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Do Leg Presses Make Your Butt Bigger?
Having a big butt due to excess fat deposits isn't something to which you'd likely aspire. But you'd hardly dismiss the idea of being able to trim your excess fat and firm up your glutes through exercise. One exercise that you might think could yield results is the leg press, which you perform with a weight machine at the gym. Although this exercise can strengthen your glutes, it's unlikely to make your butt bigger.
Strength, Not Size
Whether you perform sled leg presses or lever leg presses, the exercise targets your quadriceps muscles. These muscles are the large muscles located in the front of your thighs and contribute to knee and hip movements. Your butt muscles, technically known as your gluteus maximus, contribute to the leg press exercise, but they aren't the target. Thus, while performing leg presses can strengthen your glutes, you're unlikely to build these muscles to the point that you notice a larger butt.
- The University of Texas at Austin: Basics & Benefits of Lower Body Exercises
- ExRx.net: Lever Seated Leg Press
- ExRx.net: Sled 45° Leg Press
- ExRx.net: Quadriceps
- Buckthorpe M, Stride M, Villa FD. ASSESSING AND TREATING GLUTEUS MAXIMUS WEAKNESS - A CLINICAL COMMENTARY. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2019;14(4):655-669.
- Strasser B, Fuchs D. Diet Versus Exercise in Weight Loss and Maintenance: Focus on Tryptophan. Int J Tryptophan Res. 2016;9:9-16. doi:10.4137/IJTR.S33385
- Viana RB, Naves JPA, Coswig VS, et al. Is interval training the magic bullet for fat loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis comparing moderate-intensity continuous training with high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Br J Sports Med. 2019;53(10):655-664. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2018-099928
- Türk Y, Theel W, Kasteleyn MJ, et al. High intensity training in obesity: a Meta-analysis. Obes Sci Pract. 2017;3(3):258-271. doi:10.1002/osp4.109
- Bartlett JL, Sumner B, Ellis RG, Kram R. Activity and functions of the human gluteal muscles in walking, running, sprinting, and climbing. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2014;153(1):124-31. doi:10.1002/ajpa.22419
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.