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The Performance Life

Mark Verstegen Discusses the Body’s Powerhouse Muscle in ESPN's Body Issue

Jason Wise

People often wonder what muscle to train in order to achieve their best performance. While Core Performance readers know that the key is to think in terms of training movements, not muscles, there are no doubt certain muscles that stand out from the pack. In the new Body Issue from ESPN The Magazine, Mark Verstegen, founder and president of Athletes’ Performance and Core Performance, shares a secret to performing like a superstar athlete. Hint: You’re sitting on it.

Here’s an excerpt:

I asked [Verstegen] what I thought was a simple, innocent question: What's the most important part of an athlete's body? A moment later, I'm on the lobby floor, performing exercises that are either supposed to serve as his answer or get us both arrested. Verstegen stands over me, his eyebrows pinched into an intense V. Drawing air back in through pursed lips, he makes a loud, high-pitched smooching sound while simultaneously poking my ass cheeks with his fingertips, the way Cesar Millan shocks unruly canines back to compliance.

"Fire!" Verstegen yells. "Fire those glutes!"

Instinctively my cheeks contract, and my body rises off the carpet. Verstegen stretches his arms out, palms up, in a hallelujah pose. "The outside world might not talk about them," says the man who trained the rear ends of No. 1 pick Andrew Luck and 62 other players taken in the 2012 draft. "But for us, for athletes, glutes are everything -- the absolute epicenter and powerhouse of all athletic movement. It's all about the ass.”

 David Flemming, ESPN.

Read the full article, Call of Booty, at ESPN.com. Also, be sure to check out our glutes section to learn how you can strengthen your most powerful physical asset.

Tags: Sports Performance, Glutes, Build Muscle