Well-toned glutes play a huge role in aesthetics however have you ever thought about why a good set of glutes is important for your health, performance as well as longevity?
The gluteal complex is called the powerhouse of your body. It also happens to be the biggest – as well as strongest – muscle in the body. Well, at least, it should be. It really doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete or not either: everyone needs strong glutes. Whether you appreciate it or not, your glutes do so much for you each and every single day:
- Need to extend your hip?
- Laterally rotate your hip?
- Abduct your hip?
- Posteriorly tilt your pelvis?
- Sit on a chair?
- Swing a golf club?
- Take a step?
That’s right: Literally every step that you take your glutes are working in order to stabilise your hips and lower back. To say the least, your glutes are quite important.
Why Is Glute Activation So Crucial?
The main and most apparent reason is so that you are able to strengthen them. These muscles have a substantial impact on your overall body strength. They help you to strengthen your core and assist with supporting a range of compound movements as well as exercises. Also, strong glute muscles help with preventing and avoiding muscle imbalances which can lead to mobility issues.
A great example would be weak glutes that cause an imbalance in the hip. This might lead to excessive rotation of the femur (in other words, the thigh bone), which in turn results in knee pain. Another example is that weakened glute muscles may contribute to pulled muscles in your hamstring or groin.
Strong glutes are quite essential in almost every sport; they are responsible for altering directions, accelerating, decelerating as well as creating explosiveness jumps. When it comes down to running, sprinting is one of the most effectual exercises for stimulating the glutes as they activate more of the gluteus maximus muscle as opposed to a vertical jump. Athletes who have strong glutes will be faster, more efficient as well as explosive in their movements.
Reduced Back Pain
As we said previously, your gluteals are responsible for hip extension and help their reverse action. When your feet are fixed on the floor, their job is to move your chest upward from the ground as in a deadlift. Strong gluteals are essential to lower back health as they assist with pelvic, hip and trunk motions. They also help more evenly distribute load throughout your lower back and lower extremities and help with good posture.
Strong Glutes Help To Prevent Injuries
If you’re attempting to get in shape or remain in shape, you likely know that one of the simplest ways to delay your progress is to become injured. Having strong, functional gluteal as well as hip muscles can assist you with avoiding and recovering from injury in your lower back, hips, knees and ankles by creating correct alignment and stability.
In individuals with weak glutes, it is very common to see ‘dynamic valgus’ at the knee. This is when the knee caves in the direction of your other leg as you lower down into a squat, specifically on single leg movement patterns (together with walking and running).
Dynamic valgus is a fantastic indicator of if someone is at risk of injury. When the knee caves in, the pelvis will drop at the hip in the direction of the other side, and the femur (thigh bone) pivots inwards. This is a common dysfunctional pattern which may lead to injuries anywhere from your low back to your feet and ankles. The fantastic news is that by concentrating on strengthening your glutes as well as your surrounding hip muscles, you are able to improve and prevent valgus and therefore reduce your chance of injury.
If you want to learn more about how muscles work then you need to do our Exercise Science Certification. Follow this link to read more.