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3 Reasons Your Glutes Aren’t Growing
Developing your hip strength will catapult your strength gains into true intermediate status. To hear why working on glutes will help you so much check out our last blog. However, some people do all the squats, deadlifts and hip thrusts, yet they still remain in beginner land. Their squat numbers still haven’t gone up much and they’re not rocking that solid, peachy, round bottom yet.
It may seem like maybe they just have stubborn glutes or unlucky genetics, but there are actually a few simple reasons they aren’t making progress. And – good news – there are simple fixes for them as well!
On an aside, hip strength involves more than just the glutes, but for the purpose of this article and because glutes tend to be the hardest group of hip muscles to strengthen for many people, we’ll focus on them.
#1 You have no mind-muscle connection with your glutes
Mind-muscle connection maximizes ALL muscular contractions and thus strength & hypertrophy (muscle mass gains). Glutes are no exception. If you’re working legs and have trouble feeling your glutes, then THAT has to be the first and only thing that you focus on until you have no trouble at all controlling those glutes!
Some of my favorite techniques and exercises are…
1 – doing a ton of glute isolating exercises before your workout
2 – using very slow tempo and pauses
3 – glute bridges (with proper form of course)
4 – quadruped banded donkey kicks
5 – banded standing kickbacks
6 – sumo deadlifts
#2 You’re not including enough isolation exercise
Especially in the beginning when you’re learning to use your glutes, spending a few extra minutes on glute isolation can make a world of difference. Isolating exercises means things like kickbacks, glute bridges, frog pumps, and the like, not compound exercises like squats. By doing this you’ll increase muscle mass and mind-muscle connection, which are key if you’re going to start adding weight and getting stronger.
#3 Not lifting heavy enough
If you’re feeling your glutes and spending enough time working on them, but they’re not growing, they may be suffering from lack of challenge. Remember one of the keys to strength & hypertrophy is progressive overload (see our blog on this here). Your glutes will benefit from some time spent moving heavier loads! Leave the 30 lb barbell on the rack & spend a whole workout working up to the heaviest 6 rep glute bridge you can muster! Grab a 70 lb dumbbell and rep out the slowest set of goblet squats you can. This really goes for all muscles, but time spent really pushing your strength will make your body adapt and grow.
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