A lot of people come into the Pilates studio saying that they need to work their core, particularly if they have a weak or painful back, or, they say they need to work on their knees or ankles due to injury. Now, I’m a holistic picture kinda gal so what they’re saying is partly true, I get that, but time and time again in these same people I see a common denominator – a weak butt.
We are spending more and more time sitting on our tushies, for some of us it’s hours and hours at a time with our work, and our glutes are paying the price.
So what’s the problem with weak glutes?
Our glutes are an absolute POWERHOUSE that are designed to support our posture and movements in many ways, and with weakness or inactivity it can lead to things such as:
– Pelvic instability
– Back pain
– Hip, knee or ankle injuries
– Overactive lower back and hamstrings (that may tend to cramp)
– the list goes on!
and NO, a hundred squats a day isn’t the answer… (thank goodness!)
Because you have multiple muscles in your behind and you need VARIETY in your movements to make sure you get a chance to work all three major ones at least. It is too easy for our body to compensate in some glute exercises, you may think you’re doing the right exercise to target your glutes, but you may in fact be missing your target.
The 3 key players:
Gluteus maximus: This is the largest and most prominent glute muscle as it’s closest to the surface of all three. It attaches from your hip and sacrum, to your leg. It’s an important muscle for our upright posture as well as extending the hip, externally rotating the leg, adducting and abducting the leg and by association to the fascia lata and illiotibial band, supports the knee. It’s considered to be one of the strongest muscles in the human body – bit of a problem if it’s not activating well!
Gluteus medius: Is a broad and thick, radiating muscle that lies partly under the gluteus maximus and attaches from your hip to the very top of your leg. It’s responsible for stability of the pelvis, abduction, internal/external rotation as well as some extension of the hip. This important muscle is quite often the most forgotten of the three and one we LOVE to work on in Pilates.
Gluteus minimus: The smallest of the three, as the name suggests, and it also lies the deepest. Most similar to the gluteus medius, it’s main functions are to stabilise the hip and abduct the leg. A weak gluteus minimus affects our gait, allowing the pelvis to drop on the unsupported side.
If you’re after a quick workout that helps you target ALL THREE glute muscles, then I’ve attached a workout for you below from our Online Community. If you’re still having trouble activating your glutes, you may benefit from a more personalised approach – you can book an assessment with us here.
So there you have it. Become besties with your butt and your WHOLE BODY will thank you for it.
If you would like to see more videos like the one attached to this blog plus more on Pilates, yoga, mindfulness, health tutorials, recipes and more, then you can access a free 7 day trial of our Online Community here.
Please note: This information is intended to help inform and increase your awareness, however, it is not designed to replace an individualised assessment from your chosen health care professional to ensure you get the correct information for you. Please get in touch if you would like more personalised support in this area.