Glutes of Glory

MFF hearts asses.  We heart asses hard.

Glutes are a cultural obsession in the Ninja Clubhouse.  They are key for both health AND hotness, and consequently, we spend a lot of time refining our techniques to create beautiful booties.

From a health and function perspective, they’re kind of a big deal.  A lot of the society at large suffers from what’s called “gluteal amnesia.”  You got sleepy butts!!  For a number of reasons, many people don’t have the ideal amount of “wattage” in their glutes.   If the glutes aren’t contributing appropriately to movement, other muscles start compensating.  At best, this will lead to reduced performance, and at worst, it could lead to injury.

And from a hotness perspective, go fuck yourself.  If I have to explain this to you, just stop reading now and go back to your terrible life.

I’m kiiiiidding, I love yooooou, don’t stop reading.

Here.  I’ll make it up to you with knowledge!

Let’s learn about how best to rock assless chaps, shall we??

Let’s Get Your Ass Turned On

So before we get into the details here, a brief caveat: I’m gonna keep this shit simple.  The glutes are a multi-faceted muscle (really a set of muscles), and we could easily get lost in minutiae.  (I once read a 600 plus page book on them.)  For our purposes, we’re gonna keep this as simple as possible, but not any simpler.

One of the glutes’ main functions is extending the hip.  When you’re sitting in a chair, your hips are flexed.  When you stand tall and bring your hips through, you’re extending your hips.

A lot of folks have a hard time doing this because the front of their hips are tight.  In science, we would diagnose this as “your hips are fucking tight.”  This means the hips CAN’T extend.  For this reason, the first step is often freeing up the front of the hips.   In most cases, soft tissue work followed up with mobility drills can help free this area up.

After we’ve made sure we have enough mobility here to access a full range of motion, it’s time to turn those fuckers on!  Before we get into the sexy stuff, it’s gonna be important to make sure your butt is no longer taking a nap.  By using low level exercises like glute bridges and clams, you can really focusing on making sure your butt is flexin’!

Your goal with these exercises is to feel your butt muscles working.  In the interest of your long term ass goals, please be creepy.  Put your hands right on the butt.  Make sure you feel your butt doing something. We want to insure that your glutes know how to work by themselves before you start dealing with compound movements that require your body to coordinate the actions of various muscles and joints!

Choosing Your Weapons of Ass Creation

Once we’ve got those glutes going, we want to train them like we would any muscle.  Although you can’t spot reduce body fat, you CAN spot add muscle.  If you wanna be bootylicious, we’ve got to make your glutes stronger.  This requires using the right exercises for the job!

Although going over all the possible exercise choices is beyond the scope of this article, including a variety of exercises is probably your best bet.  Since every ass is like a snowflake, everyone will respond in different ways to different exercises.

While the best possible results will come from a balanced diet that also includes squats and deadlifts, our go-to exercises for glute glory are hip thrusts, kettlebell swings, and lunge variations.

Hip thrusts are an exercise made famous by the Glute Guy, Fitness Super Hero Bret Contreras. They’re basically like a glute bridge on steroids.  You can elevate your feet, your shoulders, or both.  And you can load the shit out of these with a barbell.  You’ll want to use a pad of some kind so you don’t crush your hip bones, but once you’re playing with these for a while you can go pretty heavy.

If you want a great ass, you should work towards getting as strong as possible on this exercise.  When you do them right, you should have to waddle for a little bit afterwards.  Particularly when done for high reps, your glutes should get “pumped” in the same way your biceps do after bicep curls.

Kettlebell swings are another MFF favorite.  Not only will they build explosiveness and hip power (which can lead to more strength), they’re another excellent choice for teaching your body how to use your glutes to extend your hips.

We also love lunge variations.  Lunges with a forward lean particularly challenge the glutes.  Compared to hip thrusts, where the hardest part of the movement is while the glutes are contracted, lunges work your ass while they’re stretched.   Just be mindful as these can leave you SUPER sore if you go all out without taking a workout or two to expose your body to the stimulus.

Bit By Bit, Putting It Together

As always, the devil is in the details.  While the above information will get you started, it’s the application of the exercise that will lead to the best results.  Although it’s hard to create a program in a vacuum, the following principles should get you started on the path to filling out that speedo.

  • Start your workouts with soft tissue and mobilization for the hips
  • Follow this up with low load activation activities to get the glutes aroused for the fun to come
  • For best results, do your mobilizations and activations every day
  • You’ll want to train the glutes 2-4 times a week.  While a lot of this will be determined by the context of the rest of your program, once- a- week- bodybuilder- style- blitz won’t be optimal.  Conversely, you need time to recover, so training your glutes hard every single day will also not serve you.
  • Vary your rep ranges.  Don’t be afraid to go heavy for low reps, but also make sure you occasionally go lighter for high reps (up to 20 or 30 reps).  A sample template to be dispersed over a full week would be 5 sets of 4-6 reps, 4 sets of 6-10 reps, 3 sets of 10-12 reps, and 3 sets of 12-15 reps, and 3 sets of 15-20 reps spread over the week.  So if you train your glutes 3 times per week, you could do 5-7 dedicated sets of glute-focused exercises per workout.
  • Vary your exercises.  Again, we want to diversify the way you’re challenging your ass.  Just as you’ll spice up the rep ranges, we want to include a variety of leg exercises while prioritizing the choices that lead to the most work for the glutes (hip thrusts, kettlebell swings, and lunges).  By using a variety of exercises, you’ll insure you’re covering all angles in your pursuit of your personal best ass.

Summing Up Ass Mastery

While the above guidelines will take care of the training considerations, it’s important to note that achieving the ass of your dreams will require paying attention to the other keys to fitness success.

If you’re looking to build up that ass, you’ll need sufficient calories and protein so your body has material to work with.  Additionally, you’ll need to make sure you’re on top of recovery.  Take days off, get adequate sleep, and don’t stress too much about dumb shit.

Hopefully this will give you some insight as to how get started on the path to Glute Greatness.  For more information, please check out the work of aforementioned Bret Contreras. The Glute Guy knows his shit; I highly recommend his book Strong Curves (this one is NOT 600 plus pages) if you are really ready to get more specific on your quest to ass mastery.

I can’t wait to drink mimosas served off your shelf-like ass!!!


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