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The Perfect Bum

Hip external rotation: The secret sauce

Conventional strength training movements typically occur primarily in the saggital plane, and secondarily in the frontal plane.

The transverse plane is easily overlooked and can only be trained in a truly focussed manner through a limited number of isolation exercises, such as cable external rotations and clamshells, and I believe this is the reason it is often missing in glute development programmes.

The inclusion of isolation movements, as opposed to bigger compounds (which when building strength and size do, in general, offer more bang for your buck) can add a new layer of potency to your leg training regimen, and not just in terms of hypertrophy, either.

Hip external rotation in particular is important from an injury prevention perspective, as it offers a technical advantage, helping improve the quality of your movement, particularly in squats. The dreaded "valgus knee" error, where the knees cave inwards (hip internal rotation) is related to numerous injuries, including ACL damage and tears. Strength in hip external rotation offers protection against this common movement flaw.

Stronger gluteals in general are closely correlated with speed, power, stability, and endurance in a sporting or competitive setting, as well as being strongly associated with the reduction or complete removal of lower back pain, a worryingly and increasingly common modern disease.

The benefits of training your butt in a more well-rounded manner are considerably more far reaching than aesthetics alone.

In the interests of pursuing greater sporting potential, negating our risks of injury and pain, and of course enhancing our physiological appearances, it would be a great idea for each of us to work our butts off a little more when it comes to glute training.

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