Cakes, booty, ba donka donk and ass, yes I said donk. The butt is one of the most sacred, sought after and prized body parts on the human body. But why? I have a theory. Now we can get all evolutionist and say its because shows fertility capabilities and strength capacities. Butt lets face it (pun intended), the glute muscles are so prized due to the aesthetic appeal that comes with the lower body. The glutes are the first lower body muscles that borders the beach muscles (ABS!), so they get a lot of attention. Now, let’s not be animals and start to understand the glute/ hip muscles.
The glutes consist of gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. Glute max is the big guy that gives the mass of the butt. Glute med sits on the side of the rear end situated where the back pocket on a pair of jeans is located. Finally glute min is a deep muscle that lays just under glute max. Together, they provide crucial hip strength, mobility and control that translate to the entire body.
Glute max originates at the top of the rear pelvis where it connects to the fascia of the low back and inserts at the thigh bone and IT band tract. When it contracts, it allows the leg to extend (go backwards). This is important in basic movements such as running, walking, going up stairs, and standing up straight. When performed correctly, squats and deadlifts get a large majority of their power from the glute max muscles. Glute max will strengthen the hip, taking stress off the low back when standing up right.
Glute med, in my opinion, is the most important glute muscle due to is ability to stabilize the knee. When a knee bends, it goes forward and backwards. If it were to bend sideways, you have a really big problem. If you don’t believe me, look up Willis McGehee’s knee injury while playing for the University of Miami. So, what does glute med do? When it contracts it, pulls the knee outwards and resists inward rotation of the hip/ leg. So, when you squat or go up and down stairs, it is glute med’s responsibility to keep the knee inline with the ankle and hip. Having strong glute med muscles allows you to be able to perform the most functional human movements safely
The glute minimus muscles, like the glute meds, work to abduct the knee and resist adduction of the hip. They play a role in stabilizing the knee side to side.
Ok, that was a lot of info so I will leave you with something that is easier to digest; a few workouts that will help you develop glute muscles that are not only aesthetically appealing but also functional.
Some of my favorite movements to work the glute muscles consist of squats, deadlifts, step ups, lunges, bridges/ hip thrusts and band walks. These movements will allow you to hit all of the basic hip movements will not only build muscle and strength, but also improve mobility and relieve chronic pain.
Strength: (Heavy Weight, Longer Rest Periods)
Barbell Back Squat: 5 sets of 5 reps
Hip Thrusters: 5 sets of 5 reps
Band Walks (Heavy Band): 5 sets of 5 laps (20 yards each way)
Muscle Building: (Moderate Weight, Shorter Rest Periods)
Deadlift: 3 sets or 8-12 reps
Walking Lunges: 3 sets of 8-12 reps each
Sumo Squat: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
Muscular Endurance: (Lighter Weight, Really Short Rest Periods)
Sumo Deadlift: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Donkey Kicks: 4 sets of 15-20 reps each leg
Fire Hydrants: 4 sets of 15-20 reps per leg
Infuse these movements into your workouts and watch those cake rise!