Why You Need to Train Glutes
It’s not uncommon that glutes are overlooked when creating a program. Often, people focus on the more well-known leg muscles like the quadriceps and hamstrings. However, just about everyone should be working on improving their glutes—all of them. Many people overlook their glutes and how much they function in everyday life (especially in postural imbalances and preventing back pain). Glutes should be a priority for strengthening and making sure they activate properly when needed.
It’s All About that Bass…
Part of the issue is that most people believe that the glutes are simply their bum cheeks—and they are! But you also have glutes on the side of your hips (medius and minimus).
In order to improve the function of your glutes as a whole, you need to strengthen all of them and ensure they work together.
Your glutes have a lot of functions in movement:
- Hip extension
- Hip hyperextension
- Hip external rotation
- Hip transverse abduction
- Hip abduction
These functions aid and support everyday movement. By strengthening them, you improve your ability to perform day-to-day tasks.
So why should you train glutes? Having strong glutes comes with the following perks:
Reason #1 They Help Improve Posture & Alleviate Back Pain
The structure of our daily lives leads to under-activated and weak glutes. For those of us who sit all day, we aren’t recruiting our glutes as often as we should.
And if you’re a mom, improving your posture is even more crucial! The posture of most moms is often based on how you carry kids. Instead of using the required muscles, moms tend to lean to different sides of the body to support the baby.
While this is easier in the moment, it causes a lot of weakness and imbalance overall.
Having stronger glutes is one of the ways in which you can improve your posture. Glutes help pull your pelvis back into place and takes tension off of your lower back. They also help as stabilizers.
Especially when pregnant, strong glutes can help hold your body together and upright to alleviate discomfort.
Reason #2 Glutes Are Part of the Pelvic Floor
I’m sure you’ve heard of your pelvic floor and how important it is to have one that is fully functioning and relatively strong. This is because one of the functions of your pelvic floor is to hold your organs in place, almost like a sling.
Through pregnancy and giving birth, the pelvic floor becomes stretched and weak. Since the glutes are one of the muscles necessary for the pelvic floor, it’s essential to make sure they’re activating when they should be.
That said, pelvic floor strength isn’t just for females! Males need to keep their glutes strong as well.
Reason #3 Glutes Aid Performance
Having strong glutes is one of the essentials to being a good athlete. Even if you never plan on playing competitively, having strong glutes gives you the power to push, sprint, pivot, and perform. It also makes your other lifts in the gym easier and safer when your glutes are strong and firing.
Strong glutes let you keep up with your kids, play, workout, carry groceries, and prevent injury while doing it all.
Having stronger glutes is crucial for everyone. And in order to do that, you’ve got to strengthen them. Below is a list of amazing glute exercises. Some of these exercises can be done with weights, some with bands, and some with bodyweight. Your glutes respond to a variety of training stimuli. But they do need to be trained.
- Hip thrust
- Feet elevated glute bridge
- Banded clams
- Quadruped hip extensions
- Banded lying leg abductions
- Sumo walks
Learning to activate and engage the glutes properly and completely is the first step to improving them. From there, focus on progressing the glutes with weights, repetitions, or variations.
Great glute workouts can be hammered out in under ten minutes, but boosting your weights on major lifts (like the hip thrust) is never a bad thing, either!
Don’t underestimate the power of strong glutes! Keeping your glutes strong will help prevent injury, improve your posture, help your pelvic floor muscles, and keep you able to play with your kids.