Maybe if you haven’t heard, glute training is all the rage!
No, not just for the ladies in spandex in the group fitness classes, EVERYONE!
From top level athletes, serious iron lifters, and everyone in between.
Well, for good reason, the glutes are REALLY important!
You probably knew they were the biggest muscle in your body, however, you may have not known they might be just as if not MORE important to prevent low back pain than your abs. In truth, your glutes are a big part of your core and should be considered as essential as any abdominal muscle.
Your glutes help stabilize your pelvis. When you walk, run, jump, do really anything, your glutes are a big part of the reason your low back doesn’t get destroyed!
Now unfortunately, like EVERYTHING in fitness, when something gets popular it also gets bastardized. So of course you now have people setting up elaborate routines, exercises, and equipment to really “hit” the glutes!
We have to understand what is REALLY going on when we are trying to train the glutes. You might be expecting me to go into some really LONG and BORING anatomy lesson of the pelvis. Don’t worry, not going to go there! Why?! Because when we look at muscles in isolation sometimes we forget how they work in real life.
If we look at our anatomy books, you will see that the glute max is primary in extending our hips (like coming from sitting to standing) and rotating our leg out (like when you turn your feet out). Glute med resists adduction and creates abduction of the hip (so it allows you to let your leg to be moved out to the side). The glute minimus also abducts, extends, and medially rotates the hip. Okay, so I lied about the boring anatomy lesson!
So, what’s my point?
Well, of course I have a few:) For one, our glutes work as a group, but they also work together with a lot of other muscles to create hip extension and some of the other patterns. Speaking about a singular muscle group in isolation doesn’t fit what we know about human movement. Huh? We know that the quads for example actually fire differently when they are being testing on a leg extension machine than a squat. Weird right?!
Our goal shouldn’t be to isolate the glutes, rather to teach them to work correctly in conjunction with all the other muscles. Therefore, it is more of a timing issue than really a “let’s get big glutes!”
In fact, you will be surprised how many people I have worked with that have strong looking glutes, but to only find they don’t work at the right time. The result? They don’t perform or feel as good as you would think!
My other point is that the glutes also help RESIST a lot of excessive motion if they work well. Training them means you don’t just ask them to produce force, but resist force as well. That is why starting with glute bridges on the ground is a great foundation, but our body doesn’t learn how to move through space. Remember, one of the things that make humans really unique is that we are bipedal (we walk on two legs). So, if we don’t teach the body how to move through space and not just create motion, but RESIST it, we actually aren’t building a real functional body.
The other reason most don’t train their glutes right is don’t teach the glutes to work with the trunk. That doesn’t make a lot of sense. When we walk, run, or do really anything in the real world, our trunk works WITH our glutes to create motion. Again, training the glutes in isolation really doesn’t make sense unless you just want to “feel” like your glutes are getting smoked.
That is why I am going to share with you some great solutions!
The first is from our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training Correctives program (Check our NEW Live Version HERE) . DVRT Master, Mitch Hauschildt, shows you how you make the glute bridge a hell of a lot more beneficial!
Once you establish some good baseline control on the ground, we want to get you standing! That is why the next series contains “glute training” with varying speeds, angles, and movement patterns. We want to focus on not just producing force, but learning to resist it as well. These drills were a big reason that I was able to take Jessica with 5 disc herniations from not being able to bodyweight squat without pain to Clean and Pressing the Burly Ultimate Sandbag. It does work!
Understanding the body is important in knowing where to spend your time in your training. We want to maximize your time and energy spent training so try these DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training drills and let us know how they work for you!