Hip extension is a fundamental movement in daily life and in sports activities. Much research has proposed an increasing role for the hip extensor musculature with heavier lower body exercises (squats and deadlifts) and explosive sports actions (jumping, sprinting and changes of direction).
The main muscles responsible for this movement are the gluteus maximus, the long head of the biceps femoris, the semimembranosus, the semitendinosus, and the ischiocondylar part of the adductor magnus. Even so, In this article we are only going to focus on the gluteus.
Despite the involvement of all these muscles, the gluteus maximus has been identified as the primary muscle responsible for hip extensionspecifically on loaded exercises that typically don’t sufficiently engage the hamstrings in tasks that involve simultaneous hip and knee extension, such as the squat and leg press.
On the other hand, the gluteus medius, which is located on the lateral aspect of the upper part of the gluteus, below the iliac crest, has the function of abduction at the hip jointassists in flexion and medial rotation of the hip and, in general, the gluteus medius is an important muscle when walking, running and single leg weight bearing because it prevents the opposite side of the pelvis from falling. When a limb is lifted off the ground, the pelvis on that side will tend to drop due to loss of support from below. The gluteus medius works to keep the side of the pelvis from falling, allowing the other limb to swing forward for the next step.
How can we improve our glute training?
There are some fitness accessories that we can get at a fairly low price and that help us improve our training in order to improve the size and strength of our glutes. These accessories, we put them below and we explain what exercise we can do with them.
Hand straps or handles
These accessories, commonly known as straps, are straps, usually made of cotton and with a strong seam that They allow us to improve our grip strength. Typically these straps are used for back work, but can also be used to perform hip flexion and extension exercises like the ones we present below.
The deadlift is an exercise that generates a great activation of the gluteus because it’s practically a hip extension exercise (although also on the knee if we do a conventional one). In this type of exercise, normally, one of the limiting factors is the strength of the grip, so it is beneficial to wear straps to lift more weight (as long as the technique is correct), and thus there is a greater activation of the gluteus.
The straps, despite the great benefits they bring us in our training, are not expensive at all, and for less than 15 euros we can have some of excellent quality.
Fitgriff® Straps Powerlifting, Weightlifting, Gym Grips, Gym Grips, Deadlift – Lifting Straps – Women & Men – Black Original
gym bar pad
It is very common to see this accessory in gyms, either to perform squats or other hip extension exercises such as hip thrust or glute bridge. To tell the truth, although it is useful for these exercises, when doing it with squats it can be dangerous since the bar can slip and we can have an accident. Therefore, unless you are a beginner and do not have a developed upper back, we suggest not to squat with the foam. On the other hand, If we don’t use it in hip thrust or glute bridge, we run the risk of having many hip injuries.
The hip thrust is an exercise that It allows us to exploit all the strength of our gluteus. To do this, we support the scapulae on a box or bench and what we have to do is push hard with our legs to extend the hip and achieve correct activation of the gluteus and hamstrings.
The glute bridge is an exercise very similar to the hip thrust. The only difference is that, in addition to the glute bridge we can activate the hip extensors a little moreinstead of supporting the scapulae on a bench, we support them on the ground.
REEHUT Barbell Pad Gym Protector Barbell Squat Pad – Advanced Ergonomic Neck and Shoulder Protection Pad for Squats, Squats and Hip Thrust
The gluteal bands are very efficient accessories to work especially the gluteus medius. They are bands made of elastic fabric that increases resistance as they are elongated, which makes it perfect for working certain lagging ranges of motion. An exercise that we can do with these gluteal bands is the monster walk.
The monster walk is an exercise that is usually done mainly as a warm-up before doing a hard leg workout, although also helps for hypertrophy if given the right stimulus. If we want to correctly activate the gluteus medius, we advise that the band is above the knees.
Elastic Bands Buttocks, Fitness Elastic Bands 3 Levels (Set of 3) Fitness Non-Slip Exercise Bands for Yoga Pilates Hip Strength Legs Cloth and Gluteals
Anklets for pulley
The ankle brace for the pulleys is another accessory if we want to work the gluteus well. One of the exercises that you can take advantage of is glute kicks. It is important that the anklet has enough protection since we could hurt our legs.
To perform a good gluteal kick, what we have to do is start with a little hip flexion and extension in order to maximize glute elongation and contraction.
Fitgriff® Ankle Strap for Pulley (Padded)- 2 Pieces Ankle Straps Gym Cable Machines, Gym, Fitness – Women and Men (Black)
Note: Some of the links posted here are affiliate links. Despite this, none of the items mentioned have been proposed by either the brands or the stores, their introduction being a unique decision of the editorial team. Prices and availability may change after publication.
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