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Posted on 24 June 2019
Where are the Glutes?
Your ‘glutes’ or your gluteal muscles, as they are more formally known as refer to the muscles in your butt. Specifically, there are three major muscles in this area, your gluteus maximus (the main, large muscle that shapes your backside), your gluteus medius and your gluteus minimus (two smaller muscles that assist the gluteus maximus in moving your body). For many of us, the glutes remain ‘inactive’ much of the time. Inactive glutes can mean the muscles are weak and are not relied on as much as they should be during physical movements. Glute activation is essentially ‘firing up’ the glutes.
Causes for weak glutes
There can be many causes for weak glutes such as a sedentary lifestyle, sitting down a lot a work or sitting down a lot at home. Another contributing factor could be poor form with specific lifts which has you relying on other muscles rather than your glutes.
This means, even if you perform posterior exercises regularly, there is still a good chance that you might have weak glutes. The likelihood of this being true increases if you have not tried to actively work on activating the muscles in this area.
Why is having strong glutes important
Strong glutes play a big role and can have a major impact on your overall body strength. Your glutes support your core, support a range of exercises and compound movements which helps to avoid muscle imbalances which can lead to decreased mobility.
Under utilised glutes contribute to several health issues including poor posture, lower back pain, balance issues, lack of strength, muscle pain and can increase the risk of injury.
Glute activation exercises
It is important to activate or ‘fire up’ your glute muscles prior to exercise, just as it is important to warm up any muscle group before putting them through a workout. This can be as simple as performing a few activation movements prior to going for that run, or before a weight’s session.
Give these activation exercises a try:
Clams – 3x15-20 Reps
Crab Walk – 3x 15-20 Reps
Glute Bridge – 3x15-20 Reps
Band Hip Thrusts – 3x15-20 Reps
Aim to perform these exercises regularly before you workout, especially when your workout involves your lower body. If you can start getting this done prior to your workout, you will be making a big step to strengthening one of the most important areas of your body whilst greatly improving your chance of getting the results you hoped for.
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