Recently I was corresponding with a client that will be preparing for some triathlons later this year and we got to talking about strength training, in particular strength exercises for the glutes aka "the butt" and how important it was to have functional strength in this area for multisport athletes. There are three muscles comprising the glueteal region Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius & Gluteius Minimus and a 4th smaller muscle the Tensor Fasciae Latae. Click on the links below to read more about each specific muscle.
Tensor Fasciae Latae
There are many exercises for the glutes but here are three that she found to be very helpful in her strength program. All these exercises do not require that much balance, can be done with body weight, then progressed to an unweighted Smith bar. When doing an exercise for the first time, work on technique and check body position to create body memory before adding weight.
1. Split lunges with back foot on a bench or ball with bodyweight or weighted on Smith machine. Narrow stance works quads more, wider stance works glutes/hamstrings, push up through heel. Knee do not pass toes.
2. Sumo squats either with bar or on bosu ball. Key is for thighs to drop below parallel to engage glutes/hamstrings, keep butt out (do not curve lower back or tail bone in). This can be difficult for people with tight Achilles. You can use plie squats with a landmine just to vary it up (this is a wider stance with toes pointed out like in plie).
3. Wide stance leg press brings in more glutes/hamstring, narrow stance quads/vastus lateralis. Try to bend knees past 90 and push through heels.
Do the time in the gym NOW, so you can cut loose when its time to go fast later this season.
Make it a great week of training.