Craft a powerful set of glutes the OS way

Categories: Blog May 17, 2021


And now, a guest article from OS Instructor and friend, Aleks, the "Hebrew Hammer," Salkin...

 

Flapjack booty cheeks: Nobody likes em, a lot of folks have got em.

Apart from just looking unaesthetic, a weak, flabby, saggy behind does you no favors in the athletic and strength department either.

Now, some might be inclined to make a frenzied cry to the heavens, insisting its my genetics! I just wasnt blessed with a bodacious booty!

Well, youre in luck, friend-o. Were living in the age of plenty, and as such you have plenty of options to reverse that misfortune and claim what is rightfully yours: a strong, capable, and downright handsome-looking hiney. Ill show you how.

But first, you might be asking yourself, whats the deal with glute training anyway? Why does it matter so much for me to train them?

The answers are many, but here are a chosen few that might capture your interest:

Mitigates aches, stiffness, and discomfort in your low back, knees, and elsewhere.

Despite all of the benefits of having cushy office jobs where the worst job-site accident you’re likely to encounter is a nasty papercut, the major downside is that you have to sit all day.

Excessive sitting cause
s a number of slow-but-sure physical maladies, ranging from low-back stress, weakened muscles, and poor posture, among other things.

Properly training your glutes, however, helps you regain your ability to fully extend your hips, protecting your low back, and also increases the stability of your pelvis, so that work done by the lower body can be more evenly distributed meaning your low back and knees no longer have to pull double duty for a lazy booty.
 
Increases your full body strength and power.

One of the strongest men who ever lived, Tennessee hillbilly and Olympic gold medalist Paul Anderson, once quipped the guy with the biggest butt lifts the biggest weights.  Now, your butt doesnt actually have to be big per se, but it DOES have to be strong.  

Your glutes are the largest muscles in your body, and they are responsible not only for extending, abducting, and rotating the hips, but also generate a lot of tension tension that can be used to radiate throughout the body, encouraging surrounding muscles to get tighter as well.  And if safe strength training is on your list of must-dos, then having a set of glutes that not only protect your back and knees, but ALSO help you lift heavier is a no-brainer.

Can they even help the upper body?

Absolutely.
Try pressing a heavy kettlebell overhead with rubber legs and sleepy glutes. Aint gonna happen.

And now that youre a bona fide glute training devotee, the next question may be, Where do I even start?

Well, why not start from the beginning?

As Tim Anderson likes to point out, traditional core drills can only make your core strongER; it must first be strong, to begin with.  And how do we get strong, to begin with?

Why, with Original Strength, of course!

One of the great features of Original Strength is that it comprises of moves your body is literally designed to do and as such, your body naturally responds very well to these movements in the form of effortless movement, a reawakening of your muscles, and getting reacquainted with the body and abilities you were made to have.

And just like you can use OS to fire up the core, the shoulders, the back, and anything else you can possibly think of, you can also use it to not just revive your sleepy cheeks, but imbue them with new-found strength and function you may never have had before.

(oh, and maybe make a dent on looking better in a swimsuit. Whats not to love about that?)

Partial prone lower body segmental rolls

If saying the entire name in one breath doesn’t leave you gasping for air, a set of 10 on each side almost certainly will.

Because one of the most important jobs of the glutes is to help extend the hips, you cant do much better than this move.  Not only does the ground act as a self-limiting shield against accidentally flexing the hip and using the low back (as people you might unconsciously do if you tried to do this standing), but the fact that youre prone on the ground means that your glutes cant rest for the entirety of the movement; they HAVE to kick on.

Try em out:

Lay flat on the ground
 
Bend one knee and start reaching it over to the other side of the body.  Stop before you completely roll over, pausing briefly at roughly the halfway point, and repeat on the other side

I really like these before things like lunges, squats, and sprints (which well be covering momentarily) as they prime the behind to fire up hard, making the other moves easy.

 

Elevated roll

The elevated roll is not just a more advanced option for the lower body segmental roll.  Its an excellent movement in its own right for helping power up pulling movements like rows, pullups, deadlifts, swings, and more.

