Today I want to talk about butts! It’s hard to ignore them really. Butts are everywhere!
The majority of attention around butts is paid to appearance. People are motivated to exercise their Glute muscles so they can get a rounded, peachy bum! There is nothing wrong with that at all… I’m a fan of peachy bums! As long as you’re enjoying the process to get there and not relying on the result to bring you happiness, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t want to change yourself aesthetically. However, it will only give you short term pleasure and never provide you with long term fulfilment. I won’t bore you with that now though :) That’s another post!
Anyway… I want to take the focus away from the aesthetics and talk about the benefits from a physiological point of view and why strengthening your Glute muscles could actually help you resolve long-standing debilitating problems such as lower back pain.
The Gluteus muscle group is a team of three muscles - the Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius and you guessed it… the Gluteus Minimus.
The Gluteus Maximus is actually the biggest muscle in the human body, by volume!
This muscle group is veryyyy important because it plays a huge role in our daily movement. Not only is it a key player in powering walking, it also helps us when we stand up from a seated position, walk upstairs and even aids our balance.
Did you know, however, that our bodies can actually switch on the wrong muscles when we exercise, and during every day movement, because the correct ones are weak or inactive?
This is very common in our Glutes and can be the cause of many common physiological problems, such as knee and lower back pain.
When the wrong muscles groups are working, it changes how we move and puts increased pressure on our joints and other muscles, leading to muscle spasm and nerve pain.
For example: If our butt isn’t strong enough it can put extra pressure on our Hamstrings. Extra pressure on our Hamstrings can cause injury to those muscles that are in contact with them, such as our knees.
Weak Glutes are such a common problem because so many of us spend too much time on our butts - driving, doing office work, sitting in from of the TV etc.
Sitting down puts our hips in a forward tilted position causing our Hip Flexors to become shortened and tight. At the same time our Glutes are being lengthened and this leads to weakened fibres over time.
It’s not all bad news though because with the correct exercises you can actually train your Glutes to activate properly! All you need to do is first identify which muscles aren’t working properly.
At OPT we can assess your posture and movement patterns so we can do this, and based on the results, design a personalised plan to help resolve such problems.
To conclude, a strong butt can lead to better spinal support and postural improvements so it should not be ignored or only worked for aesthetic reasons!
There are loads of really simple exercises you can do to strengthen your Glutes. Get in touch if you would like to learn more! We can give you a simple routine that you can do at home with just one piece of equipment or before your workout, to ensure your Glutes are properly activated.
Have a great evening!