So you’re always being told to ‘squeeze your glutes’ when performing various exercises in your training sessions. But why are you being told to do this? What benefit will it have? Why do we need strong glutes?
The glutes are one of the largest muscle groups in the body, made up of three muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. All three of these muscles play very different roles and contribute to different movements, yet work together to provide a stable yet mobile lower body.
Your glutes aid in stabilising your pelvis, helping to maintain good posture and balance as well as assisting with everyday activities like walking, running and climbing stairs. Strong glutes also help you to maintain the correct form when performing a range of exercises.
Although they are some of the strongest and most powerful muscles in the body, they are also a muscle group which is easily neglected. Weakness in the glutes can lead to pain in the back, hips, knees and even the ankles! If our glutes are not working as they should be, this will lead to the other main muscles in the legs taking over when performing exercises like squats, lunges and deadlifts.
But fear not, there are a tonne of glute activation exercises which can be performed both at home and in the gym to get those glutes firing.
- Glute bridge
Ensure that you keep the movement slow, squeeze your bum at the top of the movement, but be careful not to overdo it and arch that lower back! Repeat 10-12 times.
2. Monster walks
Start with your feet hip width apart, keep your knees slightly bent and your shoulders back. Take a step out to the side, then follow across with the other foot, ensure that the following foot doesn’t ping back too close. Your end position should be the same as the start, aim for 12-15 steps each side.
3. Side plank
Keep your bottom leg bent and ensure that your shoulder, hip and ankle are all in one straight line. Once in this position, squeeze your glutes as well as your stomach, hold this for 30 seconds on each side.
If you would like any further information or advice, please don’t hesitate to ask!
Exercise Specialist, Better Body Group Sevenoaks