You wake up, roll over and prepare to stand when a sharp pain hits in your back and continues from that moment onward… all day at your desk, in the car, on the couch... The thought of exercise curls your toes. What’s wrong, you think? Diagnosis: weak butt syndrome.
Commonly, we let our backsides slide and we can thank our sedentary, technological lifestyle for letting our largest most metabolically active muscles turn into couch pillows. From sport to everyday activity, the Gluteals, “glutes” for short are essential for power, endurance, function, and pain prevention.
Get to the “Bottom” of it: The buttocks (or gluteals), consist of three distinct muscles: the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus. Spanning from your torso to your legs, the gluteal complex connects to the sacrum, pelvis, and femur. Functionally these three muscles act as powerful stabilizers to the back, pelvis, and lower leg. The gluteus maximus, the largest of the three, functions to assist w upright posture, and just about any movement that requires power to move you up, down, sideways. It acts to extend and rotate the hip outward, or laterally, and gives shape to your “booty.” The gluteus medius is a fan-shaped muscle that lies between the gluteus maximus in minimus. It functions to abduct in rotate your lower leg inwardly, and during walking it helps to stabilize the pelvis preventing a drop of the opposite side. Fibers on the backside of the muscle also help to produce a little bit of outward or lateral rotation of the hip. The gluteus minimus is the deepest and smallest of the muscles and functions to abduct and rotate the lower leg inwardly, stabilize the pelvis, and prevent dropping of the opposite side.
Why be a Hard A$$? Stabilizing the core and pelvis, the gluts act as a firm foundation to allow other muscles to be more effective... performing any activity with a soft rear end is like drag race car with wimpy shocks and a mo-ped engine… Whether you’re lifting, jumping, or shooting hoops, your glutes provide that explosive power that comes from extending your hips. While core work is certainly important, the glutes are the powerhouse that surrounds the pelvis. Because they are not as active as other muscles during routine activities, they are prone to atrophy and weakness. Most strength training exercises don’t isolate the gluts. So why are the glutes so inactive? Well, the first and most common reason for underactive glutes is “glute amnesia” or rather what I call “glut coma,” where your glutes simply go to sleep because of inactivity; ie: sitting, slouching. Unless you are standing or applying resistance to your bum, they will take a nap... Weakness increases your chance of lower back, sacroiliac, hamstring, and even Achilles’ tendon injury.
Wake Your A$$ Up! Training the glutes goes way beyond squats and lunges. To enhance overall strength, performance, injury prevention, and improve your look in jeans, your glutes need direct and frequent attention. Compound, multi joint / directional hip and pelvis exercises are most effective to put a fire under your butt! Sit all day? Consider a sit-stand desk at work, hit the stairs instead of the elevator or take for a few round trips up/down for some butt pounding activity. Grab a resistance band, place a loop above your knees and walk/ lunge back, forth side to side.
Google these exercises for a couple of ideas:
Butt - Burner: In addition to the functional and prevention benefits of kicking your own butt comes the metabolic, fat burning benefit! Your gluteals are the largest muscle in your body, so adding resistance training to this region has a huge calorie and fat burning benefit.
So .... go ahead and kick some BUTT! You I’ll be thankful in the “end.”
HAPPY HOLIDAYS… Keep it KICKIN’ in 2020