This ones for all you gals (and to some extent guys) that want to strengthen and add some size to your posterior chain. There is a lot of misinformation out there. From 10-minute home workouts to look like Beyonce to ‘special diets’ designed to make you store your fat in your posterior, we here at Nutrition Inspector have seen it all!
All it really comes down to are basic principles: Achieve progressive overload of tension and volume over time on movements that provide a emphasized stimulus to the target muscle group. So in plain english, move heavy weight in exercises that you feel in your bum.
A note on abdominal bracing
When trying to put emphasis on their posterior chain, many people make the mistake of hyperextending their spine in an effort to activate their glutes. Even though this might give you the feeling of glute activation, it actually just breaks the kinetic chain between your upper and lower body, and places large amounts of shearing stress on your spine. When performing these movements, make sure you take in deep breadth into your stomach and then (pretending like your abdomen is a cylinder) compress the air. This will inherently help you keep a neutral spinal position throughout the entirety on these movements.
So without further ado, lets begin…
Popularized in the strength world by Westside Barbell’s conjugate method, these are an awesome way to target your glutes and lower back. It is, however, vital that you maintain proper technique.
Simply begin the movement as you would a squat, and instead of breaking at the knees and aiming to reach parallel, simply break at the hips and keep pushing you bum back as far as your current hamstring flexibility allows.
Some additional Tips to Remember:
- Make sure the bar actually stays over your heels. If it drifts forward,too much force will be placed on your lower back and you'll end up in a severely compromised position
- Aim for higher reps instead of going heavy. Even if performed properly any lapse in your form could result in a possible injury so always keep your mind on your technique.
These probably put more direct emphasis on the glutes than any other movement, but do take some time to get used to the technique. They also help reinforce full hip extension, which promotes glute activation in all other movements as well.
The danger with this movement is getting too caught up in moving more weight and not concentrating on feeling the contraction in your glutes at the top of the movement, when you reach full hip extension.
Some sort of padding will be necessary at the part of the bar which meets your hips to avoid unnecessary discomfort. Then set up a bench behind you to brace your shoulders against. Then roll the bar onto your hips, brace your core, and push into full hip extension. It will invariably feel awkward at first but you'll soon get used to it.
This is essentially the half of the deadlift which occurs above your knees. Perform the movement first by pulling the bar off the floor as you would for a regular deadlift to the top of the movement. Then descend the bar to your knees. This is the start of the movement. Now move the bar between the at-your-knees position and the top of your deadlift.
To add even more intensity and emphasis on your glutes and hamstrings you can add rubber bands to the bar. This will put a great deal of resistance right where you achieve full hip extension.
Here are some videos if you still parents clear how to perform the movement and would like some extra guidance:
Amanda is a gym instructor and a diet and nutrition fanatic that has reviewed 100s of supplements for the benefit of consumers. She struggled with obesity 7 years ago and after losing more than 30lbs, dedicates most of her time in helping others achieve similar results and transform their lives.