“Use it or lose it!” I am sure a lot of us have heard this phrase before in regards to vacation time from work, mental strength, or musical skills. But when I say, or think of, this phrase, I immediately think of GLUTE muscles! Now this has a great deal to do with my profession, but as the percentage of people working at a desk is at an all-time high, butt workouts should also be something that begins to creep into the minds of others outside the fitness industry as well. Technology is amazing, but the sedentary lifestyle that accompanies it – not so much. Whether you are sitting all day, or even standing, your posterior chain, your glutes, your butt is not doing much of anything.
What are Glutes?
The gluteus maximus is the largest of the 3 glute muscles, and gives the sought after round and firm shape. The medius and minimus are found on the sides and are responsible for abduction (or drawing the hip away from the body) as well as stabilizing the hips. All 3 of these muscles perform a much needed function to help us work and train harder, safer and pain free.
Why you Should Activate Your Glute Muscles
Now to make matters worse, when your glutes are inactive, they are also developing, a term coined by Dr. Stuart McGill, “gluteal amnesia.” So not only are they working less, but they are also forgetting how to activate when needed. And trust me, they ARE needed. When the glutes forget how to do their job, other parts of the body (such as the lower back muscles) have to pick up the slack and perform a job that they were not designed to do. This can lead to low back, knee and even hip pain.
Where to Start
Are you a runner wondering how to get more power in your stride? Stronger glute muscles can give you the explosive force you need to make that final sprint to the finish line. But where should you begin? Start with glute awareness. Do you know what it feels like to contract (squeeze) your glutes during exercise? If not, it’s time to become well acquainted with your backside. Start being really mindful of the contraction by doing some squats and standing or prone leg lifts. That way when you go for your next run, you can ensure that your glute muscles are working as they should.
Now going back to that office scenario. When you get up to leave work after sitting all day, your hips are in a shortened position. If your hips are shortened, and you automatically take off for an after-work run, you are more prone to injury. Make sure you take the time to do some lateral movement in the frontal plane of motion since the sitting and standing you’ve been doing all day at work is only occurring in the sagittal plane. A dynamic warm-up including skips, butt kicks, and ankling is a great way to get the glutes ready to work.
Focus on Glute Muscles
If you’re looking to really develop your glute muscles, you need to target them with butt workouts. Try this 15-minute workout for your legs and glutes:
So think about it. When was the last time you trained your glutes? Do you often experience back, hip, or knee pain? Does your job confine you to a seated or even standing position? Then you need to do some butt exercises! There are plenty of exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home, without any equipment except yourself and a mat. When you’re ready to crank it up a notch, add a resistance band to your workouts. You can find plenty of butt exercises, as well as exercises for your entire body, in the adidas Training app. Download the app today and start strengthening your body from head to toe – glutes included, of course! Be consistent and your glutes and performance will develop.