The importance of strengthening your glutes
Today we’re talking about bums! Or to give them their scientific name, glutes. Here we’ll cover the main function of your glutes, why they’re important and what you can do to strengthen them.
What do your glutes do?
Your glutes are made up of three different muscles: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, and are responsible for controlling hip extension, internal rotation, and abduction of the hip.
These muscles help with balance and basically help you stay upright!
The gluteus maximus is the main muscle in your bum and it being the biggest, helps create the shape of your behind.
Why are strong glutes important?
Strong glutes are great for achieving the look and shape you want in your body but they also play a really important role in proper pelvic alignment, propulsion during running, and even single limb stance support.
If you like to include exercises such as deadlifts and squats into your workout, then having strong glutes is essential for properly executing these exercises and will protect your lower back during your workouts or even just when you’re running or walking.
Benefits of having strong glutes
Reduced Back Pain
Strong glutes are essential to lower back health, as they help stabilise the pelvis so that any load can be more evenly distributed through the lower back and lower extremities. Strong glutes act as a support for the lower back during exercise and throughout our day-to-day lives.
Reduced Knee Pain
Weak glutes can cause instability at the hip, which puts extra strain on the knees and ankles, leading to knee discomfort or pain. Instability at the hip can create lateral patellar tracking which is a common source of knee pain for many people.
Having strong glutes is key to a variety of athletic exercises including acceleration, jumping, and even heavy lifting. Because the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body, it has a huge effect on hope you perform at the gym. Strong glutes can improve your performance, power and workout efficiency.
If your glutes are weak, the large muscle in your lower back (latissimus dorsi) overcompensates, pulling the torso and shoulders out of their proper position. Additionally if your hip flexors are stronger than your glutes, they can pull your pelvis into an unnatural alignment causing bad posture and long-term discomfort or pain.
Signs you have weak glutes
If you have any of the above, back pain, knee pain, bad posture or you’re struggling to execute an exercise properly in the gym (for example you’re rounding your back during a deadlift) then weak glutes may be the root cause. However, you don’t have to admit defeat and live with weak glutes forever, there are ways to improve your glute strength…
Best exercises to develop glute strength
If you’re looking to develop and improve on your glute strength, there are some exercises that you can do to target the area:
- Donkey kicks
- Glute bridge
Additionally, you can incorporate the following stretches into your pre or post-workout routine:
- Pigeon stretch
- Hip flexor stretch
Remember to fuel your body correctly whilst doing any form of exercise and proper nutrition is essential. Need help getting your macros and calories in line with your workouts? Take a look at our meal prep delivery service.