This is a question you may never have asked yourself before… Until now.
There have been so many innovative and diverse ideas in physical fitness over the past 50 years. Every 10 years or so, another revolutionary idea creeps into the limelight and warps our way of thinking. We’ve had the likes of; Hula-Hooping, Jazzercise, Aerobics, Street Dance and Zumba, to name but a few.
The latest trend is glute focused. It’s all about your derrière.
However, not for the reasons you might think. Yes, the looks of a full peachy bum are well sought after, (especially in this day and age) but glute training has one factor which has not been available from the many different exercises explored, up until now. So, what is this life-changing benefit that glute training gives you? A fantastic posture and prevention and resolution of back pain! This latter health issue has not been adequately addressed by the rollout of different exercises over the last 50-100 years. Glute training is the catalyst here.
Today’s climate dictates that a greater majority of people are working from home using a computer, and may not have the right set-up to benefit their health. You should use the correct ergonomically-styled chair, (so assisting posture), your eye-level should be at the optimum height and distance for the computer screen and you should be taking regular micro-breaks. Long periods of sitting have been clinically proven to be detrimental to your posture and mobility.
The Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus are responsible for, among other things, keeping your pelvis stable while you’re moving about, be it fast or slow. If you sit for long periods, your gluteal muscles tighten up and this results in bad posture. Your glutes take an important role in your body’s stabilisation mechanism.
When we mention the words, “correct posture”, what do people really think posture is? A school of thought is that posture, is standing or walking straight-backed, with books neatly stacked on their head. However, posture is more than staying upright. Your abdomen should be tucked in, (instead of protruding) your shoulders pulled back, but relaxed, and your chin should be parallel to the floor. If this isn’t happening, then you need to fix your posture by strengthening your glutes!
When your glutes are not in good shape or underperforming, problems can arise, such as lower back pain and knee pain. The Gluteus Maximus, being the largest muscle in the body, is the driving force behind good posture. However, if the gluteal muscles cannot perform properly, they shift their responsibility to inadequately prepared muscles. In turn, the resulting outcome is unwanted strain on your joints, such as, hip, knees and ankles.
An easy start to repairing your dysfunctional glutes is simply to get up and move around. Some situations are unavoidable of course, but the general rule of thumb, is to walk around every 45 minutes.
Glute exercises can be a highly beneficial addition to your workout. Why not try…
Glute bridges: Lie on your back, facing up. Bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips, ensuring your knees, shoulders and hips are in-line. Squeeze your glutes, making sure you don’t overextend your back, or move your hips. Hold for 5 seconds and slowly lower. Complete 3 sets of 10-15 reps every other day for optimum results!
Squats: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping them turned out a little to your comfort level. With your head up, bend your knees and push your hips back. Pull in your abdominals. Squat down slowly, as if you’re sitting into a chair, which will tense your muscles for longer, giving them additional work. As you regain your standing position, squeeze in your glutes. Repeat 5 sets of 10 squats, 3 times a week for a perky bum!
Lunges: Keep your body upright. Pull in your abdominal muscles. Step one foot forward. Bend that knee, attaining a 90 degree angle and hold for a few seconds. Do 10-12 lunges per leg, 2-3 times a week for a more toned physique!
Remember, correct form is key so as not to cause injury or strain and also, to ensure the muscles are being worked properly. Quality over quantity.
All this hard work may be challenging, but you will be rewarded, with not only, strong, healthy and toned glutes, but in addition, you will look and feel amazing, AND what’s more, you will have the best posture around town!