Optimal Glute Training

Take your glute training to a whole new level with these principles!
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Contrary to popular belief, the back squat isn’t all that great at building the glutes. It shows decent levels of activation but nothing like exercises like the hip thrust. As @bretcontreras1 say’s “the thrust is a must” if you’re looking to grow your glutes.
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Stretchers: Place maximum tension when the muscle is at full stretch. Examples of this are any squat variation, deadlift variations, and lunges. These exercises place a great stress on the muscle which is key for it to grow bigger+stronger. These should be done every 3-4 days for usually 3-5 sets of 5-12 reps.
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Activators: Maximum tension on the muscle happens when the muscle is fully shortened/contracted. Examples of this are hip thrusts, glute focused back extensions, and cable kickbacks. These a great movements as well but they don’t damage the muscle quite as much as stretchers do. Thus, these should be done every 2-3 days for usually 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps.
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Pumpers: Show low levels of muscular damage with high metabolic stress which leads to a great pump, but not much actual muscle damage. These exercises are best performed for higher reps (15+). Examples of this are frog pumps, elevated glute bridges, and banded donkey kicks. These can be done up to 5-6 days per week because of the low amount of damage they cause to the muscle. These are usually done for 2-5 sets of 15-30 reps.
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You want to have a mix of all three categories in your training on a weekly basis. For example, you could structure your training like this:
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Monday: 2 Stretchers, 2 Activators, 1 Pumper.
Tuesday: 2 Pumpers
Wednesday: 3 Activators and 2 Pumpers.
Thursday: Off
Friday: 2 Stretchers, 2 Activators, and 3 Pumpers.
Saturday and Sunday off.
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The Bulgarian split squat shows the highest lower glute activation and the hip thrust shows the highest upper and overall glute activation of all exercises.

 


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