Lets face it, there is nothing more attractive on a woman than a nice set of glutes! I speak for the majority of the boys here but I’m sure women also find this to be true. Am I right ladies?!, There is really no further discussion because what female, or male for that matter, doesn’t want a well shaped set of glutes?
For every fit butt I see, there are 50 bubble butts.. Yet strong glutes are essential to any strength athlete because they are the source of power for a very wide range of physical activities, especially those involving running and jumping. People who have weak glutes can still walk normally but cannot go up stairs or a steep incline without extreme fatigue, and running jumping or any other quick foot movements exhaust them quickly. Strong glutes are an asset to every athlete in every sport. Just look at the top performers in a wide range of sports, and you’ll find that they have well-developed glutes. The glutes are part of the power pack, along with the hips, legs and lower back. That’s where the power is generated for so many physical activities: blocking and tackling, throwing and hitting a baseball, taking a jump shot or rebounding, spiking or blocking a volleyball and all facets of a tennis game.
So how do you develop some strong and great looking glutes? The main exercises that specifically target the glutes are front and back squats, lunges, deadlifts, hyper & reverse hyperextensions to name a few; when done properly. Performing the exercises with proper technique is key in activating and strengthening the glutes. The majority of people that I see doing these exercises do not do them correctly and do not get the desired results (stop wasting time and get a Trainer!). Lets take the back squat as an example. Your glutes do not even begin to activate until you squat below 45 degress of hip flexion. Quarter or partial squats as we so often see in the gym may allow you to squat with a lot more weight and make you look strong and impressive to the untrained eye, but the majority of the work comes from the legs, specifically the quadriceps and knees; not from your glutes. Besides not having the desired training effect, you are also putting a lot of unwanted pressure on your knees.
The squat should be done with a full range of motion, quads below parallel to the floor. This causes your glutes, hamstrings, quads and adductors to activate and work synergistically to stabilize the weight, taking the pressure off your knees. In contrast to what some people may think, squatting below parallel is actually a knee saver and strengthens pretty much every single part of the lower extremity, anterior and posterior.
Having a strong posterior kinetic chain (entire back side of your body) is very beneficial for improved sports performance. However even if sports doesn’t interest you, I’m sure you don’t mind looking good!? Firm, fit glutes enhance the physique of both men and women, and you WILL be noticed. 😉
Stay tuned in the next edition for a sample Glute Power exercise programme!
Stay Healthy & Strong,
Steven Wong – CPT, Pn1
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