Build explosive strength with this 206-rep glute barbell workout

It may just be tradition to scroll social media and see ubiquitous glute workouts aimed at women, with booty bands and air blasts galore. However, glute training is not gender specific in any way and if done correctly can be the missing piece in your training plan.

The benefits of glute training go far beyond aesthetic results. Having a strong set of glutes impacts sports, injury prevention and your heavy lifts. So we approached physique coach and author, Gareth Sapstead MSc, to bring you a glute workout designed to increase your explosive power.

According to Sapstead, “There’s no hiding the fact that elite sprinters have big and muscular glutes. That’s because they play an important role in the force you can generate when you extend your hips. You can’t ignore your glutes for unstoppable sport speed.’

Time to grab a barbell and focus your glutes.

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The training

Barbell Hip Thrust x 8-10 reps – 4 sets

Start sitting on the floor with the bench behind your back and the dumbbell in front of your feet. Roll the barbell onto your hips, bend your knees so your feet are on the floor, and make sure the edge of the bench is over your shoulder blades. Push through your heels so that your hips are extended at a right angle at the knees. Your heels should be under your knees, chin tucked and ribcage pinned in. Reverse the movement so that your hips sink to the floor and keep the torso locked to prevent movement in your back.

sapstead says: “While you may feel like you can throw a ton of weight here, it’s too easy to get carried away and sacrifice the targeted nature of the hip thrust to simply feed your ego.” Concentrate on the contraction at the top and go a little lighter if that helps you feel it even more.”

barbell back squat

Barbell Back Squat x 5-7 reps – 4 sets

Prepare the barbell for the squat rack with an appropriate weight selection and height for your needs. Reach for the bar with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Step under the barbell and place the bar just below the fleshy part of your trap muscles. Squeeze the shoulder blades together to lock the bar tightly on your back.

Remove the bar from the rack and take minimal steps backward in the correct foot position that suits your mobility. Lower the hips back into a low squat at a slow pace. Push through the heels back to standing and lock the hips.

Sapstead says, make this more hip-dominant by “using a firm bench or plyometric box, then really lean your hips back.” Your torso will lean forward more and shins stay more vertical. Take 3-4 seconds to lean back, briefly rest 50% of your weight on the bench and then ride back to the start. If you don’t sit comfortably with a barbell on your back, the leg press machine can be a good alternative.’

stiff leg deadlift

Stiff-leg deadlift x 10-12 reps – 4 sets

Start standing, with your feet in line with your hips. “Think of stiff-legged deadlifts as a “high-hipped” deadlift. Position yourself as you would a barbell deadlift off the floor.” says Sapstead. Continue the hip hinge movement with a very slight bend in the knees that you will hold in a fixed position the entire time. Deadlift the weight up and slide the barbell down the front of your legs while pushing the buttocks behind the heels until it touches the floor. You should feel a great stretch in your hamstrings. If mobility doesn’t allow you to touch the plates on the floor, work within your range of motion to reverse the exercise and stop at the shins.

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Deep back lunges x 12-15 reps on each side – 3 sets

Start with the dumbbells in each hand and feet under your hips. Take a big step back with one leg in line with your hips. Think of stepping on a ‘train track’ rather than a ‘tightrope walker’. Lower your back knee to the floor so that your front knee is at a right angle and your quad is parallel to the floor. Push through your front heel back to standing and repeat on the other leg.

says Sapstead: “Lunges, split squats, and step-ups are best used to target your glutes in a more stretched position as your hips reach a greater degree of flexion.” So it’s arguable that the lower part of your lunges is the most important to emphasize. To do this, make sure you really bring your back knee all the way to the ground, or even start by standing on a small step or plate so you can go even deeper when you step back.”

Gareth Sapstead MSc CSCS is a physique coach and the author of Ultimate Abs: The Definitive Guide To Developing A Chiseled Six-Pack

Kate is a fitness writer for Men’s Health UK, where she regularly contributes workouts, training tips and nutrition guides.

Build explosive strength with this 206-rep glute barbell workout

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