You might be concerned about sculpting a strong booty to fill out your favourite pair of jeans, but there’s so much more to a tight tush than the way your pants fit! Your backside consists of three major muscles: the glute maximum, glute medius, and glute minimus. This important group of muscles extends the hip (pulls the thigh behind you), abducts the hip (your lateral movement to the side), and does internal and external rotation of hip. In short, they’re incredibly important, but they’re often weak and underworked.
There are many potential reasons, but we are going to keep it simple and give you just two. The first and most common reason people suffer from underutilised glutes or “glute amnesia” is due to lifestyle. Even when people train hard every day, if they spend the majority of the remainder of the day sitting down, then they are simply not using their glutes. And remember the old saying – if you don’t use it, you lose it. Unfortunately, this is just what happens with your glutes.
Another common reason that your glutes might not be working properly, is due to injury. Often an injury happens that changes the mechanics and motor programming of a person’s body. This can lead to some muscle groups becoming overactive, while others become underactive (think: compensation). This can alter things for a long time without the person even knowing it.
So many of our jobs require us to spend so much time sitting that our glutes “turn off” or stop firing as efficiently, effectively, and strongly as they should. Once our glutes stop firing, our hip flexors (the muscles that pull the thigh forward) get tight and can lead to injury. When you build a stronger booty, here are a few of the benefits you can expect.
Beat back pain: Your glutes work to stabilize the pelvis and keep integrity of movement in the hip joint. When they’re strong, your lower back doesn’t bear the brunt of your motion.
Increase athletic performance: If you want to be a stronger athlete, it’s time to start squatting. Stronger glutes will improve your speed, agility, and jumping skills, and quick side-to-side movements will also become much easier. Every time you take a step, your gluteus maximus shores up your pelvis and SI joint for stability. When you run, this is even more important, since the force of impact increases exponentially on each foot strike.
Prevent knee pain: Strong glute meds keep the pelvis stable from swaying side to side. When your pelvis isn’t stable, it puts a lot of pressure on your knees and ankles to compensate. When your backside is strong, it helps prevents this naturally, keeping you safe from injury.
Train your glutes at least once a week using mostly compound, multi-joint exercises, such as full squats, deadlifts, lunges and stepups. These exercises mimic real-life functional movements, which can help improve daily life. Additionally, include aerobic exercise in your weekly routine. Perform at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week. Hill walking or elevating the incline on your treadmill or elliptical machine will help strengthen the glutes while burning fat. Intermediate or advanced trainees can replace one to three moderate-intensity aerobic sessions with high-intensity sprinting sessions to help build and strengthen the glutes.