Be aware of your focus
It’s very easy to allow other muscles to help or take over when performing glute specific exercises.
The quads and hamstrings in particular can take a lot of load and along with gravity can aid momentum through ranges of motion.
Whilst using those muscles to a degree for stability is ok, using them to leverage load is not and will diminish your potential returns.
Focus on only engaging your glutes to create movement whilst keeping the rest of your body still and solid throughout slower, less explosive exercises.
The primary goal is not to move your body but to contract only your glutes through an entire range of motion that causes your body to move.
Be aware if you are using your quad or hamstring muscles (front or back leg muscles) to help with this ROM and try to re-focus attention onto only using your glutes.
A good focus tip is to squeeze the glute muscle first then initiate the movement keeping the muscle contracted (squeezed) through the entire ROM.
Tips when exercising with a TRX for glutes
The glutes are a complex system of muscles similar to the abs. They consist of: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.
The gluteus maximus is the largest of the three and performs a wide variety of actions such as:
- To push your hips forward – Hip extension
- To move your thigh away from the mid-line – Hip abduction
- To rotate your thigh bone outwards – Hip external rotation
- To tuck your butt “in” – Posterior pelvic tilt
The gluteus medius primarily functions as a stabiliser during dynamic movement and as a hip abductor.
It comes into play the most when stabilisation is needed from exercises such as TRX Lunges or TRX Pistol Squat.
Glutes tip 1 – Feet
To contract your glutes focus on trying to drag your feet backwards, pulling your heels together at the same time.
Or imagine there is a large inflatable ball between your heels and bum that you are trying to sit on and squeeze as hard as possible.
Glutes tip 2 – Engage mind-muscle connection
If you struggle to engage or feel any contraction place yourself into a bridge position and push with your heels through the ground as hard as you can until you can feel the glutes squeezing and contracting.
Master that feeling in this bridge position and then progress it to standing.
Glutes tip 3 – Go against gravity
It’s very easy when performing exercises such as the squat to allow gravity to help you descend into a seated position.
However, by squeezing (contracting) and engaging your glutes and hamstrings to pull your body down into a seated position rather than simply dropping.
Followed by contracting the glutes again to push your body up into a standing position means you will be working the glutes through a full range of motion both eccentric and concentric.
You will see and feel much greater development and results by keeping points like this in mind.
An improvement doesn’t just lie within looks, it could be:
- Better and more confident in technique
- A better internal focus of mind-muscle connection and contracting the muscle when performing the exercise
- Better breathing
- Better body placement and range of movement using a band.
Allowing space for those personal improvements along with focusing on progressive overload by increasing rep / set ranges and intensity variables week by week, plan by plan, is important.
A key improvement marker we will use is strength.
If you are handling the increased intensity each week, then you are getting stronger and thus progressing.
Let’s get to it!