At the end of this blog we have videos of bodyweight hip strength exercises and gym based exercises for you.
Sir mix alot was definately onto something when he wrote that song. There is a reason that weightlifters and sprinters have well developed,(read large), butts.
That’s because the gluteal muscles help provide the power to propel their body forwards at speed or propel ridiculously heavy weights upwards.
What about us mere mortals ? do we need strong gluteal muscles ?
Its not just important in athletes to excel. There is significant evidence that the strength of these muscles is correlated to;
- Osteoarthritis, (OA), in the hips.
- Running related injuries.
- Issues with sacro iliac pain stability.
- Low back pain.
- Lower limb injurues at the knee and ankle.
Some basic anatomy of the glute muscles.
The Gluteus maximus is the largest and heaviest muscle in the body. It is the most superficial of all gluteal muscles that are located at the back of the hip joint making it the largest muscle at the hip.
They cover the deep rotators of the hip that are also integral in the control and function of the hip. They are also big players in the health of a happy pain free hip. you can read more here.
What does the Glute maximus do and how can it affect me ?
Gluteus maximus, (GM), main actions at the hip are to :
- Extend the hip.
- Laterally rotate / turn the leg outwards from the hip.
- The upper region can abduct the hip, i.e move the leg away from the side of the body.
- The lower region can adduct the hip, i.e bring the leg across the body.
What daily functions do the glutes perform ?
- GM is designed for powerful lower limb movements such as stepping onto a step, climbing, running and is very impotant in lifting, thats why weightlifters have the “rump” that they do.
- The GM and the hamstrings work together to help extend the trunk from a flexed position by pulling the pelvis backwards, for example standing up from a bent forward position. Think of the sprinter rising from the start of their race as they go from bent over position to more upright position..
- The upper portion of the GM can extend the knee through its attachment to the ITB.
- GM is important in providing control by helping balance the pelvis on femoral heads thus maintaining upright posture. It also helps with the stability around the Sacro-iliac joint by helping with the muscular force closure system.This is especially important when standing on one leg and any form of running or walking upstairs / slopes.
- Its attachment throught the ITB supports the lateral knee, and external or outward rotation of femur when standing assists raising the medial longitudinal arch of the foot.
So what are the best exercises to get my glutes strong and firing ?
Here are a selection of some of the best exercises that recruit the glute maximus and can be done in the gym or at home.
#1 Home bodyweight exercises.
#2 In the gym exercises.
#3 Don’t forget to stretch the hip flexors
Hope you find that useful, any questions please feel free to give us a call.