The Gluteus Maximus!
Here is a slideshow on how we view the gluteus maximus. We have a load of functional training exercises for Gluteus Maximus on our youtube page and we often share these on our facebook page.
The Gluteus Maximus is the major muscle across the hip, from the perspective of size and contribution to strength. It is often labeled as weak and then associated with many problems that may be better described as a part of a lack of skill or combination of muscles reacting. As a powerful muscle, the gluteus maximus, can pick up the slack from other muscles and change the way clients move through a skill.
In gait the gluteus maximus is reliant on the opposite side hip flexor to create an environment for it to be successful. This is because the gluteus maximus is reliant on the pelvis to be moving in the transverse plane, in the opposite direction to the femur that the gluteus maximus is trying to stabilise and power away from flexion, adduction and internal rotation.
The Gluteus Maximus is the main player in movements that require you to overcome gravity. This is important to know, as it is often trained in large ranges, against heavy weights, to improve speed. Obviously this is a mismatch, although the gluteus maximus will help you out of the blocks, it would be the hamstring group (at the hips at least) that would be propelling you, and maintaing the momentum gained from the initial start.
For the greatest training transfer, the movement that is selected by the Personal Trainer, needs to be as close to the skill the client wants to improve as possible. Here is an exercise that we developed for tennis, using the viper.