Glutes- why are they so important?
Strength is an important part of good health. That doesn’t mean hitting the gym and lifting weights all the time, but you should ensure muscles are strong by incorporating strength work into your routine.
If you run or cycle, and you don’t do any strength work, you may increase your risk of injury. One muscle group in particular is very important in injury prevention- the gluteal muscles (glutes). There are three glute muscles; Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus.
The functions of the gluteal muscles include hip extension, internal and external rotation, abduction and to stabilise the leg and pelvis. When running and walking, the muscles will help you push off, and will help prevent inward movement of the leg when weight bearing.
If the gluteal muscles are not strong enough and do not activate, it can put strain on the lower back, hips, knees, shins and ankles. This may increase the risk of IT Band pain, Patella tendon pain, Lower back pain, shin pain and calf and Achilles pain.
Gluteal muscles can also become deactivated by tight hip flexors. This can create an imbalance around the pelvis, leading to pain elsewhere in the body. Tight hip flexors can become a problem from spending hours sat down- it puts the hip flexors into a shortened position. Stretching of the hip flexors is also important along with glute strengthening.
By having glute muscles that are strong and stabilise the pelvis and leg, you will be more efficient at moving, and will reduce the strain on many areas of the body.
So…. how can you strengthen the glutes?
Below are three simple glute exercises that you can include in your routine twice a week. 2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions will ensure your target the strength of your glutes.
All video’s are provided, with permission, by our patient exercise programme provider, Rehabmypatient.com
Remember- everyone is different, and all injuries are different. This article is for information only and does not constitute advice for your injury. You should consult a qualified therapist to accurately diagnose and treat your injury. You can book in with one of our experts at The Treatment Lab by calling us on 01908 766425.
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