|In Part I we covered some pre-training measures you can use to get your glutes fired up and ready to go. Now it's time to get to work on strengthening them. Before we discuss the exercises, let's go over four regulations. If you violate these four groundrules, we'll kick your ass (no pun intended).
1) You'll use a full range of motion (ROM) on all exercises, even if you're the most inflexible person alive.
2) You'll drive/lead with the heel and not prance around like a sissy on your tiptoes.
3) You'll keep the torso erect (chest high and scapulae retracted) to ensure a full ROM.
4) You'll check your ego at the door and decrease the weight if necessary to perform the exercises correctly!
Every rule doesn’t apply to every exercise, but more often than not, these little cues will help you to increase your gluteal function and strength. Now, let's move on to the exercises!
|We need an appropriate balance between strength and mobility in our hips. This is true if we want to squat or deadlift more weight, jump higher or sprint faster. A world-renowned philosopher by the name of Coolio may have said it best: "You can't have da' hop if ya don't have da' hip!" It’s no surprise that athletes in sports like Olympic lifting, powerlifting and sprinting have amazing overall development in both flexibility and strength of the hip musculature.
We see tons of injuries to the hamstrings and lower back, but rarely encounter any sort of injury to the glutes. The fact of the matter is that most athletes are tight in the hamstrings, lower back and hip flexors. This collection of problems is related to a lack of strength and motor control in the gluteal muscles. When the hip flexors (antagonists to the gluteus maximus) are overactive, the gluteus maximus becomes weak via a mechanism known as reciprocal inhibition.
Furthermore, when our "butt" muscles aren’t up to the task, the hamstrings and erector spinae muscles are forced to work overtime to compensate. This is known as synergistic dominance. This unfortunate cycle often results in injury, or at the very least, sub-optimal levels of performance.