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Can Squats Make Your Glutes Smaller?

By Carolyn Williams ; Updated October 05, 2017

One exercise alone won't make you slim. While squats tone the gluteal muscles, a healthy diet and exercise plan that creates a caloric deficit is the only method for long-term slimming of a generous backside. Focus on a healthy, long-term approach; it'll take patience to see a slimmer behind in the long term.

You Can't Focus Where You Lose

Spot reduction is a myth. When you lose weight, you lose it throughout your body. Although hormones and stress play a role, weight loss can really be boiled down to the basics of calories in versus calories out. Eat fewer calories than you burn and you'll lose weight. You can't target a specific body part alone for weight loss.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend losing 1 to 2 pounds per week as a rate of healthy weight loss. This ensures a slow and steady pace and helps create a long-term lifestyle that helps you maintain the weight you've lost. To achieve this rate, create a deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories per day.

Why Include Squats

As part of an exercise program, squats are a very effective exercise. They work multiple muscle groups, in addition to the muscles in your butt. Squats also strengthen your hamstrings and quadriceps muscles, creating muscle tone in your thighs. They engage your core by working the muscles in your abdomen, the transverse abdominis and the muscles that run along your spine, the erector spinae.

Slimmer Butt

Squats, especially if you do them with heavy weights, actually help develop muscle in your butt. Rather than making your buttocks smaller, squats can build them up to be more shapely and firm.

Squats work your butt, but they aren't a comprehensive exercise plan that contributes to weight loss. Include them as part of regular cardio and a total-body strength-training program. At least 250 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio weekly helps you burn the calories necessary to lead to significant fat loss, explains the American College of Sports Medicine.

Strength training boosts muscle mass, which also makes your body more efficient at burning calories. Along with squats and other lower body moves to strengthen the muscles of your butt, include moves such as rows for your back, push-ups for your chest and triceps extensions and biceps curls for your arms.

Perfecting Your Form

Form is critical to a proper squat and to avoid injury. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and keep your core tight to support your back. Sit back as if you're searching for a chair but keep your torso upright -- don't bow. Descend until your thighs are parallel to the floor, making sure your knees stay behind your toes to avoid overextending the knee joint. Stand back up and repeat.

Add a barbell across your shoulders or hold dumbbells to add resistance and make the exercise more challenging. Aim to do squats two to three times per week as part of a comprehensive strength-training program. Work your way up to three or four sets of 10 to 15 reps of the exercise.

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