What are Your Glutes & Why are They Weak?
The largest, most important group of muscles in your body are your glutes. These muscles are key players for mobility, being vital for movements such as walking and going up steps. The gluteus maximus, the biggest gluteus muscle, helps propel you forward when you walk or run. The gluteus medius and minimus stabilize the pelvis and promote hip abduction and thigh rotation.
Our current culture leads many of us to have chronically tight and weak glutes due to excessive sitting and living a sedentary lifestyle. Prolonged sitting from driving in the car, hanging out on a couch, sitting at work, etc. have led gluteus muscles to become more dormant than they should be. Glutes have also become weak, “inactive,” and “switched off” because an over-reliance on other muscles during everyday movement that should be performed by the glutes. As a society, we tend to have overdeveloped quads and underdeveloped glutes and hamstrings.
Having strong, active glutes is extremely important and vital to the health of your overall body. Weak glutes can contribute to a range of health issues including poor posture, lower back pain, decreased mobility, balance issues, lack of strength, muscle pain, and could potentially increase the risk of injury.
Four Reasons to Strengthen Your Glutes:
1) Better Posture
Strong glute muscles provide your spine with the support it needs and the stabilization your pelvis requires in order to have a healthy posture.
2) Improves Your Mobility and Balance
This may sound surprising, but your rear end is capable of generating an incredible amount of power. It is the powerhouse of your body’s mobility level and essential for walking and running. You also need strong glutes for stabilization. Strengthening your gluteus can increase both your mobility and balance.
3) Reduced Chance of Injury
Strong glutes protect vulnerable areas of the body such as your hamstrings, knees, and lower back. It is essential that these areas function in a healthy manner in order to perform simple daily activities well. Having a strong rear can also help you avoid tears and sprains in your back muscles. Weak glutes negatively affect lower back alignment which puts back muscles at greater risk of injury.
4) Back Pain
If the glutes aren’t doing their job, the rest of the body — including the spine — has to pick up the slack and can become overworked and injured. A common cause of back pain is because the psoas muscle acts as the body’s core stabilizer rather than the glutes. When the psoas is overactive, compression occurs in the lower back, resulting in one of the more common causes of back pain.
Glute Activation Exercises
One of the classes we offer on Wysefit as part of the Strength Building Series with Liz Bradley focuses on Glutes (The Lower Body Strength workout). You can access it through THIS LINK
Our Back Health Series also includes exercises that activate your Glutes. More glute-focused exercise blocks are coming soon.
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