Almost all sports are based on the correct functioning of the glutes. It is the number one muscle for running and, by training it correctly, you can improve speed and stability. The same can be said for jumping, throwing a ball and even lifting a box off the ground. Glutes also play an important role in balancing and keeping knees stable when changing direction and landing from a jump.
If we had to choose a muscle group to train, glutes are the largest and most powerful muscular group in the body: no other muscle has the same impact on our performance. Movements like squat, swing and deadlifts are essential to improve athletic performance and, if you’re not an athlete, just to get strong. That’s why training your glutes is one of the best moves to develop strength.
Glutes inactivity may cause problems when training in the weight room. If the largest and strongest muscle group in the body does not function at full capacity, it will limit weight loads and perfect technique. Therefore, other areas will compensate, causing knee pain or injursomewhere else in the body, such as the lower back.
Do you have knee pain? Chronic knee pain is the first sign of inactivity of your glutes. If your knees are creating difficulties consistently, especially when you are practicing a sport or when you are training, your glutes are probably the problem.
Do you have lower back pain? Lumbar pain is another sign that your glutes are not working properly. Usually these muscles compensate for inactive glutes, causing overuse and consequent pain. Do you sit down a lot? Many of us sit too much. Sitting muscles on the front of the body tighten, creating a front pelvic tilt and if it becomes excessive, the glutes can no longer function properly.
Can you maintain balance on a single leg? To do this, you only need to put yourself on one leg with your eyes closed and your feet facing forward. If you can’t hold this position for at least 1 minute, your glutes won’t work properly. Test each side and compare your average times to see if one side works better than the other.
Many athletes focus on strengthening the quadriceps and the posterior muscles of the thigh, but forget hips and glutes. The hips are the fulcrum for all movements of the lower body. If they are weak, they can cause an analgesic gait, leading to problems with the knee, feet and ankles. Hip zipper is a fundamental athletic movement that too many people cannot perform properly: it is the basis for exercises such as Squat, Swing and Deadlifts.
It’s important not to lift heavily until the problem is solved, so you rather need to focus on the technique to find the causes. Correct your glutes before you add weight to the exercises that involve them, and perform Squat, Swing and Deadlifts slowly, using the full range of movement. It may seem like a setback, but once you’ve fixed your glutes, you’ll be stronger than ever and have less risk of injury.
Since we sit so much, it’s quite easy for our glutes to become dormant. To get your glutes in perfect shape, you need to deliberately use them every day, with specific exercises such as a mono or bipodal glutes bridge, squats and deadlifts. Single-legged take-off, using an equivalent body weight and without letting your raised leg touch the ground, may seem like a challenge, but it’s a measure of the fantastic function of the glutes.
To increase the strength of the glutes and hips, swing and hinge are the most practiced movements in Boost and Fast Skillathletic classes. These movements are often related to the use of a power band, which helps to multiply the muscle effort of basic movements such as sidebar walks, clam shells or side slants.