THE IMPORTANCE OF TRAINING THE GLUTES

The glutes consist of the three muscles, glute maximus, glute medius, and glute minimus and serve a great deal of importance for maintaining balance from lifestyle factors to performance. They contribute to help stabilising the hip joint, performing flexion, external and internal rotation and adduction at the hip as well help to produce a lot of power during performance of activity (1).

 

Posture

Sitting for long periods is highly common in modern lifestyles and even though we know we should make an effort to stand more, sometimes there's no way around it. As a result of frequent sitting paired with lack of activity, muscle groups will start to weaken and become insufficient. The potential for your body to be negatively affected is quite vast but some of the main relatable issues are (2):

  • Weak abdominals.
  • Rounded shoulders. 
  • Tight back muscles.
  • Weak and tight hip flexors. 
  • Weak glutes 

The pelvis needs to be able to rotate and tilt but being in an anterior tilt permanently isn't ideal for the body. Tight and weak hip flexors in combination with weak glutes can lead to a permanent position of anterior pelvic tilt and overcompensation of other muscles (3).

Injury Prevention & Pain 

  • Overcompensation of back muscles leading to injuries 
  • IT band syndrome.
  • Patella pain.
  • Increased knee valgus. 
  • Hamstring compensation leading to injuries. 

The above points are some examples of potential injuries that could occur. The glutes play a major role in hip extension but the lack of glute involvement causes the back muscles to work harder than they should (4).

The glutes play a role in hip abduction and stabilising the hip and as a result, IT band syndrome and patella pain are common with hip mechanics being unsuitable when activities carried out (5,6). Furthermore, the glute maximus contributes to deceleration which is an important factor during the performance of running, but weak inactive glutes will force the hamstrings to take on too much of the role causing compensations to occur (7).

Performance

The glutes are taken for granted by many when performance is accounted for. The glutes contribute to a lot of power development during explosive exercises such as sprinting or squatting, therefore to neglect the glutes from a performance standpoint will be detrimental in achieving the desired outcomes (8,9).

To help the development of the glute muscles there are a variety of exercises to pick from such as:

  1. Clams. 
  2. Barbell Hip thrust. 
  3. Walking Lunges.
  4. Barbell Squats.

Resources

  1. https://www.britannica.com/science/gluteus-muscle
  2. http://www.activityismedicine.com/files/The_health_hazards_of_sitting.pdf
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1050641112000533
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1050641107001174
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24450366
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21391799
  7. https://jeb.biologists.org/content/209/11/2143.short
  8. https://www.sportecoach.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/TheTopFiveGluteExercises.pdf
  9. http://w.asbweb.org/conferences/2009/943.pdf
Jonple