Did you know that the glutes are the largest and strongest muscles in your body? Glutes are comprised of three main muscles: gluteus minimus, medius and maximus. These three muscles work as a team to stabilize the pelvis and maintain proper movement in the hips. Without this group of muscles, twisting, squatting, rotating or doing much of anything when it comes to lower body movement would be difficult. Improving the strength of your glutes can increase flexibility, mobility and overall make daily tasks easier, like: lifting heavy weights, climbing the stairs, running, sitting with correct posture and more. There are a few ways that strengthening your glutes can improve overall performance:
- Athletic Performance- You’ll be able to run faster and jump higher with strong glute muscles, as speed and agility improve.
- Injury Prevention- Strong glutes can help to prevent knee pain, low back pain, hamstring and groin pain. You’re likelier to pull a hamstring or groin muscle if your glutes are weak. Weak glutes also can cause improper deadlift form and mobility, which can strain your back.
- Feel Better- Naturally, since these muscles are the largest in the body, if they are strong and maintain a solid level of exercise each week, upper body workouts and cardiovascular exercises become easier. You’ll feel better walking or running up the stairs at work and you’ll notice a difference in your daily motion.
Easy glute exercise to incorporate into your weekly leg-day routine:
Bridges: Lay with your back on the floor; set a medicine ball at your feet and bridge your pelvis up and down, squeezing your butt at the top. Try 3 sets of 12-15 reps.
Lunges: With a barbell positioned on your upper back/shoulders, lunge 15 times on each side, going as low as possible without touching the ground and ensuring your knee doesn’t go behind your knee. Try 3 sets of 30 lunges (alternating legs for 15 each).
Kettle bell swings: Holding a 20-30lb kettle bell between your legs in a squat position, thrust the kettle bell forward as you stand up, and lower the kettle bell between your legs again as you squat back down. Try 3 sets of 15-20.