It’s a universal truth.
The easiest, quickest way for most people to feel and perform better is to get their ass in gear…literally, like, make it do something other than store Krispy Cremes.
“for us, for athletes, glutes are everything — the absolute epicenter and powerhouse of all athletic movement. It’s all about the ass.“- Mark Verstegen
Simply put, the glutes are the most important muscle group in the body.
“Maybe normal people don’t discuss this all day long, but we sure do,” says Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. “Every strength coach I’ve ever been around, it’s glute, glute, glute — always, always, always. It’s a broken record. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase “You want to look better going than coming.”
The Butt is the epicenter of ALL human movement.
If the Butt isn’t working you can’t move, distribute and create forces the way you should because the pelvis will not remain in a proper alignment forcing the rest of the kinetic chain to adapt to this faulty patterning with dysfunctional movement.
Simple explanation: You’ll be Jacked Up.
The glutes act as both stabilizers and primary movers of the torso and upper leg .
Now think about how many movements you do throughout the day that involve movement or stabilization of your legs and/ or torso.
Just about every one…other….. than……. SITTING…which is killing us..
That should tell you something, me thinks there might be a connection……
should have NEED to have Strong Glutes:
- Strong Glutes help to “set” the pelvis, keeping it centered and level allowing the core and legs to effectively transfer forces maximizing strength, power and stability.
- Strong Glutes limit the amount of stress and movement the lower back experiences, helping to keep the structures ie. YOUR SPINE, healthy and pain-free.
- Strong Glutes help to keep the Femur aligned with the Tibia, preventing tibial shear and knee pain, not to mention…
- Strong Glutes reduce the likely hood of ACL tears and sprains as well as….
- Hamstring strains and tears due to the hamstrings, not the Glutes, being used as primary hip extensors.
Training the Glutes:
Because most people have poor glute activation and development to begin with glute training needs to be progressive and move in stages to prevent the hamstrings from taking over or from “fake” movement, usually over arching, occurring at the lower back.
Stages of Glute Training:
- Learning to activate the glutes, primarily single joint isolation movements.
- Learning to use the glutes in integrated movement compound movements.
- Glute Hypertrophy, learning to preferentially activate the glutes throughout movements.
Stage One: Glute Isolation/ Activation
These exercises either completely take out other joints or try to keep the number of possible moving joints to a minimum. This will help to keep the hip muscles as the only ones creating movement. Working in isolation will help you to build the mind muscle connection and “turn on” the glutes.
Key thing to remember: Stay “flat” at the hips, don’t rotate to create movement. Focus on squeezing the butt hard to rotate the leg out.
Key thing to remember: Sit tall, core tight, don’t rock the feet, push the knee out from the hips.
Donkey Kick over a Bench:
Key thing to remember: NO MOVEMENT at the lower back. The hips must stay flat and locked to the bench.
Glute Bridge With Band:
Key thing to remember: Keep the ribs down, don’t arch up from the lower back, we’re looking for hip extension NOT lumbar extension.
For future reference this is the opposite of “Ribs Down”:
Stage Two: Integrated Movement
These movements are either compound movements that, if done correctly, almost force glute activation or movements that if you don’t focus on the glutes other muscles can take over. Because of that, make sure you have exercises from the first section down pat and have good glute activation….ie you can
squeeze flex your butt HARD on command and keep the contraction.
If consciously contracting the glutes and holding the contraction is difficult..you’re not here yet, go back…take your time a LEARN how to do it right.
Weighted Glute Bridge:
Key thing to remember: If you start to feel it in the hamstrings, the weight is too heavy, lower it and focus on the butt doing the work…..and RIBS DOWN…don’t over-arch the lower back.
Key thing to remember: Same stuff as the glute bridge…remember the core should stay locked, the hip is the hinge.
Key thing to remember: No Squatting, PUSH the hips back and DRIVE them forward through lockout…don’t stop short.
Key things to remember: Keep the knee “soft” and push the hips back at the start, don’t just bend over. Focus on pushing the hips forward, not “leaning” back to stand.
Stage Three: Glute Hypertrophy/ Preferential Glute Activation
In this stage you’re going to have to have good glute function, able to preferentially activate the glutes throughout a movement easily, and be looking to add some mass, size and shape otherwise you’ll likely complete these with large contributions from the hamstrings and quads. None of which is necessarily a bad thing, but will take something away from building the glutes.
Key things to remember: Initiate movement from the hips and aim for a close to vertical shin angle at the bottom. Bring the hips over the front knee at the top.
BSS w/ROM: Only for those with awesome hip mobility
Key things to remember: The movement shouldn’t change from the regular version. Make sure you have adequate mobility and strength to be able to maintain optimal body angles (sitting tall, shin vertical, knee not driving forward off the bottom).
Key things to remember: Focus on the hip hinge, squeeze the glutes hard to drive the bell forward and lockout the hip.
Slider (ValSlide) Reverse Lunge:
Key things to remember: Initiate from the hips, sit back. Sit tall and drive up through the hip standing tall over the knee and ankle. The front knee should be vertical or nearly vertical when the back knee is at the bottom.
DO NOT DRIVE THE KNEE FORWARD!!!
“Pull” through the front heel, staple the knee in place and bring the hip over the top…stand tall at the finish. lock the hip out.
The Ultimate ASS builder: The Barbell Hip Thrust
Once you have the hip thrust down add some weight with a barbell across the hips. Use a thick
Tampon Bar Pad or Airex pad around the bar for padding (but eventually you do get used to it).
Take it from someone with an ample posterior
big ass, THESE WORK.…after one good set you’ll feel like your glutes are about to explode.
This is Looooong, but it is a great instructional video about the hip thrust:
Even Tim Tebow hip thrusts!!!
I know, doesn’t mean much to me either, but this sh@t works…
Just for shits and giggles a strong set of glutes usually looks really good too…that helps…..just saying…
There’s a LOT more to know about glute training and if you’re interested I highly recommend you look up “The Glute Guy” Bret Contreras. He has dedicated himself to knowing everything glute and glute related.