This week, we’re heading back into the gym and talking about all things butt. Our favorite (and not so favorite, but effective) movements for growing your glutes, eating for good measure and just why having strong glutes is important. Let’s dig in.
WHAT IS A BUTT?
Let’s begin quick on what exactly the glutes are. By definition from the American Council on Exercise: Your glutes are made up of three major muscles: the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. Together, these muscles serve as hip rotators, hip extensors and lateral abductors (moving the leg away from the middle of your body)
- The gluteus maximus — the largest muscle of the three — plays a number of roles in your everyday movement and stability.
- The primary function of the gluteus maximus is to extend and externally rotate the thigh. It only acts when force is necessary. These movements include rising from sitting, straightening from a bending position, walking upstairs or on a hill, and running. It also acts on the pelvis, supports it and the trunk, which is vital when a person is standing on one leg. The gluteus maximus also steadies the femur.
- The gluteus medius lies underneath the gluteus maximus and moves the leg away from the midline and plays a significant role in controlling transverse and frontal plane motion of the femur and hip
- The gluteus minimus — the smallest, fan-shaped glute muscle — also abducts the leg away from the midline and helps stabilize the pelvis.
Now that we’ve gotten the nerdy stuff out of the way, let’s jump in to…
WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE YOUR GLUTES STRONGER
Most folks don’t hate having a faniciful posterior, but there’s more to having great glutes than just aesthetics. A strong butt can also mean better performance. The glutes are the largest muscle, and may also be the most important to train for this reason. So why should you want to train your glutes?
- Strong glutes are an important component of speeding up, slowing down, changing moving in different directions, and explosive power.
- When all three muscles are activated, they’re a powerhouse for every day and athletic tasks: walking up a flight of stairs, jumping in any way, running, etc.
- Stronger glutes also reduce your risk of injury in your hips, knees, low back, groin and hammies.
- A strong posterior also decreases your chances of low back pain. When your glutes are weak, your hip flexors have to overcompensate which can lead to compression of your lower spine. BUT, if you strengthen those puppies up, you’ll likely experience less pressure and reduce your risk of back injury when doing things like squats and deadlifts.
- Got knee pain? Strengthening your glutes can help. Methodist Health Systems say, “Your gluteal muscles create pelvic stability; which is especially important when your lower extremities function in a closed chain. For example, if you twist your ankle, you can also have imbalances at the knee and further up the leg. The same thing can happen if instability begins at the hip, leading to excessive force on the knee and ankle. That can mean knee pain or discomfort.”
- They continue, “Instability at the hip can cause your femur to turn too far inwards, causing your kneecap to slip out of place as your leg bends and straightens. It’s called lateral patellar tracking, and is a common source of the pain for many people.”
- Are you a runner? You should be concerned with building your glutes. Your butt helps move you forward during running by creating explosive hip extension. It’s essential to acceleration, jumping and even heavy lifting. If your gluteal muscles get weak, you may find yourself less powerful and less efficient.
LET’S GROW DAT ASS!
There are a great many ways you can build a badonkadonk, people online have all kinds of opinions about what’s the best for growing an ass, so let’s go to the list!
- Hip Thrusters are one of the most effective exercises when it comes to growing your glutes. They mainly target the gluteus maximus, which is the largest muscle in your glutes. When your glutes are in full hip extension, they are proven to be most activated; which is why hip thrusters are so effective.
- NOTICE we said “full hip extension,” that means you’re making a straight line with your trunk at the top of the movement. Don’t overextend, you’re not getting any extra benefit and you can injure yourself.
- Squatsssss. Any variation. You know how much we love them because they’re compound movements, and they’ll help you get a butt that can knock stuff off shelves. See also: deadlifts. Do them both pls.
- Lunges strengthen the leg muscles, primarily the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. And just like squats and deads, we don’t care what kind you do… they’re all aces. Do what works best for you.
- Glute pull-throughs are a compound exercise that works your hamstrings, gluteus maximus, and lower-back muscles.
- They also help you learn hip hinge if you struggle with that in your lifts… and will help with your hip extension and barbell contact at the crotch in Olympic lifts.
- Glute kickbacks work by isolating the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus while engaging them through a weighted donkey kick.
- These are a great accessory movement for anyone with nalgas, but don’t be like those people you see at the gym who make these their only glute exercise.
- Box step-ups are unilateral exercises that help improve symmetry, balance, and coordination… while building strength and power in the quads, hams, glutes, and calves. It also builds stability in the hip, knee, and ankle joints… all good things.
Nice asses make the world go round, and they’re not just for bodybuilders. Now you can make your dream of having a big muscular ass come true, build dem glutes!