Believe it or not, training glutes is the key to lifting heavier, preventing injuries, and improving performance in any sport you play. We know training them might not initially turn as many heads as working beach muscles like the chest or arms, but becoming an ass man can seriously pay off in a handful of ways. To help show you the way to a ripped rump, we talked to a guy who knows glutes to the maximus.
THE MISSING PIECE
Your glutes are working during most lower-body exercises, particularly squat and deadlift variations, but Bret Contreras, Ph.D., a strength coach and researcher, says the conventional lifts weren’t enough to get his butt in gear. “In high school I had no glutes to speak of,” he says. “My legs went right into my back.”
Once he discovered how to train glutes more directly, however, his lifts all improved, and he was finally able to fill out the seat of his pants. “There are different regions of the glutes,” says Contreras. “Different actions and ranges of motion that need to be strengthened. You have to have variety.” Nowadays he’s such an authority he’s known in the fitness industry as “the Glute Guy.”
Beyond helping your body look better and lift heavier, strong glutes are essential for athletic performance. “Sprinting, jumping, cutting from side to side, swimming, and striking all use the glutes,” says Contreras.