Feb 23, 2018
Greater Glutes

When athletes enter the weightroom, many of them are worried about strengthening their core, arms, and legs. But one muscle of the body that requires just as much attention is the gluteus maximus. A unique exercise coaches can use to build their athletes’ glutes and enhance their performance on the field of play is the frog pump.

Why is it important to strengthen your athletes’ glutes? In an article for Core Advantage, High Performance Manager for the Deakin Melbourne Boomers and Basketball Victoria (Australia) Durham McInnis explains that strong glutes provide hip extension. Having powerful hip extension helps athletes jump higher, run faster, and accelerate quicker. And according to McInnis, when athletes’ glutes don’t work correctly, the body tries to make up for this by using the groin or hamstring for hip extension.

“The result is that the body starts to over use the wrong muscles, and develops tightness and weakness in these muscles and maybe even a tear,” writes McInnis. “Often this is then called a groin or hamstring problem, however it’s actually a glute problem with a hamstring or groin symptom. People with…strong well-activated glutes are pretty much immune to these problems.”

Athletes with strong glutes are also not only able to jump higher, but do so correctly out of a lower body position. And when coming down from a jump, McInnis explains that strong glutes are essential for landing safely.

“Ninja Landings, as I call them, are a vital ingredient to a long and successful career as great landers are far less likely to sustain acute and chronic knee injuries,” writes McInnis. “To be a Ninja Lander you must have strong glutes to soak up the kinetic energy of your impact on the floor.”

For coaches who are searching for new and exciting ways to implement glute work into the weightroom, the frog pump is a great option. In a blog for The Glute Guy, Bret Contreras, CSCS, explains that the movements in this exercise decrease the use of the hamstrings and erectors and force athletes to mainly use and strengthen the glutes. Here are the steps to carrying out the frog pump, laid out by Contreras:

  1. Get into the glute bridge position.
  2. Flatten out the lumbar spine.
  3. Tuck your neck into your chest.
  4. Dig your elbows into the ground and make fists.
  5. Put the bottoms of feet together and scoot heels as close to the butt as possible.
  6. Bridge into the air while maintaining the position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Contreras also offers multiple options for implementing the frog pump. Coaches can use it as a glute activation drill during warm ups and before a strength workout. When doing this Contreras recommends doing three sets of 10 reps. The frog pump can also be used at the end of a workout with two to three sets of 20-30 reps. Click here to watch a tutorial of the glute bridge from Contreras.

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