Every now and then a new client comes a long looking to improve something-from having nice arms, a flat stomach, “toned and defined” legs, become stronger, a flat butt…
It immediately came to my attention that this was a problem. Of course there are tons of people out there who still have this goal.
I have dedicated a large part of my training career to keep this from happening. I was sure to not let this happen to this unsuspecting woman for she was unaware of the “power of the booty.”
As soon as I came up with the idea to write about this subject-for those of you who know me-I was über excited.
*Uhh creepo…what’s that supposed to mean?*
Yes, I’m an ass-man. Asside (see what I did there) from my personal preferences-I’m talking from an aesthetic and performance point of view that should be a means to work towards in your training. So what’s the big deal? Let me holla at ya for a moment.
Note: I’m not the biggest nerd on the planet-thus explaining the biomechanics to you at best will be in what others might consider “laymen’s terms.” Simply because, well, people don’t really care. They just want a nice functioning (and looking) bottom.
Gluteus Maximus– The larger-outer part of the buttocks. It helps you rotate your leg outwards, lift the thigh frontward and raise the thigh to the side. So when this bad boy is tight or really sore, this is the muscle screaming at you while you go up a flight of stairs or get up from the toilet. 😉
Gluteus Medius-It’s essentially the middle part of the glutes. It’s what we call an internal and external rotator for the hips (bringing your leg inwards and outwards) and is a major factor in hip stabilization. Remember when grandma broke her hip because she fell on the slippery floor? Heck, remember when you slipped on the floor???
Yep, this is one of the reasons why that you weren’t able to catch yourself. So we’re talking about lateral movement and stability here. Think of ice skaters, basketball players, football players; just about any athlete that is required to play a sport utilizing these kinds of movements. The glute med needs to be “awake” and ready for activity to keep you up right and stable.
Gluteus Minimus– This little guy runs deep in booty. It rests below the glute max and glute med. It works to stabilize your hip and thigh and also helps to lift the leg to the side and rotate the leg inward-so it partners up with the glute med to keep things all balanced out.
People who don’t even want a bigger-better butt *lord help them*, all the things that you want to do just to keep fit-yoga, pilates, dancing, running, walking up the stairs sideways, ice skating, etc .-you’re gonna have a bad time.
But let’s put all that business aside for a second and think about the implications of not having a “strong enough” butt for daily living.
80%+ of my clients pretty much sit on their bottoms for a living. In fact a lot of jobs in the US are sedentary and with poor posture. Which pretty much means sore backs, and weak butts.
Anytime you sit down, you’re basically training your muscles to shut off. In this case-we’re referring to the core muscles. Your core is basically made up of the muscles in the abdomen, lower back, glutes, and hip muscles. When those are inactive, the spine and internal organs are subjected to harm if the muscles aren’t strong enough.
There’s a reason why most bodyguards and bouncers have a pretty good amount of muscle….for protection from of others.
There are tons of runners and triathlete groups in the town of Bloomington-Normal. You’d be hard press to not find a single one of them that sit down for a living.
Training the behind in this case especially needs to be a priority. Nope, not your chest or your arms or even your calves, it’s all about Da Butt!!
As displayed by the man himself, Bret “The Glute Guy” Contreras, the “American Hip Thrust” is a fantastic way to build up your glutes. Why is he called the glute guy? Check out his website and see for yourself.
I use this movement quite regularly in my training to improve power in my squat and deadlift…and to look good in my Lulu-bottoms of course.
Speaking of deadlifts….it’s my favorite exercise. There are many ways to do it; going conventional, sumo, semi-sumo, even using a trap-bar or kettlebell will do. Here’s Ben Bruno performing Trap Bar deadlifts (for lots of reps).
Here’s another good one by my guy, Tony Gentilcore. Shown here is a single leg movement that works very well. Notice this move is training lateral movement. We like to use a movement like this for our athletes, particularly for hockey players. Still, anything to train the backside properly is a good exercise.
Lastly, here is one of my favorite exercises to train the glutes explosively and also as a conditioning tool-the Kettlebell Swing. Here, Marianne exquisitely demonstrates the movement with not one…but two kettlebells totaling 88lbs!!. How bad ass is that!?
Training your backside is only one piece of the puzzle, but it’s a big piece.
No matter what your goals are-as eluded above-having strong glutes is essential in everyday life. Working on mobility, stabilization, strength and flexibility is going to make everything so much better. Keeping it simple like the exercises above. can make all the difference.
So incorporate some of these into your programming and let me know what you think!!! Happy Training!