Have you ever been confused by a B-Stance? Today we want to explore this alternative stance to squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts, etc., to help you gain strength while building the glutes!
If you have a narrow stance squat or a max-width sumo deadlift, you probably understand how much stance plays a role in which muscles contract and engage throughout your lifts. The b-stance is an underappreciated variation, and we want to dive in because it’s a great way to build unilateral strength with high carry-over to your main lifts. Plus, if you’re looking to develop your glutes, all of these exercises will support that goal in a big way.
WHAT’S THE B-STANCE?
It’s pretty simple; it’s a staggered stance where the big toe of your back leg is even with the heel of your front leg. Using a b-stance is comparable to single-leg or split-leg exercise variations, but instead of one leg going at it alone, the back leg is there for some support and extra balance.
WHY SHOULD YOU USE A B-STANCE?
This stance can be beneficial for any kind of athlete, whether a new gym goer or a competitive athlete; there are plenty of reasons why everyone should incorporate this type of stance into their training. In addition, it has excellent carry-over to athletic movements since sports require weight transfer and distribution from one leg to the other.
Now you may be wondering how this helps strength and power athletes; These athletes rely heavily on the glutes for explosive movements, so it would be advantageous to include some glute movements. Unilateral movements have benefits like correcting imbalances if you’re compensating, improving core balances, and improving muscular stimulation. Overall these are considerable benefits to strength athletes but even better is including b-stance as an alternative stance. It is similar to unilateral training, but you bring some balance and symmetrical training, which has a greater carry-over to the main lifts because they mimic a similar loading pattern. You essentially leave out the balance constraints needed to perform single-leg movements.
HOW CAN YOU USE THE B-STANCE IN TRAINING?
We’ll cover three of our favorite movements that can be used with a b-stance and grow your glutes. They’re all compound exercises that, in our opinion, are the best for overall strength and hypertrophy of the posterior chain.
Below are the three movements we'll cover:
B-Stance Hip Thrust
B-Stance Romanian Deadlift
MOVEMENT #1: B-STANCE HIP THRUST
You’ll set up as you usually do for a hip thrust (on a bench or box). Focus on locking from the sternum up, keep your head straight-forward and chin down (in a comfortable position), and only move from the ribs down. To make it a b-stance lift, you’ll simply shift your foot forward (line up the back foot’s toe with the front foot’s heel). As you come up, keep as much weight as possible off the extended front foot and instead put most of your weight on the back foot.
MOVEMENT #2: B-STANCE SQUAT
You’ll begin setting up your squat as usual with the bar on your back. You’ll still align your back foot’s toe with your front foot’s heel; most of the weight will be on your front foot, and your back foot will work like a kickstand. You’ll feel a bit off balance as you descend, but focus on using the back foot as support, and the movement will feel more natural as you go.
A great benefit of a b-stance squat is going deeper in the movement, especially if ankle mobility is one of your limiting factors. You can use the b-stance for a front squat, but keep in mind that you’ll be targeting different muscles, so it depends on your preference.
MOVEMENT #3: B-STANCE ROMANIAN DEADLIFT
Lastly, using b-stance for the Romanian deadlift. This movement is easy to use with a barbell, dumbbell, or kettlebell. This b-stance movement is closest to a single-leg variation, but it’s a lot easier to overload weight since you have that back leg for stability. Like the squat, you’re staggering your stance, focusing the weight on your front foot, and using the back foot as a kickstand. Something to keep in mind with a b-stance Romanian deadlift is you might not be able to go as deep as a regular stance, so be mindful when loading the weight.
A b-stance variation is a great way to build strength while growing your glutes! If you start incorporating this stance into your programming, be consistent. The best way to see progress is by doing them regularly so you can track your improvements. Assigning b-stance to your typical squat, deadlift, or hip thrust routine can help you switch up your routine while gaining strength and improving your overall athleticism.
In this video, Megsquats will explain the movements, coach you through them, and talk about the benefits of each b-stance variation.