If Dwayne Johnson grunting his way through a set of hip thrusts on Instagram last week wasn’t enough proof that glute strength is going mainstream, wait until you see none other than Al Roker strengthening his butt on the Today Show this week.
NBC invited trainer Ben Bruno to the set to demonstrate “the secrets to a strong lower body.” Bruno is highly regarded in the world of strength and conditioning and is well-known for his love of glute-dominant lower body work. His Instagram is filled with his clients performing hip thrusts, sled drags, landmine squats, and trap bar deadlifts, and many of them are celebrities like Jessica Biel and Kate Upton, whose 200-pound hip thrusts we highlighted in our roundup of surprisingly strong Hollywood actors.
Right off the bat, Bruno tells Al Roker and Dylan Dreyer they’re doing his “favorite butt exercise,” the hip thrust. They perform them without a barbell, but Bruno nonetheless provides some important form tips for the movement like keeping your eyes straight ahead making sure you don’t arch your back so that the pressure stays on the glutes, not the lower back. Check out the full clip below.
After they work the glutes, the hosts go on to, well, work their glutes even more, with stability ball leg curls (using a ball engages both the glutes and the hamstrings) and finishing up with walking lunges — he recommends lunging slightly to the side to further engage the glutes.
While this workout took place on morning television, if you add some weight to the hip thrusts and lunges you’ll find this is actually a very effective and worthwhile glute workout for almost any athlete.
And in case you missed the memo, glute strength is critical to almost every aspect of fitness. A strong posterior can support the spine, improve posture, reduce knee pain, increase speed and strength, improve muscle recruitment from the rest of the body… just ask NFL linebacker James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who was seen thrusting 675 pounds last week.
Basically, the glutes are your engine. Keep ’em fine tuned.
Featured image via TODAY on YouTube.