Deadlifting Concepts For A High Powered Set Of Glutes

When you hang around the fitness industry long enough, you eventually accept the fact that you will be exposed to new concepts and “breakthroughs” in training whether you want to be or not. Some of them may be worth your attention and self-experimentation. Unfortunately a lot of them may leave you scratching your head (or bouncing it off the nearest wall). Then there are those moments where you find these information diamonds in the rough that leave you doing an end zone dance in your head and reassure you that there is hope for humankind after all.
I read a lot of different blogs on a lot of different subject matter related to training and it was a statement by the bright mind of Tony Gentilcore that had me thinking end zone dance. It came from a few short words from a very well written post.
I have been following strength and glute gurus like Tony and the glute guy himself Bret Contreras because of their quality information on glute and hip development and their new age twists on a timeless subject. It is the insight of great minds like these that have led me to drawing my own conclusions on the subject.
    -Most of us if not all of us will have drastic benefits as a result of more glute and hip work.
    -A good butt burn from a big lower body lift is a key indicator of how well that particular lift is being executed.
   -Whether the goal is strength, hypertrophy, fat loss, or endurance. Teach someone the intricacies of glute and hip development and watch magic happen.
  -Whether it is in the gym or Wednesdays at TheChive it is hard not to appreciate a good butt.
    -The best information is information you can draw your own conclusions from.
     -A well calculated deadlift will build a butt with the best of them.
The deadlift needs no introduction. If you are on this site then you know that deadlifts are the real deal when it comes to building strength and making muscle.
To take it beyond that, the ability to exploit the intricacies of the deadlift will provide you with the tools to blast your glutes based on concepts that we all have within our possession.
The Hinge
The hip hinge is the foundation of any deadlifting pattern. A high quality hip hinge is what separates a visually and kinetically pleasing deadlift from the ones that just don’t look or feel pretty. Proper hinging requires the ability of the hip to move fluidly from flexion to extension. It is the hip’s ability to move that ultimately controls the load placement of your lift. If the hips are moving well it is placed throughout the hamstrings, glutes, low, and mid back. If this is not happening, the hip dominant characteristics of the deadlift get thrown out the window and more often than not you begin to see knee and low back dominance and that’s where things just don’t look pretty.
In order to create a response, you address inefficiency. For that reason, I believe that stepping back a little and integrating hinge patterning into your plan will reignite deadlifting capability. Not to mention this patterning alone will sound the alarm on a comatose set of glutes. Here are some recommendations when it comes to patterning the hinge.
    -Think of it as a tug of war match between your hips and your heal
  -Equal foot placement whether the foot is elevated or grounded
  -Looking for a healthy balance of rigidity and fluidity in the trunk (treat your core like a    
   chain link fence rather than a brick wall)
  -Extension of the hip when standing rather than the knee and low back (should be a whole lot of  
   glute activation here).
Ground Force Reaction
Your feet will tell you exactly what is being used to complete a deadlift movement. It is just a matter of listening. The ability to consciously strike your foot into the ground plays a huge role in contracting the musculature of the lower body to generate force. The ability to cue that has been gold for me when it comes to firing the hips. Strike the heel to fire the glute/hamstring, strike the big toe to stabilize the knees, and let the mid foot create a suction cup like effect on the ground to bring it all together.
The ability to cue ground force reaction will help you pattern a lifting behaviour that will make activation second nature.
-Make ground force reaction a priority and you will be building butts
-Ankle mobility and knee stability are vital for active glutes
-Create contact with the big toe to stabilize the knee and control the hip
-Drive that heel to fire the glute/hamstring
-Spread the floor in a bi-lateral deadlift stance
-Feel what you need to feel, lift, repeat
Multiple Angles
When it comes to testing comfort zones, put angles up there with load, volume, and time under tension and let changing your foot position be that literal and figurative step outside of what’s comfortable. The beauty of the hinge is that it is hip dominant which means you have a lot of movement dimensions at your disposal.
If you are looking for a unique response, create a unique environment. Changing the angles of your foot strike will completely alter the response of the hip. If the faithful feet hip width apart is beginning to grow old, combine some different foot angles with the hinge and ground force and you have a lot more butt building ammunition in your arsenal.
 -Most resistance angles work in opposite. Toes in, lateral hip will fire. Vice versa.
 -Changing the angle of the foot can be quite beneficial for providing a solid foot strike.
 -Angles of resistance will most definitely create a response if it is a step outside of a comfort
Unilateral Work
This is where the going gets tough. One legged deadlifting when done very well has been my go to when it comes to glute activation. However in order to reap the massive benefits of it, a one legged lift needs to follow a certain criteria.
To allow the butt to get the most out of one legged lifts it is essential that the knee is solid but just soft enough to mobilize the hip. If it becomes knee dominant you may need to step back a little. Once again the ability to hinge on a dime and apply force to the ground will be the ammunition needed to do just that.
-Ensure mobility of the hip and ankle is up to snuff. The more of this you have working for you
the more that butt will fire.
-Balance is a result of your foot being well secured to the floor. Activation is a result of it
being driven into the floor.
-Split stances provide a pre-requisite to full on one legged work that will fry your glutes.
Make Mix-A-Lot A happy Man
Let me reiterate by throwing out a big AMEN to Tony’s proclamation. Of all of the progressions in training concepts I have to say that training for glute and hip development is a concept that truly can be applied universally. It has been around for a long time and it will be around for a long time.
And while a set of guns will certainly perceive a notion of weight room proficiency it really is a well put together set of glutes that will not only provide the visual but will ultimately showcase what you can bring to the table when it comes to walking the walk.
Whether you are a running back in the NFL or you are trying to squash some nagging back pain, glute and hip development will be at the forefront of your progressions. Applying concept to your deadlifting will be able to provide you with a platform to do just that. I believe that no matter what the prescription is when it comes to deadlifting, it will be the ability to conceptualize and cue the deadlift that will ensure that it is doing exactly what it is meant to do.