Glute Training Tips from 2018 Olympia Figure Competitor Maria Barns.
Everyone wants to look their best. It’s one of the main reasons why we work out. Sure, some people say they do it for their health, but the truth is that unless we’re dealing with specific health issues like high blood pressure or cholesterol or rehabbing some type of injury then a clean bill of health is just a natural side effect of working out. So, what’s wrong with just being honest and saying, “I want to look AND feel my best.”?
One of the most noticeable features of a healthy, fit physique is a good set of glutes. I bet if you ask any woman in your gym what body part she is most interested in shaping up (other than abs), the answer will almost always be the glutes. Butt (pun intended), it’s not just the ladies. As guys, we don’t say it as often, but we all know the ladies do notice and appreciate the way a guy fills out a pair of jeans.
So how vital is glute training? VERY IMPORTANT! The glutes are the most massive muscle in the human body and have an essential role. They have the job of keeping the trunk of the body in an erect posture and are very powerful in walking up stairs, running and squatting. Glute training should be part of every leg workout, just as quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.
Although the glutes are one of the primary movers in exercises like squats and lunges, you can also incorporate movements like glute bridges to isolate the muscles. Did you know that bridges actually recruit more gluteal muscle fibers than even squats? Bridges can be done with weight across your hips or just your body weight for high reps. I personally recommend a little of both for best results. They are also an effective way to work the core muscles, so this will, in turn, help you improve your squats and prevent lower back injuries.
Another good tip for developing the gluteal muscles is to make sure you squeeze them at the top of every movement such as squats, kettlebell swings, deadlifts, and Romanian deadlifts. I tell my clients to treat the contraction as a separate repetition. It’s that important (with every muscle group)! First the movement, then the contraction. Throw weighted step-ups into your routine, and you will be well on your way to building a great set of glutes and powerful legs.
I hope this article helped to create new ideas for your lower body training. As always, feel free to contact us with any questions. Until next time, get your butt in the gym and start building it!