Big strong glutes….ever thought why a good set of buns is more than just aesthetically pleasing? The round peachy glutes play a vital role in overall health and performance and there is more than what meets the eye. Having stronger glute muscles have been shown to reduce injuries, help athletic performance and even live longer. Yes, you read that correctly, having a nice bum may even help you live a little longer!
The glute complex is made up of three muscles: gluteus maximus (largest of the three and most powerful), gluteus medius and gluteus minimus (smaller assisting muscles). Gluteus maximus is the hip extension muscle. Its role is to keep us upright and push our bodies forward. The gluteus medius and minimus muscles work together to cause hip abduction (movement of the leg away from the body) and to stabilize the hip and help us balance.
In our current situation and sedentary modern lifestyle, many of us spend hours on end sitting. Whether it be at work at a desk, driving or lounging on a sofa, we are destroying the strength of our glutes. By sitting our glutes aren’t contracting, they are lengthened and inactive. On the front of our hips, the hip flexors are contracting and tight, thus rotating the pelvis forward. The longer we maintain this position means the weaker and less effective our glutes get. You may often feel this when standing after a long period of sitting as stiffness in the back.
By having weak glutes the biomechanics of the body change. The lower back is then placed under a load of strain which leads to the spasm of the muscles in the lumbar spine due to inactive glutes. This in turn can cause back pain with overloading of the intervertebral discs resulting in degeneration.
How to strengthen the glutes:
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees and lower into a squat position. Keep your knees behind your toes. From the bottom position imagine driving up with your heels to stand. Repeat for 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15reps
Stand with your feet staggered, one foot forward and one foot back (about one metre apart). Bend both knees and lunge straight down, sending your back knee toward the floor. Try not to lunge forward over your front toes. Keep your front heel on the ground and press into your heel to stand. Repeat for 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.
Lie on your back. Bend your knees and lift your hips up until your body forms a straight line from knees to head. Keep your heels under your knees. To make this more challenging it can be done in a single legged position. Repeat for 2 to 3 sets of 15 reps.
Get on all fours. Lift one heel up towards the ceiling while keeping your knee bent. Don’t arch your back to lift your leg up, start the movement from your hips/glutes. It’s all about activating your glute to lift your leg, not about lifting your foot as high as possible. Repeat with the other leg. Repeat for 2 lets of 12 to 15 reps.
It doesn’t matter if you’re building glutes for performance or for the gram. EVERYONE needs strong glutes. Get in touch to know if you are susceptible to having weak glutes and not giving your body the correct support it needs.
Yours in Healthcare