Sir Mix A Lot sang about it.
A Tribe Called Quest followed in suit (lesser known, so here, have a listen).
The most vicious and powerful female tennis player in the world knows of it’s power.
So why am I seeing so many wrestlers with flat asses?
Let me give you a quick story behind this post.
About a week before the Big Game (I think I need to call it that because the NFL has the actual word trademarked and getting into legal trouble with that organization is not something high on my list of things to do) Pat Popolizio, the then head coach of the Binghamton University wrestling team contacted me expressing interest in meeting.
So we met that Sunday a few hours before the game and went over the final one and a half months of the season in terms of matches, practices, and where he wanted to fit lifting in with his team.
After meeting and touring the facility I was officially in charge of designing the BU wrestling end of the season peaking program. I got to work right away and missed the first 3 quarters of the game putting together 2 programs- one to be used with equipment found at my gym and one to be used with equipment found a their gym.
Now, fast forward to today after I’ve had the chance to work with the BU guys preparing for nationals (and their awesome 14th place finish!) and since then as they start their post season lifting and there are a few MAJOR issues that I’d like to address; the first being the lack of asses on the guys.
I know that the butt is mostly viewed as something that usually impacts the sexual appeal of an individual, but it also has an important role in sports, especially wrestling!
In a nutshell, the Glutes are responsible for hip extension. Hip extension is the action of driving your hips forward when you’re…
- Sprawling on a shot
- Lifting an opponent for a mat return
- Looking to throw an opponent
- Driving your hips in when riding legs
- Shooting and finishing leg attacks
It’s everywhere in wrestling and developing it properly will not only improve your performance, but it may also save you a lot of back pain.
Big Butt=Less Back Pain?
I’m far from an expert on back pain, but back pain in the wrestlers that I train seems to be very common with those who have small butts.
Why do I think this is the case? Because the muscles above the glutes (Spinal Erectors) also help contribute to extension at the hips/low back.
And when the Glutes aren’t strong and aren’t firing properly, the low back has to compensate to get the desired result (sprawl, lift, etc.)
Think about it- have you ever seen a guy on top arching in really hard with the legs to the point of being almost perpendicular to the opponent he’s riding?
Have you or someone you know seem to have trouble performing mat returns on opponents when the stand up and usually end up just folding at the back in an attempt to drag your opponent back to the mat?
What about when you sprawl? Have you ever sprawled on a guy and had him completely extended but weren’t able to produce enough force with your hips that you were unable to break his lock and ended up stalemating the situation, or worse- getting taken down?
Additionally, there are ways to tell if you’re lacking Glute strength in the weight room.
First, do your squats look like this, or worse, are they higher?
Or do you lean back heavily like this in order to finish a deadlift?
If you noticed my buddy Dom’s butt looks flat and guessed it’s because his Glutes aren’t firing, then you’re right!
Couple this lack of activation and strength in your Glutes with the stress and movement around the low back (both on and off the mat) and not only do you have a definite way to increase its risk for injury, but you also run a higher risk of not being successful in the situations above.
The good news is you can start to minimize and eliminate them with the right exercises.
So stay tuned later this week when I post some of the best ways to improve the strength and power of your hips.
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