We hear a lot about these magical glute muscles, but what is all the hype about. Perfectly rounded, peach perfect glutes are all the rage currently, but aside from the aesthetic side of things, they connect the upper body and lower body and provide a strong base for majority of our daily movements, even contributing to our posture.
The ‘glutes’ is a collective term used when referring to the gluteus minimus, gluteus medius, and gluteus maximus. They are the largest and strongest muscles in your body and although their primary function is working mutually together to perform hip abduction, rotation at the hip joint, and hip extension; strong glute muscles also positively benefit areas above and below such as the back, hip, and knee.
All day every day we subconsciously rely on our glutes to function. From when you stand up out of bed in the morning, to walking around the shops, and lifting our leg to the side to get in the car; our glute muscles are working to ensure we are able to execute all these movements seamlessly. If we think of all the activities that we do in a day such as walking, standing, sit-to-stand, up and down steps, and bending down; all of these rely on your glutes to varying degrees. So, what happens if the glutes are weak? This puts extra load and stress onto other muscles and joints to allow you to still complete the movement you’re after. The issue with this is, all the muscles and joints in the body have their specific purpose, so if they are consistently compensating for another muscle which is just getting weaker and weaker (by not doing its job) they too will eventually cave in.
To put this in perspective, as humans we have periods in our lives where we are a lot busier, and other times that are more smooth sailing and you feel a good balance exists between work/home/personal life. If we were to have those busy periods all the time, we would burn out; and that is essentially what is happening to the compensating muscles, however it generally presents as pain or an injury.
On a positive note, it can be easily treated with a little commitment and dedication, and provided the correct glute strengthening exercises have been prescribed. A visit to a qualified exercise professional such as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, can ensure the correct muscle imbalance is identified and they will then be able to provide an individually designed exercise program to get you back to your optimum. However, prevention is always better than a cure so a visit to an Exercise Physiologist can provide you with an appropriate program to keep your glutes peach-perfect, healthy and strong!