There’s no question that squats provide the path to an attention-getting butt -- and super-fine legs to boot. And even if your goal is more along the lines of better sports performance or just feeling trim and strong, you’ll still see delightful progress with your overall fitness. The squat takes you on an interesting journey, from your wobbly first attempts to lower your body from a standing position and straight back up to more assured efforts with a greater weight challenge.
Whether you perform squats with your own body weight, dumbbells, kettlebells or a barbell, the question essentially boils down to what your timeline is to see exercise benefits, in this case, from the squat for your glutes. Even as you perform this exercise, you’ll feel energized and alert, as your body releases endorphins. And after about 24 hours, you may have some muscle soreness as the glutes repairs themselves from the load placed on them as part of getting stronger.
Within about three weeks, you should begin to see fat loss in the butt from your squats, as part of overall fat loss from this profoundly effective exercise combined with a clean diet and cardio exercise as an adjunct. At around six to eight weeks, you'll see evidence of muscle development in the booty and hamstrings -- in other words, visual confirmation of a higher, tighter butt. “After eight weeks, as you progress your squats, results depend on whether you go with higher weight and lower reps or higher reps and lower weights,” says Ashley Harvey, a fitness specialist at the Mac Harbor East fitness center in Baltimore, Maryland. “If you increase the weight and lower the reps, you’ll build more muscle,” she notes. With high reps, low weight, you’ll simply maintain your fitness gains.
Especially if you're new to exercise, you’ll see dramatic changes in your butt in the early months, as your body rapidly adapts to the challenge of the squat, which also challenges the quads, calves and hamstrings. After the accelerated change of your first months, you’ll see continual progress as you challenge yourself with more repetitions or higher weights every few weeks. You’ll have more muscular support for daily tasks, and be more sturdy if you're looking for better sports performance, Harvey notes. If your goal is just to look better in jeans, your butt will be a little bit firmer and your thighs will be more toned.
While results vary from person to person, personal trainer Michael Behnken of the online site Ask the Trainer sums up the basic results of any training program as follows: after 30 days of your workout, you’ll feel the difference. After 60 days, you’ll see the difference. And after 90 days, your friends will see the difference. You can track the impact of squats on your butt by measuring the widest part your hips weekly or seeing if you go down a jeans size. As part of your body-beautiful project, eat small meals with healthy proteins, fats, fruits and vegetables to give your revving metabolism enough but not too much fuel to see a trimmer backside.
An award-winning writer and editor, Rogue Parrish has worked at the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun and at newspapers from England to Alaska. This world adventurer and travel book author, who graduates summa cum laude in journalism from the University of Maryland, specializes in travel and food -- as well as sports and fitness. She's also a property manager and writes on DIY projects.