Just read Dispelling the Glute Myth by Bret Contreras over at T-Nation. I do like Bret's progressions to take some basic single-joint exercises and overload them. While I like many of the concepts of the article (I agree that the glutes are a key), the one important point I take away is sprinting. Maybe this is because I've posted about this in the past, but I think coordinated macro-movements are the bread and butter, especially in my context.
The most important message I take away here is in Bret's bulletpoints in the article are:
• A sprint activates 234% more mean gluteus maximus muscle than a vertical jump.
• Due to the increased glute activation, sprinters commonly experience "butt-lock;" whereas repetitive vertical jumpers experience "quad-lock."
• Hip extension exercises that mimic sprinting have horizontal or anteroposterior directional load vectors, involve hip hyperextension, and include reverse hypers, back extensions, hip thrusts, pendulum quadruped hip extensions, and pull throughs.
The important point to take away from this thought-provoking article is to get sprinting more. Lots of quality things happen when sprinting is part of one's training, much beyond just better glutes. Bottom line is, if "functional" is the way to go, then let's practice moving functionally.
Couple previous thoughts on sprinting:
#16 is one to look at here. The reference is at the end of the article.
Acceleration and Absolute Speed