These tips will help you get rounder glutes and improve your strength and performance in the gym and in life.
Why are Strong Glute Muscles Important?
Strong glute muscles, or the muscles of the buttocks, are important for several reasons:
- Improved athletic performance: Strong glutes help to generate power and explosive force, which can improve athletic performance in activities such as sprinting, jumping, and weightlifting.
- Better posture and reduced risk of injury: Strong glutes help to maintain proper posture and alignment of the pelvis, which can reduce the risk of injury to the lower back, hips, and knees.
- Improved balance and stability: Strong glutes help to stabilize the pelvis and hips, which can improve balance and stability during activities such as walking, running, and jumping.
- Enhanced aesthetics: Strong glutes can help to shape and tone the buttocks, which is a common aesthetic goal for many people.
- Improved overall strength: The glutes are one of the largest and strongest muscle groups in the body, and strengthening them can improve overall strength and fitness.
Jeremy Ethier is a fitness trainer, kinesiologist, and founder of Built with Science, a fitness and nutrition company that provides evidence-based information and programs to help people achieve their fitness goals.
He is also a YouTube personality with over 2.5 million subscribers on his channel, where he shares workout and nutrition tips, exercise science, and myth-busting videos. Jeremy has a degree in Kinesiology from McGill University and has worked as a personal trainer and strength coach for over a decade.
He is known for his science-based approach to fitness and his ability to explain complex concepts in an easy-to-understand way.
How Do Strong Glutes Improve Posture?
Strong glutes play an important role in maintaining proper posture and alignment of the pelvis. When the glutes are weak or underdeveloped, the pelvis can tilt forward, which can cause the lower back to arch excessively and put pressure on the spine. This can lead to lower back pain, hip pain, and other posture-related issues.
By contrast, strong glutes help to stabilize the pelvis and keep it in a neutral position, which can help to maintain proper alignment of the spine and reduce stress on the lower back and hips. Additionally, strong glutes can help to counteract the effects of prolonged sitting, which is a common cause of poor posture and weak glutes.
In summary, strong glutes can help to maintain proper posture by stabilizing the pelvis and keeping it in a neutral position. This can reduce the risk of lower back pain and other posture-related issues, and improve overall alignment and balance.
What are the Muscles of the Glutes?
The glutes are composed of three main muscles:
- Gluteus maximus: This is the largest and outermost muscle of the glutes. It originates from the posterior iliac crest (hip bone) and the sacrum (lower back), and inserts into the upper femur (thigh bone). The gluteus maximus is responsible for hip extension, which is the movement that occurs when the thigh moves backward.
- Gluteus medius: This muscle lies beneath the gluteus maximus and is located on the outer surface of the pelvis. It originates from the ilium (the largest bone in the pelvis) and inserts into the greater trochanter of the femur. The gluteus medius is responsible for hip abduction, which is the movement that occurs when the thigh moves away from the midline of the body.
- Gluteus minimus: This is the smallest and deepest muscle of the glutes. It is located beneath the gluteus medius and has a similar origin and insertion. The gluteus minimus is also responsible for hip abduction.
Together, these three muscles work to stabilize and move the hips, pelvis, and thighs, and are important for overall lower body strength, power, and stability.
What is Hip Extension in Weightlifting?
Hip extension is a movement that involves straightening the hips from a flexed position, such as when the hips are bent at a 90-degree angle as in a squat or deadlift. This movement is an important part of weightlifting and is used in many exercises, including squats, deadlifts, lunges, and hip thrusts.
During hip extension, the gluteus maximus, along with other muscles of the posterior chain such as the hamstrings and lower back muscles, contract to straighten the hips and move the body upward or forward. This movement is essential for developing lower body strength, power, and explosiveness, and is particularly important for athletes who need to generate force through the hips for activities such as running, jumping, and throwing.
In weightlifting, hip extension is often emphasized through exercises that target the glutes and other muscles of the posterior chain, such as the barbell hip thrust, Romanian deadlift, and kettlebell swing. These exercises can help to improve overall lower body strength and power, and are often included in strength and conditioning programs for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike.
The Romanian Deadlift
The Romanian deadlift (RDL) is a weightlifting exercise that targets the muscles of the posterior chain, including the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. The RDL is a variation of the conventional deadlift, but with a greater emphasis on hip hinging and hamstring activation.
To perform the Romanian deadlift, follow these steps:
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Keeping the knees slightly bent, hinge at the hips and lower the barbell towards the ground, keeping the back straight and the chest lifted.
- Lower the barbell until you feel a stretch in the hamstrings, and then reverse the movement by driving the hips forward and standing up tall.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
The key to performing the Romanian deadlift correctly is to maintain proper form and avoid rounding the back or jerking the weight upward. It’s also important to keep the weight close to the body throughout the movement and engage the glutes and hamstrings to power the movement.
The Romanian deadlift can be a highly effective exercise for developing lower body strength and power, particularly in the posterior chain muscles. However, it’s important to start with light weights and focus on proper form before increasing the weight or intensity of the exercise.