Glutes – More Than Just Your Butt
By Running Divas Ambassador Leana Bartsch
- Anytime you are standing, the muscles of your glutes (and hamstrings) are working.
- The trouble with most of us is we are spending more and more time sitting down, whether it’s in front of the computer at work or in front of the TV at home.
- The impact of so much sitting is that our hip muscles not only become weak but they also forget how to contract.
- This is especially true for your glutes, which are one of your body’s largest and most powerful muscle groups.
- When either your glutes (or hamstrings) are weak, it upsets the muscular balance of your body, which can cause pain and injuries in your knees, hips and lower back.
What are the glutes?
- The glutes are made up of three separate muscles: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus.
- They each have a separate origin (fixed point of attachment), insertion (moveable point of attachment) and action (main action performed by the muscle).
What are the benefits of working your glutes?
- Greater calorie burn: With the glutes being one of your biggest muscle group, they are also one of the biggest calorie burners
- Stronger core: Weak glutes can cause your hips to tilt forward which puts more strain on your spine and can cause lower back pain. It also pushes your lower abdomen outward which makes your tummy stick out so strengthening the glutes helps your core hold your tummy in.
- More efficient running: Glutes provide stability for the pelvis and knees so strong glutes help maintain good posture and reduce side-to-side motion. This stability helps direct your energy forward which results in faster running at the same effort.
How do you strengthen your glutes?
There are a few simple exercises you can do at home without equipment to help.
My favourites are:
- Hip raises
- Single leg hip raise
- Donkey kicks
You can find all of these exercises and so much more on the Running Divas website exercise library.