Q: Why are butts the new abs?
A: Yeah, you read that right. We’re all about the butt. And here’s why you should be, too.
Your Glute Muscle.
Move over, flat abs! Booties are grabbing some major attention. The first thing to know is that your butt is pretty amazing!
The glutes are the largest muscle in your body and are made of three main muscles, Maximus (the largest of the butt muscle), gluteus medius and minimus (smaller muscle that includes the so called “side – butt”). These three muscles and the hip joints to which they are attached, are responsible for movement patterns, including standing upright, walking, running, jumping and squatting. When are butts are strong, we can move easily and more efficient. On the other hand, when the glutes are not working as they should be, we set our bodies up for dysfunction and inactivity. Weak glute muscles can also cause other muscles to take over and add extra load (like your hamstrings) which may cause issue with our posture, leading to muscle pain and increasing our chances of injury.
Have you ever felt like you did a lower body workout with main focus been your glutes and the next day you only feel your quads and/or hamstrings and nothing in your glutes? Well, one of the issues is that we are becoming more sedentary. We spend less time moving around and more time sitting. If you work in an office or behind a desk you know what I mean. This sitting can cause our glutes to become underactive (meaning they are less active than what they should be) making the glutes not as strong as they could be.
In order to counteract this is important to work on “activating your glutes” or what we say all the time “Fire your glutes”
How do you activate your glutes?
- Focus on contracting your butt muscle (squeeze them) as you perform any glute activation exercises or any lower body workout.
- When performing this exercises you need to focus on the muscle that powers the movement. Ex. Squat (contract your butt muscles as you stand up, imagine holding a $100 bill in between your butt and rising up without letting go :)..)
Glutes activation exercises.
You can do this exercises as you warm up before a workout so you can be ready and get the best out of it.
Perform this exercises 10-15 reps per side. Do this circuit at least two times.
- a) Glutes Kickback
Start on all fours, wrist directly below your shoulders, knees below your hips. While keeping your knees stable as possible straighten your right leg behind you and lift as high as you can, slowly lower it returning it to all fours. While you are lifting your leg as high as you can it is important that you don’t arch your back, make sure your glutes are doing all the work!
- b) Single Leg Glute Bridge
Start by laying on our back with your hands by your sides, legs bent, feet firmly on floor. Lift your right leg off the floor while keeping your hips as stable as possible, squeeze your butt and slowly rise your hips of the floor resting on the tip of your shoulders.
- c) Clam
Start by laying on your right side with your legs slightly bent, knees and hips resting on top of each other. Keep your feet together as you rise your left knee of fyour right, when you can’t lift it anymore without separating your feet lower it down until you knees are together again.
The main thing to remember while doing any glute activation exercise is to focus on the technique. You can also add a band (my favorite) to any of the exercises mentioned above, your glutes will thank you.
Come see us with any questions, there are many exercises that will help you to create a strong and good looking butt.