Glutes: A Fad or Neglected Muscle?

From a powerlifting standpoint how important are glutes really? It seems like they’ve gained a lot of attention in training lately, but how much of this is fad and how much is effective? If they are as important as some claim, how can I add some extra exercises into a powerlifting split?

Bruh… Heard of squats and deadlifts? Plenty of glute action there.

Most of the attention is from fitness sloots butt workouts and Bret Contreras’ stuff on glutes.

On paper it sounds good. Solid principles. Bigger muscle has the potential for increased force output which means bigger weights lifted and a higher total.

Glutes are movers in 2/3 of the power lifts and if bigger enable you to arch bigger in the bench. In a hypertrophy block or as assistance/accessory movements like the barbell hip thrust with appropriate programming will be beneficial to powerlifters.

I’m just scared of being too thicc so I don’t do much glute stuff.

“The guy with the biggest butt is the strongest”-Paul Anderson.

Not a fad.



in modern expression

No; that is stupid.


Any time someone says they know someone who is “jacked” or “swole”, I always look for neck, traps, forearms, back (width/thickness) and glutes. The dudes with a massive posterior chain are the ones that are strong as shit.

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“A man with a strong posterior is typically calm and superior.” - Unknown


I think there’s better ways to target the glutes that are more specific to PL than glute bridges or hip thrusts.

What’d you have in mind?

Bit of a misapplication of specificity tho. Specificity isn’t about everything having to be specific to the competition demands. IS about when to be specific and when it’s ok to be less specific.

There’s time and place for less specific movements and good reasons also. e.g. in the off-season/hypertrophy/accumulation phases you can be less specific to target weak points, handle more volume, give structures repeatedly stressed by the competition loading/movements a rest or simply to avoid staleness.

Glute bridges definitely have low specificity but have low stress on the joints/body and generate little fatigue for the amount of work done so they can tolerate high volume well. Same way you’d use other movements for accessory work/volume e.g. rope tricep pressdowns for bench.

I was thinking of wide stance low box squats, sumo DL if one typically conventional DLs, sumo stance rack pulls at the knees, wide stance good mornings.

For higher rep stuff for building muscle there’s cable pull throughs, belt squats, hyperextensions using a band and a pause at the top.

Yeah, I guess your right about glute bridges being a decent exercise to add to the mix. I just don’t see why it’s any more special than other options available.

All Good Exercises

The exercises you listed all are good exercise that work the glutes and hamstrings.

However, these exercises work a different part of the Glute “Strength Curve” than “Glute Bridge” type exercises.

Here is the breakdown on the…

Three Types of Strength Curves

  1. Ascending Strength Curve: Exercise in this category are hard at the bottom and easy at the top. That means the lower part of the exercise overload the muscles in the bottom range of the movement and underload the muscles at the top part, finishing part of the movement.

Examples: Deadlifts and Good Mornings

  1. Bell Shaped Strength Curve: Exercise in this category are easy in the first part of the movement, hard in the middle range, and easy at the top. This means the muscles are overloaded in the middle range of the movement and underloaded at the start and end.

Example: 45 Degree Hip/Back Extension.

  1. Descending Strength Curve: Exercise are easy at the beginning and middle range of the movement and hard at the end.

Example: 90 Degree Hip Back Extension and Glute Bridge.

Cable Pull Through

This exercise falls into the Descending Strength category. The beginning and middle part of the Pull Through is unde Drloaded, the end range is overloaded.

Thus, the loading pattern is the same for the Pull Through as for the Glute Bridge.

Deadlift Lockout

To complete the top end lockout in the Deadlift requires strong glute top end strength. You need to drive your glutes through, as you do with Descending Hip Extension Exercises: Glute Bridges, Pull Through’s, 90 Degree Hip/Back Extensions, etc.

[quote]Yeah, I guess your right about glute bridges being a decent exercise to add to the mix. I just don’t see why it’s any more special than other options available.

Descending Strength Curve Hip Extension Exercises

The Glute Bridge is one option. However, it is not the only Descending Hip Extension Strength Curve Exercise.

I personally don’t like it. My personal favorite is the 90 Degree Hip Extension Back Raise.

The Take Home Message

Some type of Descending Hip Extension Strength Curve should be incorporated into your training program at some time.

There are various choices. Incorporate one that you like from time to time.

Kenny Croxdale

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