“It has been all about the ass for more than two million years. When man first raised his hands off the ground to become bipedal, it was the buttocks, serving as a counterbalance to the chest, which allowed our ancestors to stand erect.” (David Fleming: ESPN, Call of Booty, https://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/8132777/david-fleming-importance-athlete-butt-espn-magazine).
The glutes are the biggest and most important muscle group in the athlete’s body. Gluteus maximus is where the bulk of any athlete’s power sits. It begins at the top of the pelvis, then it wraps around the bottom of the hip, where it connects to the front side of the femur. Besides giving the butt its breadth, the glute max is mainly responsible for hip extension. The initial push needed to get up from the bottom of the squat, along with the final stretch of the femur that gives athletes the explosive power required to jump or rapidly change direction.
Posterior Pelvic Tilt (PPT) Hip Thrust is a wonderful way to improve on mind-muscle connection to the glutes. Most people are incredibly weak and uncoordinated with PPT and lack strength, power and endurance in this regard. A PPT is required to prevent anterior pelvic tilt and keep the pelvis stable during heavy lifting, walking and general stance. The inability to disassociate the pelvis from the spine is not an ideal situation and often leads to niggly low back pain and eventually injury in heavy and explosive activity.
PPT’ing slackens the hamstrings, which theoretically causes the glutes to have to do more to make up for the lack of hamstring force in times of rapid hip extension. Lastly, it takes the big, thick sausage like erector spinae muscles of the back out of the equation, reducing the amount of low back stiffness from muscular tightness.
After All, What did Chubbs always tell Happy Gilmore? It’s all in the hips. It’s all in the hips!