I can’t let a month go by without discussing the importance of glute strength. I mean there is a strength coach, Bret Contreras, that has dedicated himself to the glutes! Clearly, if someone as smart as Bret is going to those lengths, the glutes are worth mentioning again and again.
Today, though, I will take a different path than usual. Most of the time I’m discussing unique ways to activate the glutes or how to get them going between Zoom meetings at work. Today, I’m taking it to the Gym!
We are talking deadlifts today, specifically Sumo style deadlifts. In last week’s post, I spoke about how critical the big toe is for activating the inner hamstrings as well as the entire internal torque chain. That includes the big strong inside quads (vastus medialis) and the strongest muscle in the lower half of the body: gluteus maximus
I always enjoy the full spelling of the gluteus maximus because it reminds me of Maximus Decimus Meridius from Gladiator. I feel like it could be announced almost like a boxer stepping into the ring, “now stepping into the fight, GLUTEUS MAXIMUS” (cheering from the crowd ensues).
And that’s what the Sumo deadlift provides us, the opportunity to drive through the top half of the deadlift and aggressively extend the hips. We can’t ask for much more in terms of trying to find more glute strength and exploit the opportunity.
So here are some helpful tips on how to incorporate the Sumo deadlift into your training.
- Make sure your big toe is locked into the floor during the ENTIRE lift. It’s easy to roll to the outsides of the feet as you near lockout. DON’T do it. Instead stay on top of the bar and use your whole body through the movement. It will provide you with significantly more stimulus.
- Play around with stance width and amount the toes are turned out. This is a personal preference thing and will be different for those seeking a big glute pump versus those trying to move the most weight possible.
- Yes, you will create more stimulus in your quads off the ground, so the top half of the lift is critical to stay focused to get the most out your glutes
- Similar to the discussion about the lat pullovers a few weeks ago, do 2 days/week of sumos, one day should be a max effort variation (blocked, deficit, different grips or stances) and one day should be as an accessory movement with lighter weight and a SH!T ton of reps. That’s where you find that glute pump where you might feel you heart beating in your butt 🙂
Now get to it and show those glutes who is boss!