Here is a great exercise for beginners and even more advanced lifters who struggle to utilize their gluteus maximus effectively in hip external rotation (I’d estimate that 30% of male lifters and 60% of female lifters don’t utilize their glutei maximi effectively in rotational strength training actions).
The gluteus maximus has an incredible capaciity to laterally rotate the hips as I explained in THIS scientific post on the glutes. It has excellent leverage for rotation and is highly activated in athletic and coordinated individuals. However, if you fail to incorporate the gluteus maximus into rotational actions, you’re leaving out a major player and have much room for improvement in this movement pattern.
Cable hip external rotation is easy to perform and leads to surprisingly high levels of activation even with light loads, and it will teach the gluteus maximus to fire properly so it can be more highly integrated into more complex movements such as swinging, striking, and throwing. It takes the core out of the equation to simplify matters and hone in on hip action. Make sure you watch the video as I tinker with body positioning to maximize the average torque and maintain constant tension on the hip rotators.
Once individuals are proficient with the cable exercise, they can move onto more challenging exercises. Here I am performing the band anti-rotation hold – it works the rear glute very well in a static position.
Here is baseball player Steve Hammond properly performing the band hip rotation; a very effective glute/core exercise (but very difficult for many to master).
It is paramount that baseball players, golfers, and other athletes involved in rotational sports (or sports that utilize rotary actions) effectively activate their glutes as hip external rotators in order to maximize their performance.