Your glutes are much more than just a cushion to sit on, they are one of the most important muscle groups in the body. Think of it this way, if your body were a car the glutes would be the driver. They act as stabilizers when we stand on one leg, keep our pelvis in alignment, and push us forward whenever we take a step.
The glutes play a key role in just about everything we do. Our buttocks are composed of a group of muscles with the gluteus maximus being the largest, and recognized as one of the strongest in the body—so keeping this muscle group strong is essential for staying active.
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle with sitting a good portion of the day, your glutes can weaken which in turn may result in some common problems, such as low back pain, knee issues, and even offset your balance. In the language of fitness, we often refer to this as ‘glute amnesia’.
So is your butt sleeping on the job? Our brain will call on whichever muscles are needed to perform the function. If one group of muscles doesn’t do its job, another will pick up the slack or compensate. For example, when you bend to pick something up off the floor your brain may shift the brunt of the work to your low back when the glutes don’t turn on. If your hips don’t properly stabilize when walking, this can shift unnecessary stress on the knees.
Whether you are experiencing any of these issues or simply want to prevent them, try adding these exercises into your weekly routine.
SQUATS: done correctly can give you great bang for your buck!
HIP EXTENSIONS: these back-leg lifts can also improve balance.
SIDE LYING LEG LIFTS: great for hip stability.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for simple instruction for these exercises that can be performed easily in the comfort of your home and a free fitness consultation. Or visit jccnh.org/fitness for classes and programs designed to keep you healthy and fit.