this muscle group, the gluteus medius is on the outside of your hip, and the gluteus minimus is at the top of your butt. 

The good news is you actually need most of the glute work you are doing. Generally, we are a quadriceps-dominant society, so most people have weak glutes. Because of the daily activities we do, such as walking, climbing steps, biking, etc., there is some strength in the gluteus maximus, but the other muscles are just as important. 

So, everyone should just do more butt workouts, right? Not quite, the phrase “too much of a good thing” applies here, as well. 

Too much of a good thing

man doing butt workout

Overtraining glutes without stretching or rolling them out will leave you with incredibly tight muscles, which could lead to potentially impinging the sciatic nerve, which can cause severe pain. 

Tight or overactive glutes can also pull on your joints, which can shift them out of alignment and cause muscular imbalances, eventually leading to injury. This happens because the muscles along the front and back of your hip joints, including your glutes, pull your pelvis in different directions. If one group of your muscles is overactive and the others are underactive it can alter your normal movement pattern. 

So if you are solely working your butt and ignoring your other muscles, you could be on the road to injury. 

Here is how you should work your butt

woman using machine to do butt workout

You can do butt exercises two to three times a week without overdoing it, but make sure you are doing the exercises in the proper form to activate the right muscles. If you are unsure if you are doing an exercise in the proper form, you can always speak to a personal trainer, this will help you avoid injury and ensure you are going to get the results you want.

Glute activation test

Start your workout by testing your glute activation. Lie on your back with both legs extended on the floor, a hand under each butt cheek. Without working your quadricep muscles, squeeze the right and left glute separately. Once you isolate the movement, bend your knees and repeat the squeezes. Once you are able to do that, practice the squeezes standing.

Learn the pelvic tilt

The pelvic tilt is essential to the success of all exercises. The goal is to maintain a neutral pelvis and spine. You can do this by thinking of your pelvis as a bucket filled with water, maintaining the pose would mean no water would spill from the front or back.

Balance is key

Someone with weak or inactive glutes will typically also have weak abdominal muscles. This combination will cause tight hip flexors and a tight lower back. For every glute exercise, do an ab exercise. Also, do not ignore your glute medius during butt workouts. 

Always stretch

Foam roll your glutes, do spinal stretches, a figure-four stretch, hamstring stretches, and hip flexor stretches to avoid your glutes from getting too tight.