This At-Home Method Is Supposed to Get You “Your Best Butt Ever”–Is It Worth the Hype?

and you just need 10 minutes a day
DB Method squat machine review"
DB Method squat machine review
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson

If you see me at the gym (or on my fitness apps), chances are I’m trying to perfect one well-known, booty-building movement with which I share a love-hate relationship: the squat (peach emoji-status is the goal). It’s one of the most bang-for-your-buck exercises (it works multiple muscle groups at once), but it’s also one of the most technically difficult and requires a precise form to avoid knee and back injuries. So when I came across the glutes-focused machine, The DB Method, which “shifts your body weight directly into the glutes so you can get your best butt ever in just 10 minutes a day,” I was nearly sold (the wellness critic in me thought too good to be true—but it didn’t hurt that Hailey Bieber is a purported DB Method stan). What exactly is the DB Method, and does it live up to all the hype? We have the answers.

What is the DB Method?

A foldable squat machine that mimics a perfect squat form, the DB Method is designed to fully activate your glutes “for low-impact workouts with total-body results.” At $329, you, too, can get your dream butt (yes, that’s what “DB” stands for). “It’s a biomechanically-correct machine—you are not ever going to over-extend your knees over your toes,” Erika Rayman, the founder of The DB Method, explained to Elle. The machine has two upright, parallel handrails at the front that shift weight back to load the glutes, a cushioned seat that moves up and down on a hydraulic rod that provides resistance for proper squat form, and two foot rests on either side. The gist of the method: Sit back on the seat, position your heels on the foot pads (toes should be hanging off), lightly hold onto the handles, push off your heels, and squat—while engaging your core, keeping your shoulders away from your ears, and maintaining an upright chest. If you feel it in your backyour knees, or more so in your legs, your form is likely off.

According to the DB Method’s website, unlike traditional squats that can place undue stress on joints, the DB Method provides resistance while ensuring proper form every time, so you can squat lower (the deeper you go, the harder the glutes have to work) without your knees and back bearing the brunt of it. In fact, the website claims that 97 percent of users (in a study of 1,591 reviewers) experienced improved knee and back pain while doing the exercise, and 100 percent reported a more lifted appearance in their butts. Rayman said that when you do an unassisted squat, your quads are typically doing the heavy lifting. The DB Method, on the other hand, aligns your body so that your weight is focused from your quads to your butt, so your glutes are more isolated.

The DB Method workouts include a mix of glute warm-ups, full-range squats, and squat pulses (AKA reps that involve performing a quicker, smaller range of movement multiple times) at the bottom of the movement (AKA “low zone”), mid-portion (“mid zone”), and top (“high zone”) to keep your glutes under constant tension. Once you get the hang of it, you can quicken your pace or add extra resistance with The DreamBand Pro, their newest resistance band, or The DreamBelt, their weighted belt (you can’t change the amount of resistance of the machine). “You’ll notice a theme of repetition and consistency in our workouts because they matter when your main goal is progress,” shared Aliyah Sims, CPT, a NASM-certified personal trainer with The DB Method.

What are the benefits of the DB Method?

It targets your glutes more than a typical squat

Because of the way the DB Method is set up and aligns your body (with handlebars allowing you to lean back farther than you would in a traditional squat and toes pointed up), your weight is diverted from your quads to your butt, prompting your glute muscles to fire and do more of the work. The hyper-focused glute modifications give you an oh-so-good backside burn you may not experience with an average squat.

It works your whole body

While the DB Method targets the glutes, your quads and hamstrings will naturally be engaged when using it as well. And because the machine requires you to keep your posture aligned, you use multiple muscle groups at once, including the core, inner thighs, and hip flexors. Sims also pointed out that the seat and the resistance it provides can also be used to work your biceps, triceps, chest, and abs (think: tricep dips, chest presses, and oblique crunches).

It only takes 10 minutes a day

In the time it takes you to figure out what workout to do or to get to the gym, you could be done with your DB Method workout. While you can do DB Method workouts for 20-30 minutes, the brand says you only need to use the machine for 10 minutes a day. DB Method’s chief fitness officer and personal trainer Adam Swartz said you should start to notice results with daily, 10-minute sessions within three to four weeks, noting that people of all fitness levels should notice something, though squat beginners are more likely to see dramatic improvements.

It takes the pressure off your joints

With typical squats, you’re more at risk of straining your hips, knees, and ankles if you don’t maintain proper form. But with the DB Method, your weight is transferred directly to the glutes, taking the pressure off your joints, and the machine guides your movement to ensure “perfect squat form.” Especially if you have knee or back pain while squatting, the machine may be the perfect answer to take the strain away from where you don’t want it (your joints, knees, or back and right where you do want it: the glutes.

It’s compact

If you don’t have a dedicated workout space at home, a bulky piece of equipment that sits in the middle of your living room isn’t exactly practical (or aesthetically pleasing). With the twist of two screws, the DB Method easily folds flat enough to stow away under your bed or couch alongside your walking pad. And thanks to its wheels, changing up your scenery from your at-home office to in front of the TV is a cinch. A 10-minute DB Method workout could look like squatting while taking calls or watching TV.

What are the cons of the DB Method?

It’s costly

Does the DB Method do what it claims? According to the website’s stats, it’s a resounding “yes.” And while the $329 includes the machine, a month of access to workouts from certified trainers on the DB Method app, and The DreamMount phone and tablet holder, it’s still an investment for something that’s limited in function. If your main goal is to build strength and volume in your glutes, there are more cost-effective ways to do it, like learning how to squat with the help of YouTube or a personal trainer and doing a variety of booty-centric movements (i.e., hip thrusts, glute bridges, lunges, deadlifts). You’ll just need to dedicate more time and effort to get the exercise down (compared to the DB Method taking the guesswork out of the setup and range of motion).

It doesn’t check off every fitness benefit

The DB Method is designed for one purpose: to perfect the squat. If you do the same workout every day, you’re likely not giving these muscle groups time to repair, and you’re more prone to plateauing. You may be working additional muscles to the glutes, but you are not working all of your muscles, and you’re also not getting cardiovascular benefits. Think of the DB Method as an effective addition to a fitness routine (such as pairing it with cardio, arm strengthening days, or yoga classes) rather than the entire fitness routine.

Is the DB Method worth it?

The DB Method fulfills its promise of taking the guesswork out of performing a squat correctly (goodbye, knee strain!). And based on the brand-driven studies, the results don’t lie—neither do the DB Method fans. Comments from users include, “Three weeks in and I’m seeing lifting and rounding in progress,” and “Today marks 90 days in my journey… I have never been this consistent… I feel stronger every day.”

Since its focus is on one movement (albeit you can perform other exercises using it), the DB Method can be a solid supplement to a well-rounded workout routine (like a combination of strength training, Pilates, and walking)—it’s not a balanced approach to fitness and doesn’t allow for much flexibility in workouts on its own. That said, if it helps you prioritize movement every day, builds muscle while taking strain off of joints or knees and back, and helps you build confidence to start weight lifting or feel comfortable in the gym, the DB Method is worth the money. And if it happens to result in a perkier butt, all the better.

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