Buttock training is one of those aspects of fitness in which everything can be seen. Some seek maximum isolation from this muscle group and others claim that with large basics such as squats or dead weights it is more than enough to develop it correctly.
How to correctly select the glute exercises?
First of all we must select exercises that reproduce the functions performed by the gluteus : hip extension, hip abduction, external hip rotation and pelvic retroversion.
Secondly, in hip extension exercises we must choose exercises with vertical and horizontal force vectors . In exercises with vertical vector the peak of maximum muscular tension happens when the buttock is stretched, while in exercises with horizontal vector it happens when it is contracted.
- Exercises with a vertical force vector: squats and variants, dead weights and variants, strides, Bulgarian squats, good morning …
- Exercises with a horizontal force vector: hip thrusts , gluteal bridges and variants, pull throughs…
Thirdly, and as proposed by Bret Contreras, possibly the researcher and coachwho has more knowledge about the anatomy, biomechanics and buttock training, we must select exercises based on three main characteristics:
- Activators (activators)
- Stretchers (godet)
- Pumpers (pumpers)
If you want to know more about the particularities of each of these types of exercises, you can read a small guide on glute training that I wrote a few months ago.
Examples of each of these exercises would be the following:
- Activators: hip thrust, pull through, buttocks kick or hip extensions in Roman bank.
- Stretchers: squat, strides, Romanian deadlift or high deadlift.
- Pumps: monster’s walk, abductions with seated band, buttocks bridge, frog pumps or squat bounces.
What exercises should I select if I want to train at home?
The glute bridge is part of the activator group so it is a good idea to start our routine with it. The activators are characterized as exercises where the gluteus finds its point of maximum tension when contracted.
In addition to extending the hip during the exercise, we must try to maintain a slight pelvic retroversion , that is, orient our pubis towards the ceiling. This will increase the activation on our gluteus.
We inspire and begin the movement by driving our hips back to immediately flex our knees while gaining depth. Starting the movement with the hips will allow us to swing the weight of our body towards the heels and not towards the knees.
Ideally, work the squat to perform it with greater depth and accentuate the buttock stretch at the end of the eccentric phase . Once in the deepest part of the movement, we push with our buttocks back and up without tilting the torso forward while we begin to extend the knees and recover the verticality.
Romanian monopodal deadlift
The Romanian deadlift is a stretcher like the previous one but with different force vectors, so both should be part of the training. The Bulgarian squat that we will see next is also a stretcher but with the particularity that the force vectors are not completely vertical or completely horizontal, but oblique.
The choice of performing the Romanian deadlift with one leg responds to two reasons: one, that we increase the activity of the gluteus medius by adding a stabilization component and two, that we probably have little material at home, so do this exercise to One leg increases the intensity of it .
As we said in the previous exercise, the Bulgarian squat is a stretcher but with force vectors combined so this exercise, like strides must have a place in our buttock training.
The choice of Bulgarian squats instead of strides responds to the same reason as in the previous case: if we have little material, we can take more advantage of a Bulgarian squat with body weight than a stride although if we find it too difficult to Bulgarian, there is no reason not to stride.
Finally, we put the icing on the training with a pump as a finisher , to provide some more metabolic stress to the training.
The frog pumps work well at high reps and short rest. In this training hole we can not only perform frog pumps but also monster’s walk , different types of abductions, squats with bounce … The question is to isolate and congest with this type of exercise.