Do you think that you know everything about the gluteal muscles and how to work out on them in the gym? Make sure that you are not the victim of the most common myths about this eye-catching part of the human body.
Myth # 1: The glutes consist mainly of fast muscle fibers, so they need to be trained with heavy weights
In fact: There were 2 comprehensive studies on the types of fibers in the gluteal muscles. According to the first, there are 52% of slow and 48% of fast muscle fibers in human glutes. According to the second study, the gluteal muscles have 68% of slow fibers, and only 32% of fast muscles. Whatever of the two conclusions is closer to reality, both studies show that the percentage of rapidly shrinking fibers in the gluteal muscles is of considerable amount. In its turn, it means that ranges of repetitions in the course of glutes exercises should be varied: it’s better to use both small repetitive exercises with heavy weights, and multi-repetitive ones with small weights.
Myth # 2: The best exercise for glutes is squats
In fact: Undoubtedly, squats are one of the best basic exercises, but glutes training routine should not be limited to squats only. This conclusion was reached, in particular, by American researchers in studying the work of the gluteal muscles in performing various exercises with the help of electromyography. The experiment in 2006 was funded by the American Council for Physical Education and the researchers’ final report noted that the gluteal muscles were activated maximum through different types of exercises, and not just one type.
Myth # 3: Glutes workout once a week is enough
In fact: Many bodybuilders plan their training routine in a way to train each individual muscle group once a week, but for the glutes you can safely make an exception, especially it concerns women. The fact is that the glutes are one of the largest muscles in the human body, while they are often extremely poorly developed in women. Therefore, it is possible and necessary to work out on them with heavy weights and more frequently, than on other muscle groups.
Myth # 4: Several simple exercises are enough to work out the glutes
In fact: As mentioned above, the glutes “like” variability. This is due to their specific structure, which was studied, in particular, in the 2006. It showed that the gluteus muscles were divided into 3 anatomical groups, and each had its own functional peculiarities. Accordingly, different exercises affect them in different ways. So, squats and lunges activate the bottom of the glutes, but do not include the upper part. Sitting/lying spreading legs activate the upper part, but do not include the lower one.
In addition, it should be borne in mind that 3 different mechanisms are used for the growth of muscles: damage of muscles, mechanical stress and metabolic stress. Do you want maximum hypertrophy? Then use different exercises that involve different mechanisms.
Myth # 5: After training the glutes, there should be necessarily muscles soreness
In fact: Many bodybuilders, especially beginners, believe that if there is no muscles soreness after the workout, it means that they did not work out in a proper way. This is true for most muscles, but not necessarily for the gluteal muscles. Due to their size and – often – weak development, the muscle soreness after the workout is not an obligatory thing. If you necessarily want to feel it, add more exercises to your fitness plan – for example, those that stretch the muscles under the load (in particular, lungs). But in general, the soreness in this case is not something that you need to focus on, and it clearly should not be the goal of your workout.
Myth # 6: Exercises with a progressive load are the best to develop the glutes
In fact: In order to develop the glutes, it’s a good strategy to work out on the whole body, and not just on the backside. After all, if you have weak legs, you can hardly squat effectively. The same applies to many other exercises, but we remember that for the best result it is desirable to diversify the gluteal exercises. Thus, the best strategy for the effective glutes development is an overall physical preparation, the correct technique of doing exercises and yes – a progressive increase of training load. To achieve the optimal result, be sure that you feel how your glutes work. This will be the best evidence that you are doing everything right.