Last month, we shared our blog “5 Best Exercises for Glutes”, where we delved into the anatomy of the glutes, the importance of strengthening them and some of the best exercises you can include in your training program to target them. In this blog, we’re back onto the topic of glutes, this time to explain what you need to be aware of when it comes to glutes and your movement patterns.
If you’re regularly working out in the gym, then there are a few things to look out for that might indicate some weakness in the glutes that you should address. Three of the most common are:
Strengthening your glutes is hugely important for a whole host of reasons – from athletic performance, posture, aesthetics, running ability and reduced risk of injury. With an estimated third of the adult UK population suffering from lower back pain every year, arguably the most important reason to ensure your glutes are the strongest is key to prevent back pain.
It’s an unfortunate fact that our lives are becoming increasingly sedentary, with many of us spending the vast majority of our day sitting in front of a computer screen. This inactivity causes our glutes to stop working properly, which in turn forces other muscles to take over and do the work. When we consider the fact that our glutes are naturally the strongest muscles of the body, we can begin to understand why this can cause problems. Other, smaller muscles are recruited to pick up the slack and do the work that the glutes should be doing.
As the largest muscle in the body, the gluteus maximus can be thought of as our powerhouse, while the smaller glute medius and minimus have more of a stabilisation role. If these muscles aren’t firing correctly, then the pelvis will lack stability, causing excessive movement in the sacrum, the base of your spine, in turn causing lower back pain. Well-developed glutes stabilise the pelvis and bear the brunt of your daily movement, taking the pressure off your back and alleviating lower back pain.
Having super flexible hips due to hypermobility can be seen as a good thing, but it can also prove problematic if you don’t know how to fully control your range of movement. Establishing strength throughout your range of movement and learning how to isolate your muscles at one joint, while keeping the rest of your body still, must be a priority in your training if you want to build strong and stable hips. Your gluteus maximus, medius and minimus need to work alongside other smaller supporting muscles to allow hip rotation, flexion and extension and to stabilise your femur in your hip socket. The condition of your glutes can have a massive impact on your posture, as well as help to prevent or alleviate back, hip and pelvic pain.
If performed correctly, absolutely not. If your squat form is not solid, do not load it. Get the technique nailed first, and only then can you start increasing the weights lifted. Some key points to keep in mind when doing squats:
Any more questions on glute strength or nailing your form in exercises to strengthen them? Let your trainer know. If you don’t already train at Grow, why not book in for a FREE 60-minute consultation with a Grow trainer today? Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to book in. Look forward to seeing you soon!