Powerful hips and glutes are typically evidence of powerful muscular development. Within bodybuilding there must be care that it does not aesthetically compromise the classic v-shape. Therefore, part of optimal development for the aspiring bodybuilder is not over developing the glutes and hips while ensuring symmetry and balance is maintained.
The best approach for training the glutes and hips is making use of unilateral squat and lunge movements that ensure proper muscular recruitment and conversely less torso angle. This is a challenging task but easily managed with proper exercise choices and making use of appropriate rep ranges.
Barbell Step-Ups An absolute classic lift that is debatably superior to squats for glute development. Set box height so that the upper thigh is parallel to ground. Draw one leg up to box and curl the toes of plant leg off to ensure impetus is from lead leg exclusively. Draw navel in, do not allow torso to lean forward and drive upwards.
Bulgarian Squats Perform with your preference of a barbell, dumbbell, or virtually any weighted rucksack, sandbag or other non-conforming object. With calves pressed against knee level box, take one confident step forward and raise foot of back leg onto box. Upper body should be completely upright and effectively perpendicular to the ground. Lower such knee barely touches the ground and raise upward at three times the speed of the eccentric.
Side Lunges With proper posture hold dumbbells at side and ‘reach out’ with leg to the side in long deep lunge. When planted, both feet should be parallel and lunge has knee ‘tracking’ over toes.
HardCore Grindin' Glute Workout
- Barbell Step Ups 8 x 3
- Bulgarian Squat 6 sets x 5 reps, each set with peak contraction
- Side Lunges 6 x 60 seconds
Peak contraction and creating tension is one of the basic ‘commandments’ of physical culture and absolutely play a role in hip and glute development. With each rep of the Barbell Box Squat and Bulgarian Squat, pause at the bottom of the lift and ‘flex’ to create maximal tension for a three count. Further ensure the eccentric (lowering action) is three times slower than the concentric. This will result in much longer duration sets, heighten a hormonal response and contribute to greater muscular stimulation.
Prepared by John Davies
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