An intro to glute training..
There are three gluteal muscles: maximus, medius and minimus. Together these are the most popular muscle group I am asked to help our Personal Training (and Online Coaching) clients develop! Of course, the request is most popular with our female clients. However, men now also understand the benefit of having strong, properly developed glutes. There was even a cool article in Men’s Health recently > CLICK
The shape and strength of your glutes demonstrates their role in maintaining upright posture. They are also responsible for a huge amount of strength/power development in sprinting, jumping and squatting. The glutes tie in to fascia that supports proper pelvic floor and lower back health. If you suffer lower back pain, I strongly suggest ensuring that your glutes are first strong and function properly.
Like so many hot topics in fitness, the subject of gluteal training has become flooded with a thousand differing opinions on the best way to do so. As always, I want to use this blog to offer what I feel are the simplest and biggest impact ideas to consider in order to optimise your efforts…
What doesn’t work so well…
“Squats, squats and more squats!”
Absolutely, squats stimulate and help develop the glutes, but preferentially squats develop the large muscles of the thighs. If focusing too heavily on squat variations, many find that their thighs develop far quicker (and relatively larger) than their glutes.
For most females we work with, better gluteal development is the goal more so than thigh development. If prioritising your gluteal muscles, squats are fantastic but only one part of the puzzle.
What I find most effective…
Understanding that your glutes have multiple functions and therefore multiple movements/ranges that must be overloaded.
Squats and deadlifts effectively overload your glutes in “the bottom position” of each exercise. However, very little tension is found at the top of each exercise. There are many who suggest consciously “squeezing” your glutes at the top of these movements to add tension. In my opinion, there are far more effective exercises that can help us here. Read on!
What “one thing” can you action…
There are many effective and beneficial exercises to help develop your glutes. For this reason, they are a muscle group that responds well to variety and can be a lot of fun to train!
One key point to improve the effectiveness of your glute development is to pick exercises that are “hardest” at both the bottom and the top position (when the hips are extended, such as hyper or reverse-hyper extensions). Overloading the muscles at both end-ranges, across your workout, is key to maximising the results you see in the gym.
Thanks for reading.
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