You can’t get past it, if you REALLY want to get results from your training, you are going to have to know a little bit about the dirty “s-word”. No, not the one you might be thinking of right now, but science! I know, you hear the word and horrible flashbacks of your high school biology class kick in and you want to run for the hills. Science takes all the fun out of your training right? After all, you just want to lift heavy s*#t right?! Sadly, it is this mentality that keeps people from truly loving to train and getting the results they want. A perfect example is why most people miss what glute training should and needs to be all about!
A lot of us don’t like looking at science because it can make us feel overwhelmed (after all there is a TON of information on the internet nowadays right? A lot of it is NOT good!) and it can make us feel silly. Trust me, I know, you would think going through Physical Therapy school I would have how the body works nailed! However, that is what Josh opened my mind to in looking at functional anatomy (how our muscles work in life) rather than dead person anatomy!
Why does glute training tend to be the perfect vehicle to demonstrate this point? Because so many people struggle with the difference of feeling a “pump” and making our glutes work, perform, and integrate with the rest of the body at the highest levels. What’s the difference? That is where understanding some functional anatomy is key!
As fitness educator, Derrick Price shares, “As we peel back the layers of the buttocks, we find an abundance of myofascia running multidirectionally around the pelvis, sacrum and femur, allowing the hip to be one of the body’s most stable and mobile joints. The short distances between the origin and insertion points of the various gluteal and hip-rotator muscles also provide good leverage and power for hip propulsion and stabilization. The multidirectional orientation of these muscles allows us to absorb and transmit force in a variety of directions, but only if we train the body accordingly.”
You can see the glute muscles don’t run up and down so trying to train them in that manner only doesn’t make a lot of sense.
So, what do we do? We have discussed hip bridges a lot on our blogs, but I wanted to go a different direction. How do we ideally combine how glute training can work with the body, science, and improve how you look and perform? We gotta get standing!!
One of the best examples of using glute training for all the abilities of the glutes is our MAX lunge, but you don’t have to do JUST MAX lunges to gain the great benefits. Why do I say the best? The MAX lunge concept gives us load, strength, power, but also the need to resist movement, be stable, and have connection throughout the entire body!
Coach Dos shows that the MAX Lunge isn’t about just using small weights, we can push the MAX Lunge and really feel the power of glute training as we gain proficiency.
My favorite part of DVRT is the fact that our exercises come at so many levels and slight tweaks give them new life! A great example of that is when fitness expert, Alwyn Cosgrove, showed how we can use the MAX (multiple axis) idea in many forms of glute training like step-ups.
When people saw this exercise I am sure it must have seemed a bit confusing at first. Why were we doing this after all?! The shoulder position of the Ultimate Sandbag challenges us in the frontal plane and the movement of the Ultimate Sandbag in the suitcase position trains us to produce and resist force in all three planes of motion. That means though we don’t have to do it just one way as DVRT Master Cory Cripe shows.
While most would think the example Alwyn gave is harder than doing it with no additional weight, that is actually the opposite! Load on the opposing side gives us the ability to create tension that helps prevent rotation in the lumbar spine which is what we do NOT want to happen! Real glute training teaches the glutes to work with the feet, lats, and core. That’s why you have to understand the principles of good movement and if we are going to challenge people’s ability to resist movement, we better give them tools to know HOW! This combo that Josh shows is actually using the suitcase position of the Ultimate Sandbag and the rack of the kettlebell to do just that!
In the end, if we understand a little science and how to build progression we can come up with powerful solutions. Like Strength Coach, Joel Gunterman, shows as he was rehabbing from his Achilles injury. However, there might be a question still looming in your head…”will this ACTUALLY build muscle?”
There is study after study showing that load is NOT the determining factor in achieving muscle growth and that only relying on such methods can be really misleading. Studies that show that exercises with some instability (not too drastic) actually create more muscle activity than more stable exercises with MORE weight (like this one HERE). So, does this build muscle? You better believe it! Better yet, it makes you move better, perform better, and live better in and out of the gym!
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