The glutes are fairly underrated pieces of your anatomy. Your glutes are your biggest and most powerful muscles (ideally), they protect your back, protect your hip joint and pelvis, improve your squat and deadlift, vertical jump, sprinting speed, ensure you don’t overload your hammies, and look damn good when they’re conditioned.
It’s common to have glutes that are lazy and flabby in today’s modern world. When I initially test for glute function, the glutes typically lag well behind the action of the hamstrings and back muscles, causing overload in these other areas and shear forces across joints. If you’re glutes are super strong, it’s pretty difficult to injure your lower back and give yourself a hamstring strain. If your glutes are strong, your core is likely to be working better and you are typically a more powerful, athletic human.
Sleeping pills for the glutes include;
- Pain, for example, back pain
- Sitting.. and we do a lot of it
- Not being active enough and when we are active, we adopt crappy movement patterns
- Muscle imbalances and reciprocal inhibition, for example, tight hip flexors.
In exercises, the gluteal contribution increases as the movement moves especially into hip hyperextension. You use the glutes when you are lifting, jumping, walking, running, squatting, lunging, change direction quickly, throwing, or decelerating your body in rotational movement. If your glutes are weak, loads are automatically taken up by the lower back and hamstrings. Lower back pain is an extremely common musculo-skeletal disorder and can be effectively rehabbed with strengthening of the glutes, hamstrings and abdominals if the issue is purely strength related.
Here are a few ways that I prefer to train my glutes. Some of these are fairly advanced and specific to athletic movements. If you’re new to strength training, find a fitness professional to teach you correct form and learn regressed versions of these exercises before you jump straight into it. You can also check out loads more exercises with technique instructions at michelledrielsma.com
Glute Strength and Conditioning
1. Barbell Hip Thrusts
Position your back on a bench, roll a padded barbell back into your hip crease. Extend the hips up to about 10 degrees hip hyperextension, don’t hyperextend the lower back or anteriorly tilt your pelvis. You should feel this all in your glutes, not your lower back. Control the weight up rather than swinging a weight up that’s too heavy.
2. Barbell Glute Bridge
Same as above yet position your back and feet on the ground and extend the weight up from the hips, making sure you are holding the barbell securely so that it doesn’t roll back onto your face.
3. Single Leg Hip Thrust
Perform with your back on a bench and the working leg on the floor, or with the working leg on another bench so that your glutes have to work through a greater range. Aim to keep the pelvis level and extend to about 10 degrees hyperextension, as above.
4. Skater to Curtsy Squat
Squat on one leg with your opposite leg out to the side (skater), then to the back and then crossed behind your body (curtsy). The video below is in double time to make life more interesting, perform this in half time! I aim for 5 reps per side, per set.
5. High Step Up
Really high steps, like above the knee. Go for power, raising your body up as fast as possible, tap the ground between each rep and lift yourself straight back up. If 10reps is easy, either make the step higher or hold weight (dumbell, weight vest).
6. Low Box Squat
By sitting back, not just down, the squatting muscles are stretched maximally. Lower, relax and then contract dynamically, forcefully pushing your hips forward and flexing your butt to stand up again.
With box squatting, your shins can go past the point of being perpendicular to the floor, which places all the stress on the major squatting muscles – hips, glutes, lower back, hamstrings.
7. Nomad Glute Burner
Perform anywhere in the world you are, without the use of anything other than a chair, bench, sofa, bed or table. Perform 20-30 single leg hip extensions (foot elevated) followed by 10 hip external + internal rotations. This is definitely a burner.
Rotate these exercises and don’t just stick to your favourites. As mentioned above, if you are new to strength training, grab a good coach.
See me online for more unique and effective training exercises.
To make sure you are looking good while working out, check out these favourites..