Out of all the muscle groups in the body, the region I get asked about most frequently by women is without a doubt the glutes. Women want to know which exercises they should be performing and which protocols they should be following in order to optimize their gluteal development. While these considerations are indeed vital in order to enhance the shape of the glutes, progress all starts with the mind-muscle connection.
But how do we most effectively go about gaining strength and engaging in progressive overload? Do we simply go all out each week and try to add five pounds to the bar on every occasion? Or, is there a more effective strategy that we can implement?
I have three unconventional glute exercises that I would like for you to start implementing into your weekly regimen. I’ve been performing these exercises and prescribing them to my clients with great success.
The glutes can handle a lot of volume, and most exercisers fail to achieve their full potential because they fail to work the glutes thoroughly during their typical training weeks. Before I describe the workouts, let me first delve into some muscle science.
Two of the most common questions I receive regarding glute training is, “How do I target my upper glutes?” and “How do I target my lower glutes?” The answer to these question is somewhat complicated.
Squats are notorious for building strong, athletic backsides. But with so many different squat variations in existence such as goblet squats, box squats, front squats, high bar back squats, low bar back squats, Zercher squats, overhead squats, sumo squats and kneeling squats, many individuals wonder which types of squats they should be performing to maximize glute development.
The glutes are the powerhouse of the human body. They’re essential for running faster, jumping higher, throwing farther and lifting heavier. Therefore, it’s obvious that the gluteus maximus consists of a very high percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers, right? Think again.
As a strength coach, it pains me to walk into any commercial gym and see some skinny kid performing endless isolation movements. I want to pull him aside and teach him the ropes. I’d show him how to hit those deep squats, how to hammer out some deadlifts, and how to press, chin, dip and row. Surely this would enable him to finally start making some gains.
Small tweaks in exercise form can lead to large increases in gluteal muscle activation, and this increased glute activation will lead to greater growth and development. Most gym goers have to learn these tweaks the hard way over the course of many years. In this article, I hope to expedite your learning curve by teaching you the best ways to perform popular glute exercises.
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