Glute Training: Aesthetics or Function?
Exercise • • 1 minute to read • By Sheikh Nadir Siddiquee, INFS Faculty
Author: Sheikh Nadir Siddiquee
It is not uncommon to see social media influencers being known for well-defined glutes. A lot of us might want to build glutes that are attractive. Now the question here is: Is Glutes only for aesthetics or it has any important function too?
But, let us see the impact of Glutes on function. Here are a few benefits of having stronger glutes:
- It stabilizes the sacroiliac joint which connects the spine to the lower body
- It might help reduce the risk of injury to some extent (Jeong et al., 2015)
- Improves sprinting as the hip extension is a key to propulsive force
- Helps prevent pelvic tilts: anterior and posterior
- Glutes have a huge role to play in performing a better Squat which is a fundamental movement pattern
- Helps in changing direction while playing a sport(Shimokochi et al., 2013)
- Helps in climbing stairs(Lewis et al., 2015)
- Helps in carrying (McGill and Marshall, 2012)
Apart from the functional benefits, having well-shaped glutes make the quad look leaner, especially for ladies. But as mentioned above, it is an important muscle group for all humans irrespective of their gender. So, how do you train your Glutes?
Glutes can be divided into three different muscles:
- Gluteus Maximus
- Gluteus Minimus
- Gluteus Medius
Training all the muscles in the group is essential for a well-developed musculature.
We know that adding resistance can help build positive adaptations in terms of strength and muscularity. Here are loading methods that can be used to train Glutes effectively:
- Vertical Loading
- Horizontal Loading
- Lateral Loading
- Hybrid Loading
Examples of exercises for each loading protocol:
|Vertical Loading||Horizontal Loading||Lateral Loading||Hybrid Loading|
|SquatLungesStep-Ups||Hip ThrustFrog Pumps||Monster WalksLateral Kicks||Kettlebell SwingsHip AbductionHip Adduction|
Keep in mind the below tips to progress better in Glute training:
- Train for 2-4 days based on your training age. Frequency should go up as you advance
- Train with a variety of movements:1 or 2 movement patterns from each kind of loading
- Distribute the training across multiple days
- Train with a variety of repetition range
- Do not rely only on Squatting as it is a complex movement and causes a lot of fatigue
In addition to the above form of training, it is essential to add some unilateral movements too as there could be chances of muscular imbalances between the right and left glute muscles. This imbalance could cause super-compensation of hamstring, quads, or erector spinae muscles of the back leading to a faulty movement pattern and hence a higher chance of injury and pain(Alkjaer et al., 2012).
To conclude, Glute training is essential both for aesthetics and function. Irrespective of gender, it should be prioritized by everyone whether you are into bodybuilding or just exercising for function and fitness. Also, proper programming would be a crucial factor here: prioritize and program.
- Alkjaer, T. et al. (2012) ‘Computational modeling of a forward lunge: towards a better understanding of the function of the cruciate ligaments’, Journal of Anatomy, 221(6), pp. 590–597. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2012.01569.x.
- Jeong, U.-C. et al. (2015) ‘The effects of gluteus muscle strengthening exercise and lumbar stabilization exercise on lumbar muscle strength and balance in chronic low back pain patients’, Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 27(12), pp. 3813–3816. doi: 10.1589/jpts.27.3813.
- Lewis, J. et al. (2015) ‘Changes in lower extremity peak angles, moments and muscle activations during stair climbing at different speeds.’, Journal of electromyography and kinesiology : official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology, 25(6), pp. 982–9. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2015.07.011.
- McGill, S. M. and Marshall, L. W. (2012) ‘Kettlebell swing, snatch, and bottoms-up carry: back and hip muscle activation, motion, and low back loads.’, Journal of strength and conditioning research, 26(1), pp. 16–27. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31823a4063.
- Shimokochi, Y. et al. (2013) ‘Relationships among performance of lateral cutting maneuver from lateral sliding and hip extension and abduction motions, ground reaction force, and body center of mass height.’, Journal of strength and conditioning research, 27(7), pp. 1851–60. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182764945.
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