You probably think I mean “Train Your Ass Off”, right? I guess that would be the case if I was talking about training intensely or training with maximum effort. Instead I’m talking about training that targets the glutes and some of you have no ass to train “off”. There’s a lot of flat backsides patrolling the sidewalk and streets of America to the point where it’s almost almost becoming an epidemic.
Now I’m half kidding when I say it is becoming an epidemic, but in terms of performance training, injury prevention and low back health having a flat backside is a big problem. Even though the glutes are one of the largest and most powerful muscles in the body, people have forgotten how to use them, afraid to use them or don’t want to have them. I feel people have become subconscious about how their glutes look. In my opinion and without getting into to much discussion about how glutes should look, I think good pair of glutes looks a lot better than no pair of glutes. I’m not talking about a rump that shakes. I’m talking about a rump that is strong.
Ines Sainz knows about glute training
Forgetting about aesthetics let’s look at three reasons to focus on glute training and then we’ll look at three ways to involve the glutes in your training program.
- Performance. As mentioned before the glutes are the most powerful muscles in the body. Just take a look at world class sprinters. You are not going to find a sprinter who has a a flat backside, male or female. Without a good pair of glutes you’re not going to be very powerful, you’re not going to be very fast and you’re not going to be very strong.
- Injury Prevention. Your glutes can handle high amounts of work stress. If your glutes are lacking that work stress is going to be transferred to other muscles or joints that are not going to be able to tolerate that stress as much. It’s much easier easier to deadlift an object off the floor than it is to lift that same object by flexing the spine, correct? Deadlifting involves your glutes. Stooping over does not. Or how about the all to common hamstring pull? Some people will say it’s because the hamstrings are tight, but in a good amount of cases it’s because the glutes were under active. Your hamstrings and glutes are both hip extensors, with your glutes having the ability to generate much more force. If your glutes are not up to par, your hamstrings are going to have to generate forces they are not capable of and boom….the common scene of the guy grabbing the back of his leg like he just got shot by a sniper.
- Low Back Health. The muscles of your lower back have little strength potential compared to your glutes. That seems pretty obvious just from a visual standpoint. Your lower back is also a joint that wants stability and doesn’t like much movement involved. Yes, flexion and extension of the lumbar spine are not preferred movement patterns. Hip extension is a preferred movement pattern, but when the glutes aren’t firing correctly or not strong enough lumbar extension will usually occur as a compensation. In simple terms, having a good set of glutes is going to take stress of your lower back.
So you know that having a strong set of glutes is a must. Know you need to know how to train them. I’ll cover that in Part Two.