I just read an article about training glute muscles on T-Nation by John Romaniello.
Train Your Butt! by by John Romaniello
The glutes are hit in a variety of exercises, but few people perform direct glute training. Isolation work is done for the hamstrings, lats, traps, and spinal erectors; however, the gluteus muscles are often overlooked.
Even if you utilize primarily multi-joint compound movements which involve the glutes, it’s possible to create an imbalance in the posterior chain if you perform a lot of isolation movements for other muscles. Clearly, this isn’t optimal and should be avoided. Training the glutes directly can help minimize the risk of such an imbalance occurring.
Obviously, one of the main reasons to train the glutes in a relatively specific manner is for increased strength, which is the primary goal of this program. As part of your posterior chain, the gluteus maximus acts as an important mover in both Olympic and power lifts. Increasing glute strength can lead to increased poundages in the squat, deadlift, snatch, and so forth.
For example, the glutes are recruited more heavily as squat depth increases. As such, we can assume that increased glute strength will allow you to move more weight from the “basement” of a squat.
The glutes are also involved in any hamstring exercise that involves trunk flexion/extension. This includes the stiff-legged deadlift, good mornings, and any variation of either. It’s also been shown that as load in these movements increases, the greater the glute involvement becomes. This is something to take into account when considering glute training. As glute strength grows, more weight can be used during trunk flexion/extension exercises. Hamstring strength, resultantly, will also increase, with respect to these movements.
It should also be noted that this may help to indirectly increase your squat, as the hamstrings will play a larger role in the squat as load increases. As a result of these factors, greater overall lower body development seems possible.
Athletes involved in any dynamic sport should also consider glute training as there’s substantial involvement of the gluteal muscles in both jumping and sprinting, especially in the initial explosion of either. From this we can infer that increased strength may lead to increased initial power output, having great carryover to sports. The benefits of such training would also obviously apply to anyone who uses sprinting routines such as HIIT as their mode of cardiovascular activity.
As with any other aspect of bodybuilding, the scope of training this particular body part goes beyond functionality and strength to fully encompass aesthetics. Although it’s occasionally debated, there seems to be a positive relationship between heavy strength training and both neurogenic and myogenic tones. That is, training heavy will increase both. Due to this, you’ll see increased density, tone, and all of the other benefits of such training. This matters for one very simple reason: chicks dig a hard butt.