Can the TikTok-famous BootySprout actually grow your glutes?
The BootySprout makes hip thrusting at home easy.
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Take a quick scroll through social media, and you’ll notice one exercise touted frequently for its glute-growing abilities—the hip thrust. This move is a glute bridge variation usually performed in a gym in which you sit on the ground while resting your back on a bench and thrust your hips up, moving from a seated to extended position. Weight lifters love the hip thrust because they claim it’s one of the few movements that can isolate and strengthen your glutes without working other leg muscles too much.
The hype isn’t unjustified. Hip thrusts are often recommended by trainers for glute gains because the horizontal stance allows you to use your hips to their fullest extent while lifting a load against gravity. But if you don’t have a bench and barbell at home, you may feel like you can’t reap the benefits of a hip thrust outside the gym. That's where the BootySprout could come into play.
The BootySprout is constantly shared on TikTok, with TikTokers raving about the workout they get while using it. It’s also $164—not exactly a low-stakes investment. But that’s the case with a lot of exercise equipment, so I put it to the test to see how it lives up to its promises.
What is BootySprout?
The BootySprout is a hip-thrust machine designed to be compact enough for a small home gym without compromising on weight. Like another social media-famous fitness device, the DB Method squat machine, it claims to help users develop a rounder, perkier derriere with regular use. The main difference between the two is that the BootySprout is used to perform hip thrusts, which mainly work the hips and butt, and DB Method is used to perform assisted squats, which work your leg and butt muscles. Where the BootySprout lets you perform a key glute-building exercise at home, the DB Method claims to work your glutes, quads, and hamstrings by letting you get deeper into your squat.
Its components include a rectangular ring with a small platform on one end and a backrest on the other. It comes with three resistance bands that BootySprout claims add about 45 pounds each, which makes it easy to increase resistance as you get stronger. The BootySprout’s backrest is a simple padded cylinder, similar to the footrest on a leg curl machine, which gives the machine a slimmer overall appearance compared to a traditional bench and barbell setup. The machine is pretty simple to fold and unfold by yourself, which makes storage easier.
How to use the BootySprout
Using the BootySprout is simple. You sit down in the center of the device with your upper back resting against the backrest and your feet on the platform, and strap a resistance band over your hip points. It's sort of like adding or removing resistance with a Pilates reformer, except the band goes across your body, not the machine’s platform. (If you’re new to lifting weights or just haven’t performed a hip thrust before, try performing a few without the resistance to perfect your form before moving adding the strap.)
To safely perform a hip thrust, place your feet parallel to each other, slightly wider than hip-width apart. Squeeze your glutes together to engage them as you press your hips upward, so the entire front of your body from chest to knees is parallel to the ground. At the top of the hip thrust, your knees should be at about 90 degrees. For safety, it’s important to keep a neutral spine—no back arching or sagging or awkward chin jutting. Many trainers recommend keeping your head tucked so you don’t overarch and injure your back. With the BootySprout, I found it easier to get into the full extension of the position first without a band to make sure I was aligned correctly, come back to a neutral position, and then I added the resistance. This helped me achieve good form without feeling like I was muscling my way through the thrusts.
What using the BootySprout is like
Using the BootySprout is simple but surprisingly intense. As someone who is used to doing hip thrusts in the gym with barbells, I wasn’t sure how the resistance bands would compare. I was pleasantly surprised at how challenging the exercise was using the BootySprout’s resistance bands.
I started with one resistance band on the BootySprout to warm up and moved on to two resistance bands for more of a challenge during the rest of my lower-body workout, which included squats, split squats, and Romanian deadlifts. Performing hip thrusts with the BootySprout wasn’t that different from doing hip thrusts at the gym—if anything, it made the experience more enjoyable. I didn’t have to wait for a bench or share equipment, and it was easier to strap in another resistance band to increase the load than it is to add more plates on a barbell.
I didn’t have a way to test BootySprout’s claim that each of the three included bands offers 45 pounds of resistance, but because using one resistance band felt too light and two felt like I was pushing myself, I’d say the weight estimate is accurate and appropriate for beginner to intermediate lifters like myself. The BootySprout also comes with a pad that wraps around the resistance bands and velcroes together as a means to keep them tidy and comfortable. I didn’t find the pad was absolutely necessary—the resistance bands aren’t uncomfortable to begin with—but it made the experience feel a little more luxe.
I also used the BootySprout for the other exercises that rounded out my Leg Day. I stood on the BootySprout’s platform when doing squats and deadlifts using dumbbells, and propped my rear foot off the backrest to do split squats, though these exercises can be performed without the BootySprout. I also did some single-leg hip thrusts, and found it was more comfortable to do them on the BootySprout than on a mat on my living room floor.
I can’t say I noticed a huge difference in the way I looked after using the BootySprout, as my test period was only two weeks. But I felt stronger and using two resistance bands was starting to feel easier after repeated use.
What I liked about the BootySprout
Overall, I enjoyed using the BootySprout. It delivered on its promise of making it easy to do hip thrusts at home, an exercise I normally skip for lack of appropriate setup and weight.
I also liked how compact the design is—or, at least, much more compact than a full barbell setup—and the fact that it offers more than one resistance option. It’s primarily made of wood, which makes it more decorative than other pieces of workout equipment and it doesn’t look too bulky or out of place sitting on my living room floor. Plus, it can easily be folded up and put away if I don't want it left out. That said, I’ve been too lazy to put away the BootySpout, and leaving it out hasn’t been too much of an eyesore or inconvenience.
What I didn’t like about the BootySprout
Despite everything I like about it, I have some hangups with the BootySprout. The first is the price. For $164, it’s a costly purchase for a one-trick pony (though less expensive than the $229 DB Method machine). While the BootySprout takes up less space than a barbell-and-bench setup, it's also mainly used for one exercise: the hip thrust. Aside from that, you don’t need the BootySprout to perform other exercises you can do with it, like split squats. But with a bench and some free weights you could perform a wider variety of exercises, like bent-over rows, shoulder presses, or split squats, in addition to hip thrusts.
The BootySprout’s resistance bands also felt unexpectedly hard to string across the machine, which maybe isn’t surprising given their promised weight. I had to struggle with them a bit to get them hooked over my hips because of how taut they were. It wasn’t a major inconvenience, since once I was strapped in the bands weren’t too constricting, but it was more difficult than I expected.
It comes with three bands that each claim to offer 45 pounds of resistance and can be combined. If you want to go heavier, you can, but it'll cost ya: BootySprout sells additional 45-pound resistance bands for $14 and 70-pound resistance bands for $16. (You can combine a bunch together, too, but the company claims the machine maxes out at 400 pounds.)
Is the BootySprout worth it?
Creating a home gym takes up space and can quickly become expensive. The BootySprout may make sense for someone who wants to add significant resistance to hip thrusts in their at-home workout, but who may not want to commit the space to buying a full barbell and bench setup. Even purchasing a relatively inexpensive bench, barbell, and weights can run over $164, so if you’re only interested in performing hip thrusts and want to save some money and space, the BootySprout does the job.
But for someone who is adept at lifting weights and wants to perform a wider variety of movements at home, they'll find the BootySprout sorely lacking.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.