BACK TO THE BASICS
Are you searching for the best way to develop your glutes and make those booty gains? If you are doing everything right as far as performance and nutrition then you shouldn’t have much of a problem, right? Well, often times we have to go back to the basics and determine what pre-requisites are necessary for proper glute development. You may want to start by understanding and determining your movement faults. You can always try recording yourself to see how you are compensating through movements. However, it is always best to have a professional assess your movement patterns. As with any movement, there is always a pre-requisite (something that is necessary in order for the movement to happen or exist). The major mobility pre-requisite that is essential for booty building movements, in order to maximize development and glute firing potential is HIP EXTENSION. The problem is, the majority of individuals spend most of their time in hip flexion, while hip extension capacity slowly starts to whither away. So how can we restore this major pre-requisite while also eliminating low back pain? Here is my take:
Your Glutes are Not Firing Myth
Have you been told that your glutes are not firing or that they are turned off? This is simply not the case. Your glute muscles are definitely turned on. True glute inhibition/amnesia would be very noticeable (unable to stand, walk, etc.). The muscles work, but just not as efficient. Therefore, it APPEARS weak or inhibited.
So what is the most efficient position to target the glutes? It really boils down to your hip mobility capacity to fire through hip extension. If you hit a plateau and are wondering why you can’t get the most out of your performance and development, this may be the missing link you have been searching for. Before you start to work your butt off, literally. Lets try to optimize your ability to fire through hip extension, and also eliminate any compensation through the low back.
Low Back Pain
The low back usually hurts because you are overusing it. If you cannot fire through hip extension, your lower back takes most of the load and shear force. Hips are designed for thrusting into extension. Lets make sure this is happening first, before we start jamming into the low back and create further damage.
In a study by Contreras, Vigotsky, Schoenfeld, Beardsley, & Cronin (2015) found when comparing the barbell hip thrust to a back squat, the barbell hip thrust elicited significantly greater EMG activity in the gluteus maximus and biceps femoris muscles. This is not surprising because of the hip-angle relationship and ability to create maximal hip extension torque during the hip thrust movement. What are some of the top exercises people are doing to build the glutes? Extension exercises such as kickbacks, hip thrusts, deadlifts. However, these are common movements that cause low back pain. When we break down the performance of these movements, compensations through the lumbar spine and pelvic region become blatantly obvious, which is mainly due to a lack of hip extension. If we can restore extension through the hips primarily, this can be the key to more glute development opportunities.
The video shows three movements and mobility drills that can help you acquire better hip extension and ultimately build a bigger booty while eliminating low back pain!
This blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to help diagnose or treat any conditions. Please seek a medical professional for your healthcare needs. Thanks for reading!
Contreras, B., Vigotsky, A. D., Schoenfeld, B. J., Beardsley, C., & Cronin, J. (2015). A Comparison of Gluteus Maximus, Biceps Femoris, and Vastus Lateralis Electromyographic Activity in the Back Squat and Barbell Hip Thrust Exercises. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 31(6), 452–458. doi: 10.1123/jab.2014-0301
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