Firing up your glutes – More Power – Less Back Pain

Eliminate 2 Glute Training Obstacles stopping you getting the strong, powerful glutes you want…

The glutes are made up of three muscles, the Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus.                  Each plays a role in stabilizing, supporting and mobilizing the legs, hips and lower half of the body, while also helping to stabilise the torso on the standing leg.

Without getting too technical, the glutes work in 3 directions / planes of motion so they need to train in all THREE planes of motion to get really strong- i.e. work in vertical, horizontal and rotational movements.

While most people do squats and deadlifts which are vertical movements. You still need to do lateral movements and twisting movements.

Better yet add in some balance element and the full array of glute work will be covered.

Sadly. There isn’t one exercise that targets all things. So ….. to guarantee you target every part of each muscle you need three different exercise strategies in all three different planes of motion.

The next thing you need to do is ask yourself is whether you want strong functional glutes or just a nice shape to your bum??

The exercises may well be similar for both but the how and when can vary for both outcomes. Many gym goers work on the basis of leg days, shoulder days, chest days etc, and get good results in terms of body maintenance and fitness. Very few would target glutes i.e. have a Glute Day

Squats and Deadlifts and Lunges are leg exercises, not glute specific exercises. Sure, if done right, they have a glute element to them but they are not going to shape your bum as quickly as you might want.

So why not target the glutes better, maybe have a glute only day added to your gym routine. There are plenty exercises out there such as the Standing Hip Extension (click to view) that can be used to create a 15 min routine.

Therefore to fully develop your glutes, your training needs to focus on two elements:

1) glute-specific movements and 2) targeting all three muscles, with all three exercise strategies in all three planes of motion.


Coming from the clinical background I would argue that the option of strong functional glutes is much more important than shape. Shape will come as a by-product of correct training anyway so why waste time on isolated exercises.

To this end combing Glute specific and multi directional or functional exercises in one session is a time saving strategy that provides excellent results

If you’re like me and many others who play sport you may be hamstring dominant in your extension exercises. This can be caused by sitting on your glutes all day and developing tight hip flexors.

When this happens  and you do the hip thrust type exercises, which are aimed at the glutes, you not be hitting the glutes enough because the hamstrings are doing all the work.

SO we start with variations on the glute exercises to light up your glutes prior to the regular Glute and leg exercises.

This ensures the glute provide more work throughout the session and are integrated into the routine more

Below is a a segment from a routine I use to reduce back pain and anterior hip by getting the glutes to work better or just wake up sometimes. Try the session as its laid out below (scroll down for exercise videos) and see if you feel your glute fire as they should during and after. It may be the wake up call that you’ve been needing 




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