Even cooler:

Because of the position you have to hold yourself in (seen in the above picture on the right), youll notice a serious boost in power in your gluteus medius (on the side of your hips) and even the hamstring.  Dont be surprised if your kettlebell swings and snatches float sky high after a brief bout with these babies!

Here's how to do em:

Get into a narrow pushup position with your hands directly underneath your shoulders or even touching in the middle of your body
 
Look over your right shoulder, and then start reaching your right foot back behind you toward the left side of your body, just as you did for the lower body segmental roll.
 
Keep reaching your foot as far as you can until your right hand feels weightless.  Place the right foot on the ground and the right hand overhead (see above pic), then reverse the movement by looking the eyes down, reaching for the ground with the hand, and returning to the starting point.
 
Repeat for the desired number of reps.
 

Bird dogs

Bird dogs are another classic move, often categorized as more of a core movement than anything.  And while you can indeed build a fair bit of core coordination (core-dination?) with these, one of the other benefits is that they require that you suspend one of your legs straight behind you using you guessed it glute strength!

To do these:

Get down on all fours, eyes facing forward
 
Reach your right hand out in front of you and your left leg out behind you. Pause momentarily at the top.
 
Repeat on the other side, alternating sides for the desired number of reps.

I find that these are great for a lot of different movements, but theyre especially good for single leg and split stance movements, like single-leg deadlifts, lunges, and more (great glute-building moves in their own right, by the way!)

 

Marching

You may want to sit down for what youre about to read (who am I kidding, youre probably sitting down to read this anyway): believe it or not, your glutes are meant to be used while you stand on two legs.

Insanity, I know, but youll survive.

As you now know, the glutes help you to extend your hips.  And what do your hips have to do with every step you take?  

Extend!

So it stands to reason that your glutes should ideally be helping you with every step you take.

Now, if youve gotten a little too complacent with sitting all the time, you may be walking hunched over like Igor in Frankenstein, using very little of your glutes. Re-learning how to encourage your butt to get in on the action when you on all twos will go a long way toward not just your strength and low-back/knee health, but also your athleticism. And theres no better way to walk deliberately upright than to march.

Take an exaggerated step forward, really letting your arms swing both in front of and behind you while you aggressively lift one knee up toward your belt line.
 
Repeat on the other side

It really is that simple.  Stay relaxed and be sure to firmly bring your foot back into contact with the ground with each step.  Do this for as little as a minute and youll no doubt start noticing your glutes starting to heat up!

Do these in between squats, swings, and other lower body movements, and watch as your toughest weights somehow start to feel lighter.

 

Sprinting

In my humble (but correct) opinion, theres no better glute builder than sprinting.

Im a big fan of the standard-issue glute building moves: hip thrusts, deadlifts, lunges, squats you name it.  But never have I had better results in building glute strength, power, and size than by doing hill sprints 3 days a week.  It should go without saying that my athleticism shot through the roof as well.

The caveat here is that not everybody will be ready for sprinting.  Sprinting doesnt help you move better unless you already move well to begin with.  So put in a lot of time with the previous stuff, start slowly, and for goodness sakes, use a hill!  Your joints will thank you.

And thats it!  Start implementing the above movements in your training and before long you may start to notice that your glutes are getting stronger, your knees and low back are happier, and your youthful athleticism will begin returning to your body bit by bit.

Who knows
, you might even catch someone rubber-necking to catch a glimpse at your superior posterior.  Stranger things have happened.

 

Have fun and happy training!

 

Aleks The Hebrew Hammer Salkin

 

Aleks “The Hebrew Hammer” Salkin is a level 2 StrongFirst certified kettlebell instructor (SFG II) and was hand-picked to be among the first-ever group of Original Strength Instructors. 

He grew up scrawny, unathletic, weak, and goofy until he was exposed to kettlebells and the teaching and methodology of Pavel in his early 20s, and took his training and movement skills to the next level upon discovering Original Strength in his mid-20s.

He is the author of The 9-Minute Kettlebell and Bodyweight Challenge a free ebook consisting of 4 Original Strength-approved movements that forge full-body strength, resilience, and real-world fitness in just 9 minutes a day.  Check him out online at www.alekssalkin.com

 


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