Your bottom/glutes/buttocks/behind – big or small and whatever you may call it, the question today is:
Many people’s don’t work as well as they could and relevantly:
collectively referred to as the glutes or gluteals or bottom muscles. I’m going to concentrate today on GLUTEUS MAXIMUM (glute max).
So when moving from sitting to standing, your hip EXTENDS, cue glute max. Same when walking; the major muscle driving your stance leg backwards is glute max. It also works overtime as a postural muscle and in standing, just to keep you upright.
…And happy to switch off (to do with brain wiring) and let other muscles overwork and pick up the slack. Combine this with most of us predominantly using our glutes as inert cushions and you have a recipe for a lazy bottom and potential injuries elsewhere – bad back or hamstring niggles? Your butt could be the culprit (and if you do have back issues then you can check out ’10 things you need to know about your back’ here).
And present with the perfectly formed derrière, kicking that backache into touch? A slight reduction in calorie consumption can help with aesthetics but I’m all for function over form and a few simple moves a day – see below – can swing the perfectly functioning butt your way.
Feet hip width apart, bellybutton towards spine. Squeeeeeeze your glutes, bend at hips & knees and slowly release your glutes to lower your bottom backwards as if to sit on a high chair – keep knees over ankles and not forward of toes, when squatted as far as you comfortably can, squeeze glutes to return to upright.
Begin as shown on hands and knees, hands under shoulders, knees under hips, shoulders down and back, lumbar spine neutral – I do bang on about it but starting posture is sooo important! Squeeze glutes to extend one leg straight out behind you to parallel to the floor, or as close as you can get. Keep hips square, maintain back position. Return to start and repeat.
You don’t need a picture for this! Find a step(s), raise one foot onto the step, squeeze your glutes on this upper leg to drive your body upwards, extend your hip and bring your trailing leg up and through to the next step, or step down and repeat if you’ve just the one step.
Squats whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, a few sit-to-stands while that webpage is loading, leg extensions in front of ‘Bake Off’, step-ups… up the stairs! If you think your behind is functioning in a less than adequate fashion then drop me a line and we can remedy your rear – how many words for ‘bottom’ is it possible to fit into one post?! See you next month for the smaller glutes!
Your gluteals are a group of muscles to the back and sides of your pelvis. Gluteus Maximus extends your hip but it can get lazy! Underperforming glutes can be, in my experience, at least partly responsible for back, hip, pelvis and leg pain. Give your glutes a boost by trying out the glute-boosting exercises suggested above.
Thanks for reading and drop me a line if you’ve any queries!