4 November 2021
The gluteus muscles (maximus, medius, and minimus) provide some powerhouse for the body. They help us walk, climb stairs, and just plain stand up. In fact, they are the largest muscle group in the body.
They are attached to the bones in the center section of the body, the hips, pelvis, back and legs. Too much exercise or too little can make your tush tight and it will cause tension in the surrounding areas. So it is not necessarily your back that was over or underused, but the buttocks.
Even if you are not an athlete, keeping your bottom in good shape is important to support the lower back when lifting objects and to prevent knee injuries. For those who enjoy being active, it provides the force to propel the runner along the way. Yoga enthusiasts gain the benefit of strength during single leg stands.
There are some pretty easy exercises you can do to keep this muscle group in good shape. Keeping them toned not only makes you more attractive, but will help with flexibility, improve mobility (especially important for older or sedentary people), reduce the risk of injury, and maintain good range of motion.
Squeezes – Just sit in your chair and squeeze your butt cheeks together. Hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat this for one minute. Do it three times a day and see if you notice a change.
Leg Circles – While seated, lift one foot off the ground but keep your leg bent at 90 degrees. Rotate the leg in a circular pattern then switch to the other leg. Start with about ten circles per leg per session and then work your way into rotations. Do this about three times a week and see if there is improvement in both your bottom and your thighs. If you are doing this at work, just be sure to continue to breathe regularly.
Hip Stretch – Sitting in a sturdy chair and keeping your back straight, place the right ankle on the left thigh just above the knee. If you don’t feel any stretch in the right hip joint, keeping your spine straight, lean forward a bit. This will deepen the stretch. Hold for about half a minute. Repeat with the other leg.
Lunges – Stand with feet just a bit wider than hip width using good posture. That means the butt does not stick out and no arch in the lower back. Lean to the right hinging at the hip. Bend the right knee but keep your left leg straight. You are in a lunge. Depending on your ability to balance well, lunge only so far as you feel comfortable. Return to the original position. Repeat with the left leg. If you are not in very good shape, it won’t take much of a dip to feel the stretch.
These exercises won’t necessarily reduce the fat stored in the glute areas, but they can certainly help tone and stretch these large muscle groups. Combine it with some exercises to strengthen your core and you should have better posture and that can only help the rest of your muscles and skeletal system.