How to Get a Bigger, Stronger Glutes with Strength Training
Jun 11, 2021
Everyone wants a round, peachy and strong booty. What started off as a physique trend for women has now become a key fitness goal for many people who train in the gym. Strong glutes indicate a well-developed physique, and correlate with strength gains in pretty much all the compound lifts.
But the glutes can be notoriously hard to develop for some individuals. That’s why it’s essential to understand how to train the glutes correctly, according to science. Here at Dutch & Co. we are huge fans of booty building, so we have laid out everything we know in this article to help you build the butt of your dreams. Let’s get started!
My glutes aren’t growing, help!
One in four Americans sit down for more than eight hours per day according to this study. How, you may ask, is this related to the glutes? Well, when you sit down all day, your body changes.
Sitting all day causes your gluteal muscles (aka your glutes!) to switch off and tighten up which has a knock on effect for our quads, hip abductors and quads. When your lower body is tight, your back and knees are under more pressure because the glutes are responsible for stabilizing your entire body.
When we say your glutes ‘switch off’, this means they don’t activate as you’d expect in everyday functional movements. For example, bending down to pick something off the floor - you’d expect your glutes to be involved. But in reality, for most people with sedentary daily lives, their back ends up doing most of the work - leading to back pain and a lack of mobility.
This is because when the glutes are weak and underdeveloped, they do not activate properly during training. Our brain sends a signal to the muscles close by to compensate. This is why many people become quad or hamstring-dominant, get low back pain, or experience muscle spasms and nerve pain as a response to training.
How you build strong glutes according to science
This is a two-part answer, so let’s start with the first phase of booty building: pre-activation.
A study found that properly activating the glutes prior to exercise reduces injury risk. This is because it ‘switches on’ the glutes - getting the blood pumping, warming them up, and preparing them to carry heavier loads.
One of the best ways to activate your glutes is to perform body weight, light weight, or resistance band exercises. You will perform around 20 reps for each exercise, warming up the movement patterns that you will then perform with weights.
These kinds of pre-activation exercises have also been shown in research to enhance the mind-muscle connection, a key predictor of muscle growth.
- Strength training
Now to get to the meat of the article: strength training. As much as it would be nice to believe that those Instagram girls got glutes by doing donkey kicks - it’s not the reality. It takes consistent weight training, progressive overload and structured periodization to build muscle, especially in the glutes.
These compound lifts should be the foundation of your booty building routine:
- Barbell hip thrust
What are compound lifts?
Compound lifts are multi-joint exercises that recruit a large amount of muscle fibers and require high muscular contraction to perform. Because of this, these exercises are highly taxing and cause muscle damage due to the loading stress. In short: they build muscle, fast.
A common complaint of compound exercises for booty training is only feeling the burn in your quads or hamstrings. This is known as being quad or hamstring-dominant. If this is you, it’s important that you adjust the exercises to focus the loading on your glutes.
For example with squats, here are some adjustments you can make:
- Try a sumo squat - Place your feet wider than hip-width distance apart to activate your gluteus medius (abductors)
- Go lower - Getting more depth in your squat (at or below 90 degrees) will target more of the glutes
- Try squatting with a Rocko Barbell – Dutch & Co. have designed a barbell that is used to practice this technique, which has been shown in studies to increase muscle fiber activation in the glutes, leading to better gains.
How a Rocko Barbell can transform your glute training
Many physical therapists recommend athletes use a Rocko Barbell to help improve body strength, improve functional mobility, and recover effectively from exercise. But what is it? Simply put, it’s a bar made from composite resin. It’s flexible and unstable, which may sound strange to you, but it’s all well-backed by science.
The wobbly, unstable nature of the Rocko Barbell combined with hanging weights creates oscillating kinetic energy (OKE). The flexible bar creates pulsing waves that create instability, which forces the user to handle a variety of multi-planar resistance profiles. It increases motor control and neuromuscular and musculoskeletal activity—forcing the nervous system to continually adapt to better control the body during the movement.
This unique training stimulus will transform your body, which is why it’s so popular among pro athletes and powerlifters, because it has proven itself as an effective way to rapidly build body strength.
Using the Rocko Barbell involves hanging weights from resistance bands at each end of the bar, and then use this to perform back squats. The OKE will recruit more muscle fibers in the body, to try and stabilize and control the movement; making it a vital part of your glute training routine.
Getting a bigger, stronger booty is only possible with strength training. It can be difficult to build your glutes, but we hope the advice shared in this article gives you an insight into the best way to go about it.
Consistently exposing your body to a training stimulus that causes muscle damage and creates mechanical tension is the most effective way to build muscle. Our Rocko Barbell acts as this training stimulus, so it needs to be a key part of your booty-building routine. Get a Rocko Barbell.