This week it’s all about the booty. It’s a booty blog! Why it’s important to have strong glutes and how to get them.
The “glutes" are comprised of 3 muscles, the gluteus maximus, minimus, and medius. These muscles originate from different parts of the pelvis and insert on different areas of the thigh and leg bones.
The gluteus maximus is the bigger of the 3, and besides creating a nice shape, is responsible for hip extension (pulling the leg behind you), leg rotation, and thrusting the hips forward (as in a glute bridge exercise). The minimus and medius gluteal muscles are responsible for hip abduction (raising your leg to the side), internal and external hip rotation (as in a clam shell exercise).
Okay, so most of us would like a nicely shaped behind. But let’s go beyond the aesthetics for a minute. Why are strong glutes SO important?
- The glutes help to stabilize the lumbo-pelvic-hip-complex. The LPHC is comprised of the structures that make up our “core”. You know, the core which is the origin of all our movement. So, if our core is unstable during exercise (or running or walking), our force production (what we put out) is reduced and forces aren’t properly transferred between the upper and lower body (leading to inefficient movement patterns). And next thing you know you are at the Physical Therapist’s office 3x/week.
- Speaking of force production, strong glutes are an absolute must for athletic performance. Acceleration. Deceleration. Changing directions. Athletes with strong glutes will be faster, more effcicient, and more explosive than athletes with weak glutes.
- Prevents low back pain. With all the sitting that is happening these days, #sittingisthenewsmoking our glutes turn off and stop firing efficiently. Instead our hip flexors kick in, shorten and tighten, leading to pain in the lumbar spine, hips, and knees. And there you are again, back in the PT’s office.
- Back to aesthetics for a minute. Strong glutes just look damn good.
Want to strengthen your glutes? Think beyond squats. A nicely balanced glute routine should include some hip extension, hip abduction, and hip external rotation. Try these moves below as part of your workout or on their own for a nice booty burn. 10-20 Reps, 3-4 Sets
- Glute Bridges
- Single Leg Bridges
- Bird Dogs or Donkey Kicks
- Clam Shells
- Lateral Band Walks
- Side Lying Hip Abduction (Leg Lifts)