Are you consistently training without noticing any speed or strength improvements on the field? If so, you're likely focusing on exercises that fail to strengthen your glutes.
The gluteal muscle group (i.e., your butt) comprises four muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and tensor fasciae latae. These muscles are responsible for extending, abducting, externally rotating and internally rotating your hips—critical movements for sprinting, jumping and changing direction.
Weak glutes will compromise each of these essential skills.
So how do you know if your glutes are weak? Perform the following two tests.
Perform a Bodyweight Squat and assess the alignment of your knees with your hips and ankles. If your knees collapse inward, your glutes are weak.
Reverse Step-Up Test
Stand on a chair or bench and slowly lower one foot to the ground as if performing a reverse Step-Up. Attempt to lower yourself in control until your foot touches the ground. If you suddenly lose control and fall too quickly (usually around the halfway point), your glutes are weak.
If you fail one or both of these tests, your glutes are weak, and you must change your training program. Here's how to get a strong butt.
Avoid These Exercises
Machine exercises fail to work your glutes because you are restricted to a fixed range of motion and are locked in a completely stable position. Avoid the leg press, Smith, abductor, adductor, leg curl and leg extension machines—especially if you're an athlete.
Effective Glute Exercises
The best glute exercises are Squats, Deadlifts, Hip Thrusts, Lunges, Kettlebell Swings, Step-Ups and any type of jump. These should be the primary focus of every lower-body workout.
Ready for this butt-kicking exercise? Do this workout three times per week to build glute strength and improve your athletic ability.
- Wrap a resistance band around your ankles
- Use 70 percent of your one-rep max, or a weight that you can easily lift for 10 to 12 reps
- Perform five sets of five reps in circuit fashion
- Don't rest between exercises
- Rest for one to two minutes between sets