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The Muscle Nobody Wants to Train

Dave Cruz

In fitness, we always seem to be trying to lose something. Most of the time it seems to be around the waist. The truth is that most people need to lose a little in front and gain a little in the back. Specifically, they need to train the gluteal (butt) muscles.

Glutes are essential to survival. Spine expert Stuart McGill, author of Low Back Disorders, describes the loss of glute strength and size as "gluteal amnesia" and goes on to implicate lack of strength in the glutes for the debilitating back pain that afflicts so many people.

We sit too much, we take too many elevators, and we skip too many stairs. The result? Loss of glute function and the relative disappearance of the body's most vital muscle. Then to top it off we go to the gym and do what? We work on our upper body. No wonder everyone's back hurts.

The cure: Squats, lunges, single-leg squats, split squats, hip-extension exercises and bridges. The good part is that gluteal amnesia is curable. You can fix it yourself.

Michael Boyle is one of the world’s leading experts in the area of performance enhancement and the owner of StrengthCoach.com. He is also the author of Functional Training for Sports.

Tags: Training, Glutes, Back Pain