16 Nov Top Glute Strength Exercises
Sub-optimal glute strength is one of the most common faults I see in athletes. This can lead to a host of injuries as well as decreased performance.
We’ve previously discussed using the push press as a test of hip (glute) versus knee dominance in athletes. Analyzing an athlete’s movement while doing high rep push press’s will show their default mechanics. Below left, the athlete is not effectively load her hips and demonstrating a quad dominance pattern. To the right, she is loading her hips to most efficiently develop power.
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The Push Press is a great full body #exercise that allows for transfer of forces from the #hips through the #core and to the upper extremities. It also makes a great assessment tool in athletes to see if they are effectively using their #glutes. In the picture to the left, the athlete is #quad dominant and not effectively loading her hips. To the right, she loads the glutes and hamstrings, which will allow for a more powerful push press. Read more in my #CrossFit Journal article “Hip and Athletic Performance” at http://bit.ly/1GKk6kE #wod #mobility #fitness #workout #barbell #heavysquatsfixeverything #pickitupandputitdown #weightlifting #CSCstrong #biomechanics #getglutes #functionalmovement #CrossFit
You can read more about this test, and another glute activation test in my CrossFit Journal Article “The Hip and Athletic Performance”.
If your glute strength is sub-optimal, here are the best glute exercises I find work for my athletes. These can be used as part of a program designed to build up strength or as a warm up drill to get the glutes ready to work.
The Best Glute Exercises
A very simply, low-level drill but when you really focus on pushing your foot into the wall and keeping the foot flat this clamshell variation will make your backside burn. Works great as a warm up drill or as a way for those having trouble feeling their butt muscles work or always cramping in their hamstrings to get back in touch with their glutes.
This is another lower level exercise that I’ll transition athletes towards for higher reps making it (1) a great hypertrophy exercise and (2) another great drill for those who tend to feel their hamstrings take over glute exercises.
McGill Side Plank
The gluteus muscles don’t work in isolation so this exercise from Craig Liebenson is great because it also incorporates more lumbar stabilization at the same time.
Glute Bridge Variation
This simple variation on your standard bridge takes it to the next level. Emphasize a glute squeeze prior to each repitition and progress to performing with a band across your hips or other resistance.
Side Plank with Hip Abduction
Take your standard side plank and raise/lower the top leg repeatedly. Research on this exercise has shown HUGE gluteus medius and gluteus Maximus muscle activation.
Single Leg Deadlifts
When performed properly there are few exercises that work the hips as well as the SLDL does. Focus on the keys discussed in this video to get the most out of this exercise.
Whether banded, with a barbell, bodyweight, or single legged, hip thrusts are an awesome exercise to build serious butt strength! The set up position of this exercise with performed by bending your knees without the hips going deep into flexion we can minimize the contributions of the hamstrings and adductors…simply put this forces more work on your butt muscles.
Ready for your four week glute fix? Check out out BULLETPROOF GLUTES program for four weeks of workouts designed to build up your back side!