When I was a younger lad, I always wanted a “hockey butt”.
You know, the butt that you see on all the pro hockey players. The thing that can barely fit into a normal pair of jeans thanks to all the skating that directly targets the derriere.
Don’t lie to yourself… you’ve looked at hockey butts before.
The hockey butt phenomenon even prompted Gongshow Gear to come out with a “Beauty Fit” edition of their jeans, designed to fit a small waist, huge ass, and huge quads.
Being a goalie, and a lanky one at that; I never really got the “hockey butt” even though I would say I had decently strong glutes compared to the regular Joe.
It wasn’t until I started lifting that my glutes really came into form.
They became bigger.
They became firmer.
My back no longer hurt.
My knees started feeling better.
I was able to toss more weight around in the gym without worrying about putting myself on the shelf for a week or two.
Plus, I finally had a hockey butt and the ladies noticed… I think?
Way back in 2014 I wrote an article called, “Set It Up”, regarding the best way to set yourself up for pretty much any task that involved lifting something heavy.
There, I spoke a little bit more about how to get yourself into position before you move. Here, I’m going to take that perfect set-up and sprinkle it with a little more magic, so that you will be in a good position while you’re moving.
On any lower body lift, once you’ve organized your core and prepared it for what’s to come, you must put yourself in the best position to succeed.
We can all go about lifting weight in one of two ways, regardless of what exercise it is or what body part it hits.
- Brute force that mofo. Move it using whatever means necessary. This is a good way to get yo’ self hurt.
- Use the muscles the exercise was intended to target, often giving you a good-sized slice of humble pie – but saving you from injury in the process.
So, how do we get this “hockey butt” Gavin speaks of that makes all our potential partners melt and all of our peers jealous?
I guess before getting into what we need to do, we need to break down exactly what the glutes are good for – you know, other than filling out our Levi’s.
This sucker is the head honcho and pretty much the alpha male of the entire muscular system in our bodies. Known as one of our largest and most powerful muscles, glute max packs a punch.
The main job of this guy is to extend the hip. It erects the torso after stooping and straightens the leg after bending the knee and flexing the hip.
Gluteus Medius and Minimus (External Rotators)
Glute med and min are basically the supporting actors (actresses) to the Denzel Washington that is glute max.
These gems are responsible for externally rotating the hip when the leg is straight and – most importantly for this little story – supporting the body on one leg.
So as a whole, our glutes do the following actions:
- Hip extension
- External hip rotation
- Single leg support
*Disclaimer: There are a lot more muscles involved in these processes and the glutes can do more than this, but all of that is beyond the scope of this article.
So, bringing us somewhat haphazardly back to the point of this article, how do we wake up those muscles, hit them harder and in turn make ‘em pop?
We have to let them do their job.
Sometimes, we have to force them to do their job.
The problem is that most of the time, our glutes are pretty lazy buggers. Glute max lets the lower back do a lot of its work for it, extending the hip and causing all sorts of problems. Glute med and glute min let the knee dive in all over the place, just walk behind the treadmills at any public gym and you’ll cringe thinking about the physio bills those people will be paying down the road.
So how do we force it? There are lots of ways, but I teased this article by saying I would give you one tip.
So one tip I will give you.
—– Force external rotation during single leg work. —–
There are several ways you can do this.
The first is to have a friend or trainer provide light pressure on the outside of the knee. Our photographer caught me in the act at RBFit a couple of weeks ago and it cleaned up my client’s single leg deadlift form immediately (honestly, I wish you could see the difference).
The second option is to rig up a band to do the same job, since we can’t all have the luxury of incredibly good looking trainers. Tie ‘er up to something stable and have it pull against external rotation (towards the midline of your body), forcing you to fire the glutes – particularly glute med and glute min – and resist it.
The third option is to set up a light mini band (or heavy – if you’re a psychopath) while doing a single leg exercise such as single leg hip thrusts.
Now, not only do the external rotators have to resist internal rotation, but they have to extend more forcefully as the band gets tighter near the top of the rep.
Double whammy, baby. This was a doozy!
It seems that in talking to others around the gym and those in my peer group that I’m not the only one who wants a firmer, thicker posterior.
The added benefit of reduced back and knee pain doesn’t hurt either, but we all know we’re here to look better.
So pick up a couple bands and some dumbbells and get after it.
While you may not be able to get upstairs or use the washroom for the next couple days, you will be well on your way tp a better functioning and better-looking bottom.
Yours in backside development,
If you want more exclusive content, access to lots of FREE shit, and to better understand the twisted mind of a former goalie turned fitness pro, sign up for the McHale S & C email list. Once you join the team, I will harass you with musings on hockey, lifting heavy shit, and fitting alcohol into your macros.