I get asked about training the glutes more than anything else. We all know the classic exercises and have done them over and over. Deadlifts, Squats, Lunges and so on.
But if we solely rely on these same moves throughout the year, we get mentally and physically burnt out. Our body’s positive adaptation to exercise simply can’t happen effectively if we keep doing the same thing over and over.
Over the next four weeks, join me as I introduce you to some less typical glute exercises that I’ve used to help some of the best athletes in the world tone and enhance the function of their glutes. These weekly exercises can be done for activation before a workout, or for overload to build strength and size. Last week, we covered Mini Band Jumps. This week, Side-Banded Split Squats.
How to Perform Side-Banded Split Squats
I am always finding new ways to strengthen the muscles that push the knee away from midline. A “dynamic valgus” is when the knee collapses toward the midline as we bend and straighten our leg. This causes a variety of problems in the lower quarter, including knee pain and increased risk of injury. This exercise not only helps us of combat dynamic valgus, but also provides an amazing glute burn.
Affix a light power band to a sturdy anchor point. Assume a split-squat position and wrap the other end of the band around the leg farthest from the anchor point, placing it slightly above the kneecap. The band is “pulling” the knee toward the midline. As you lower into a lunge position, push the front knee away from the midline. Do the same as you rise out of the lunge position. Notice the forward lean of the trunk in the above video. This ensures the glute is the dominate mover as opposed to quads. Also notice the knee is ALWAYS stacked on top of the ankle as opposed to pushing forward over the toes. Perform 3 sets of 12 reps on both legs.
Derek Samuel is a licensed physical therapist and owner of Derek Samuel MPT. He’s trained multiple Heisman Trophy winners, NFL and MLB MVPs, NFL All-Pros and NCAA All-Americans. This article is the second in a four-part series on glute exercises. If you enjoyed it, follow him on Instagram.