The Glorious Glutes

August 15, 2018

It doesn’t matter whether you’re running, walking, standing up, jumping or even dancing, your Glutes should be controlling the movement. The Glutes are positioned within the body with a vital role of controlling movement at the hips, trunk, lower back, mid back, knees, ankles and even feet. However due to modern day working arrangements… many people lose strength and control from the Glutes leading to poor trunk and lower limb mechanics.

Sitting for prolonged periods of time at a desk, driving or even just sat at home places our hips into flexion (bent position), therefore causing lengthening and ‘inhibition’ of the Gluteal muscles. It is becoming increasingly more common for people to spend more time either sat down or lying down in a day than actively standing up, so this is becoming the norm at the hips. People whom this applies to are at greater risk of lower back pain due to the lack of control at the lower back provided by the Glutes.

Targeted glute activation and some form of strengthening exercises should be performed on a daily basis in order to fully protect your lower back and other areas of your body. Even if you are a gym goer, strong glutes are the cornerstone of a good squat, lunge, hinge and step up motion. Without adequate strength and/or control in your Glutes you risk rounding at the lower back causing increased load on the joints and intervertebral discs. As well the potential inward collapse of your knees or ‘valgus’ which could lead to knee pain.

 

Anatomy

Generally speaking, the Glutes are responsible for 3 main movements, extension of the hip, abduction of the hip and rotation of the hip. Therefore to effectively activate, strengthen or rehabilitate the Glutes we need to utilise all three of these movements. Here is a breakdown of individual movements from each Glute muscle in more detail;

  • Gluteus Maximus – Hip Extension and Hip External Rotation
  • Gluteus Medius – Hip Abduction, Hip Internal and External Rotation (anterior fibres), Hip Extension and Hip External Rotation (posterior fibres)
  • Gluteus Minimus – Hip Abduction and Hip Internal Rotation.

glute anatomy

Due to the complex alignment of the muscles and the many movements they are responsible for the Glutes can be easily influenced by ‘tightness’ in other muscle groups around the hip. An example of this is in the adductors (inside of the thigh), if they are ‘tight’ and unable to lengthen fully they can inhibit the Glute Medius and Minimus as they would now be unable to fully contract to abduct the hip. The same is applicable with the Glute Maximus, if the hip flexors are ‘tight’ and unable to lengthen.

 

Strengthening Exercises

When strengthening the Glutes it’s easy to get sucked into doing many complex unnecessary exercises that you may see others doing in the gym. Sometimes simplicity is key, as many of you will know if you’re active on Instagram, the king of Glute exercises is the ‘Bridge’ or ‘Hip Thrust’ as its becoming better known. So, if you’re worried your Glutes are not as active as they should be try this little Glute burner;

  1. Banded Bridge x 10 reps
  2. Bridge Iso hold x 20 seconds
  3. Hip Flares x 35 reps

Do these 3 exercises back to back for 3 rounds and trust us your Glutes will be on fire 🔥.

 

Wrap Up

Now you can see how important your “hump” actually is when it comes to controlling movement around the trunk, pelvis and lower limb. For more advice/guidance on the Glorious Glutes, posture correction or lower back issues then get yourself booked in for an assessment with one of our experienced Physiotherapists.

 

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