Bottoms up – how to really work your glutes
Wednesday, May 2018
Why you should strengthen your glutes, pelvis and hips – plus 3 easy exercises to work this often-overlooked area of your body.
If you like the idea of working you butt into shape – literally – this article is for you.
When it comes to strengthening your gluteal muscles (your glutes), it’s important to isolate the muscle group – giving it your full attention, says Andi Hite, Step into Life Gawler personal trainer.
Many people often focus on core strength and upper body strength with specific exercises targeted for those areas of the body, but often overlook focusing on the glutes.
“It's extremely important to strengthen the glutes,” says Andi. “Of course, everyone wants a tight booty, but there’s a lot more to it than that!”
Strong glutes can help reduce lower back pain and also avoid overactive or tight hamstrings. This is important especially for runners!
When you run, your glutes hold your pelvis level and steady and keep your legs, pelvis and torso aligned. So, if your glutes are weak, you can risk injury.
Andi adds, Achilles tendinitis, shin splints, iliotibial band syndrome, snore knees and back problems such as a disc bulge can all result from being weak in the glutes, hips and pelvis.
To explain further, your gluteal is one of the largest muscles in your body, and if you do not use it properly you can load up our lower back, hips, knees and ankle joints a lot more than you should.
“A lot of people don’t actually know how to activate their glutes and instead use muscles such as their quadriceps or tensor fascia latae,” says Andi.
Given the gluteus maximus is involved in a number of sports – from running to weight-lifting – Andi shares these three easy exercises to really work your glutes – no equipment required!
1. BRIDGE POSITION
Lying on your back with your feet flat on the ground and knees pointing up, lift your hips up off the ground rolling up one vertebrae at a time. Squeeze your glutes and hold for a few breaths then slowly release back down, and repeat.
2. SLOW SQUATS
Keeping your feet hip-width apart, push your hips back as if sitting in a chair. Make sure the pressure is in your heels and your knees do not track over your feet. Squeeze your glutes to help you stand back up very slowly, push your hips forward at the top, and repeat.
3. DONKEY KICK
Starting on your hands and knees, keep your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Raise one leg up, heel to the sky and keep the leg in a 90-degree angle. Then, pulse the heel to the sky for 10 reps, remember to keep your hips level. Alternate between legs.
Want to know Andi’s famous pesto recipe? Read this article with the Gawler personal trainer.