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GLUTES: Your Key To Gaining More Strength & Looking Better Naked

It's Time To Show Off Your Biggest Muscle!

Posted by RobbieFarlow - February 9th, 2017

Guys, I get it. You want to build arms that burst out of your sleeves, a thick back that intimidates a gorilla, and a set of pecs that make you look like you're cut out of a comic book. You know, the body of your dreams.

You don’t hate training legs. You still dedicate a day to making sure you’re not walking around with chicken legs. But, as of late, your strength numbers are stalling in both the squat and deadlift. And the only thing that’s slightly less worse than getting cock-blocked by your best friend is not progressing in the strength game.

So here’s my question: Are you focusing more on your quads, and avoiding direct glute training? If you are, then you’re not training for optimal muscle growth and performance. When it comes to increasing the weight you squat and deadlift, you need a powerful pair of glute muscles. Plus, let’s be honest, you’re training to look better naked, right? And when it comes to looking your best, with or without clothes, you don’t want to be sporting a flat pancake shaped butt.

The Gluteus Maximus

In case you’re unaware, the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in your body. But due to our extremely sedentary lifestyles, these powerhouse muscles are weakened by sitting.

The glutes have a few primary functions:

  • Extending your hip (think kettlebell swings)
  • Abduction of your legs (moving your legs away from your body)
  • External rotation and internal rotation of the hip joint.
  • The gluteus maximus also supports the extension of your knee

For athletes who need quick bursts of speed, like sprinters or football players, strong and powerful glutes help them exert a tremendous amount of power in short bursts. But you don’t need to be an athlete like Usain Bolt or Le'veon Bell to benefit from developing your glutes. Not only will building a better pair of glutes help you increase your squat and deadlift numbers, but developing glute strength aids in improving your posture and reducing lower back pain.

To accomplish this, you need to focus on exercises that require powerful and explosive hip extension.

It’s All In The Hips

When it comes to hip extension, you can’t go wrong with the three exercises below.

  • Hip Thrusts
  • Cable Pull-Throughs
  • Frog Pumps

Hip Thrusts

Before advancing with weighted hip thrusts, make sure you’ve mastered the bodyweight version first. That also includes challenging yourself to single-leg hip thrust variations as well. Single-leg hip thrusts will set your butt on fire more than a late night visit to Taco Bell.

Cable Pull-Through

Now, when it comes to building a stronger pair of glutes and perfecting your hip hinge technique, there is no exercise I love more than the cable pull-through. This exercise will not only increase the size of your backside, but it’s also an excellent way to get some extra work in on your hamstrings as well.

As much as I love this exercise, there are a couple of mistakes I see my clients make when they first learn it. One, they round their lower back instead of hinging at their hips. The second mistake is that with the rope in hand, they perform an almost half rep of a rope curl as they came back up to standing. Check the video below for a technique cue I use to keep yourself from feeling it in your arms, which is not where you want to feel this exercise.

Frog Pumps

The above two exercises are among my favorite for building larger and more bodacious glutes. But some people still struggle to feel their glutes during sexercises exercises, and this bodyweight drill is a great way to stimulate the glutes and help you wake those bad boys from their slumber.

But this exercise isn’t only a glute activating drill. You can use it to burn out your glutes at the end of a workout. Though I will admit, it does feel a bit silly to perform at first. Then again once you feel it, you’ll love it.

Oh, but I’m not done yet. You have two more glute muscles that need your sweet love and attention.

Wait, There Are Two Other Glute Muscles?

Yep. The glute medius and minimus are often forgotten about, or never directly trained, but they’re essential to improving overall glute function and lower body function.

Your glute medius and minimus work in abduction, moving your leg away from your body. But they also assist in internal rotation and external rotation of the hip joint.

Do you have problems with your knees caving inward as you squat? This is what is known as knee valgus, and it’s something you don’t want. To prevent this and keep your knees safe, you need to focus on some glute medius/minimus training.

Beyond lifting, though, a weak glute medius can lead to knee joint imbalances. And you don’t want that to happen, but stronger glutes (all three muscles) can help prevent this. Exercises that isolate and focus on both the glute medius and minimus aren’t complicated. They seem boring at first, but trust me, you’re going feel it the next day.

Here’re a few of my favorites:

  • X-Band Walks
  • Mini Band 4-Way Walks
  • Lateral Lunges
  • Side Lying Hip Abduction
  • Cable Abduction
  • Abduction Machine

Conclusion – Don’t You ‘Butt’ Me

Some of you might be thinking “But I’m a male… isn’t glute training only for women?” Nope. It’s for EVERYONE. Stronger, more powerful glutes aren’t only a necessity for superstar athletes. Training your glutes translates to running faster, lifting heavier, and producing more force via hip extension. You’ll also build important muscles that aid in preventing back pain, injury, and, you know, looking your best naked.

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posted by RobbieFarlow
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Robbie Farlow, King of the Gingers and Protector of the North, is an uber nerd who loves all things Star Wars, video games, Marvel, and 90s music. Oh and tacos and whiskey. When he isn’t hosting his podcast, Side Quest Podcast, where he interviews the smartest people in fitness, or helping his online coaching clients discover their inner superheroes, or fighting white walkers, you can find him playing video games, deadlifting, munching on tacos, and living by his motto: Scotch and Squats!