You can’t do it! You can’t tell me you believe in functional training and then talk about individual muscles. Sorry, it just doesn’t work. It doesn’t matter whether you are talking about biceps, transverse abdominis, or glutes, these are individual muscles and guess what individual muscles NEVER do? They NEVER work by themselves in real life.
When was the last time you JUST flexed your biceps to move something or walked by JUST activating your glutes? You never have because this goes against every way our body actually functions in life.
That is why it drives me nuts to hear people talk about things like training the glutes and only give exercise to “feel the burn” or so they can stack tons of weight upon a bar. No one almost ever asks, “is this working?” or “am I getting better?”
Sadly, a lot of this goes back to the fact most don’t understand how the most important machine, their body, actually works!
The reason we keep showing images like the one above is to give a simple explanation of how our body is connected. Trust me, we could go down a pretty deep hole trying to get into ALL that the body does during movement. Unfortunately, that would only probably end up with you having your eyes roll in the back of your head.
My biggest goal isn’t to confuse or overwhelm you, but to empower you to understand how your body works at a foundational level so you can use smarter exercises that actually impacts your body. Especially when it comes to training the glutes, there is SO much confusion to what we are aiming for. How about we dispel some of these myths!
Myth 1: Glutes are active because we “lift” our hips!
Most people forget that our bodies are mostly designed for walking, running, and jumping. Taking our body through space, not looking a certain way in a bathing suit. That means we can go back to HOW we walk, run, etc, to better understand our bodies.
When it comes to the glutes, we know that they are closely associated with what happens at the foot. If you don’t believe me just stand up and without doing anything but squeezing the ground with your feet as hard as you can what do you feel tense up? Hamstrings and glutes? You got it! So, knowing this we realize that the glutes start with what we do with the feet.
This means anything we do for the glutes has to come from the ground up. We want to “grab” the ground with our feet and using positions like half kneeling can make using the glutes more effective because the slight instability of the body makes the foot grab for the ground.
Ultimate Sandbag Training drills like Greg Gergely Perlaki shows above does two things. For one, the Half Kneeling Arc Press with Core Strap isn’t so much a pressing exercise for the upper body as it is a core and glutes exercise. Learning to press down and resist the lateral forces of the body make this an incredible drill for learning how and when to use the core and glutes.
The lateral squat press out takes us to another important concept of the glutes.
Myth 2: Glutes just move the hips forward and back
It seems like most people get that our glutes don’t work just up and down, that is why they have a fan shape in their design on our body. That is because our glutes must both help extend our hips AND stabilize them with our core from unwanted movement like shown below.
One of the big reasons we do things in our DVRT progressions as we do is that we want to start challenging this specific job of the glutes. You see that in us challenging the glutes in different planes of motion like in the lateral press out squats or maintaining alignment and posture like in these drills that Greg has his client show so well.
Myth 3: Laying on the ground is the best way to train the glutes
I know people don’t say this out loud, but it is reflected in how they treat the glutes in their workout. Even if you are going for “activation” with glute bridges everything should start with the feet and get you standing as soon as possible.
Why? For all the reasons we just explained above. Our bodies are designed to navigate the challenges gravity exposes us to and that means producing and resisting force while integrating our core and feet!
That’s also why when we do any type of exercise for the glutes we want to really focus on the integration of the feet and core in every exercise. So, again, even as Greg shows a standard lateral band walk you will notice the integration of our Press Outs to stimulate the core interaction of the movement. Also why when we do build a foundation by doing ground work we still adhere to the same ideas in the videos below!
Training the glutes is important, but more important is teaching them to work with our bodies naturally. That is what we hope DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training teaches people more than anything, how to use their body smarter and get better results!
If you love to learn how to use the best machine in the world, our bodies, at their highest level don’t miss our upcoming DVRT courses HERE
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