Strong Glutes for Increased Sports Performance
Latest posts by Rich Thurman MA, CSCS CPT, ONNIT KB Specialist (see all)
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Many of you may remember the Sir Mix-A-Lot song, “I Like Big Butts”, but for those of you who do not remember this popular early 90s rap song and wonder why someone would prefer a big butt, think about this.
The butt, which is composed of the Gluteus Maximus, Medius and Minimus is the ultimate sign of strength, power and in most cases a point of attraction for the opposite sex. The Glutes are often neglected and allowed to wither away into nonexistence by the working public who spend most of their time sitting at a desk, riding escalators instead of taking the stairs and generally performing activities without activating the Glute muscles.
But why should I have strong or shaped Glutes you ask?
Well first of all, to hold up those pants without having to pull your belt so tight that it cuts off circulation.
No, but on a more serious note, having strong Glutes can help improve posture, ease back pain, strengthen your running stride, help prevent knee and hamstring injuries and increase power output during activities involving the legs, like Basketball, Sprinting, Volleyball, Soccer, Football, etc.
One of the things we emphasize at Xodus Fitness with all of our new personal training clients is the importance of Glute activation. A good personal trainer should first identify weaknesses or imbalances during initial evaluations and many of the problems that clients face, whether it is in their performance or dealing with pain can often be traced directly back to a weakness or an imbalance in the Glutes.
>>Activating the muscle fibers of the Glutes are the first step in developing a stronger, more shapely butt and legs.
Learning how to trigger those muscles on command and integrating their usage into the lower leg exercises that you may have done for years will provide much greater results over the long haul.
Once you have successfully learned how to activate the Gluts, multi-joint exercises like squats and lunges will provide much more results.
For the ladies who are concerned with having a larger butt, don’t worry one bit. These are the reasons why:
>>The Glutes are the largest, most powerful muscle group of the body. For this reason, when we stimulate growth of these muscles, not only are the muscles used more, but more calories are utilized resulting in greater overall fat loss throughout the body.
>>Muscle takes up less space than fat. More muscle, less fat…less space. Just ask my personal training clients how their jeans fit since we’ve been Glute training.
>>Muscle has a defined shape giving the body nice curves. Need I say more?
For all the guys who are thinking, I don’t want to do Jane Fonda exercises; these are the reasons to reconsider:
>>Consider a guy like Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth. Him and many other sprinters have very large Glutes. For all of the men striving to be faster but focusing on the quadriceps, think again. It is the Glutes that are required for horizontal propulsion.
>>Just because you’re doing heavy squats doesn’t mean that you’re actually activating your Glutes.
Some other exercises you may want to consider are.
- Glute Bridges
- Hip Thrusts
- Single Leg Bridge
These exercises are more effective at targeting the Glutes specifically. Once you have better control of your Glutes during these exercises, you’ll find that you may have a better engagement during your Squats and Deadlifts.
So don’t forget your backside gentlemen!
So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get off your backside and get moving.
Feel free to leave your comments, questions or your own personal input in the comments section below.
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