By now, I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record to most of my clients, but it’s extremely justified…. The power of a strong booty is actually a ‘thing’!
Plus, there’s also a growing epidemic happening right now all over the world. Women
are rebelling against being “skinny”. What women (and some men) want are stronger, better glutes. But there is a problem… Unfortunately, “conventional” leg training doesn’t automatically lead to optimal glute activation. Many favourite compound movements (squats, deadlifts, and lunges) won’t get you the booty you want. Yes, they will help, but what ends up happening is that your legs grow, not your glutes. So let’s embrace this aesthetic desire that society has constructed, and turn it into a positive, functional adaptation that will go a long way to preventing a myriad of injuries.
One of the main reasons why people exercises is to improve overall appearance, right? When someone works out for aesthetic purposes they usually focus on one or two body parts during a workout, but rarely is there a day targeting the glutes. There is a day for arms. A day for chest. A day for abs. But never a day for glutes, just ‘lower body’ or ‘legs’.
If you stop to think about it, glutes are rarely trained intentionally. Is it because they are too difficult to isolate? Or are there not enough exercises to do for the glutes? If you want bigger, stronger glutes, wouldn’t it make sense to train glutes, the biggest and strongest muscle in the body, on their own? Squats and deadlifts aren’t the best exercises for building bigger, stronger glutes for a few reasons. To be able to complete these compound movements effectively, we require a certain amount of ankle and hip ROM. These 2 areas are very commonly restricted in most people, due to our sedentary jobs (prolonged sitting) or sitting whilst watching TV etc. Due to these functional limitations, our bodies are great at compensating, and generally recruit accessory muscles to help the big prime mover do the work of squatting. What we end up with is overactive hip flexors, calves and lower backs, which lead to muscle and joint pain.
Below are a few exercises that will facilitate optimal glute muscle recruitment:
HIP THRUST (GLUTE MAX)
GLUTE BRIDGE (GLUTE MAX)
BANDED CLAMSHELL (GLUTE MIN/MED)
KNEELING SIDE PLANK W/STRAIGHT LEG ABDUCTION (GLUTE MIN/MED)
The best way to promote compliance with any form of physical exercise is to maintain good movement patterns. This will allow people to not only enjoy the exercises that they’re doing, but it allows them to do them properly. The hardest thing we have as a society is slowing down. Whether it be at work, at home, or at the gym. We need to keep up appearances, and get on with things. But what if we actually took the time to slow down and listen to our body, through the small niggles we develop? These are warning signs, that something is not functioning how it should, and we need to do something about it. Yes rehab (or prehab) isn’t glamorous, but if we took time to trust the process, more people would be exercising efficiently, and maintain activity over a length of time… And if we can build and maintain a strong booty as part of an injury prevention program, that’s a bonus, right?!
At Movement Theory, our passion is identifying imbalances within the body that may be contributing to these faulty movement patterns. For more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our therapists for a comprehensive assessment.