Your backside, bum, butt, tush, buns, derriere, behind, or whatever you call your glutes, is a very important muscle group of the body. Yes they have an aesthetic appeal but your glutes play an important functional role too.
Essentially there are 3 main muscles that make up your glutes:
The Gluteus Maximus is the largest of these muscles and is primarily used for upper leg extension.
Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus perform similar functions mostly to do with supporting and stabilising your body on your legs and helping to internally rotate your thigh.
Why are these muscles so important?
Well, the glutes help stabilise your body and in fact we use them all the time. The glutes stabilise your pelvis during running and walking. You need strong glutes to help with hip extension and forward propulsion.
Proper alignment of the pelvis, torso and legs also depend on strong glutes, ensuring that every activity your body does is executed properly. In fact if your glutes are not strong, your entire lower body alignment may fall out of balance, causing problems such as Achilles tendinitis, shin splints, runner’s knee and iliotibial band syndrome.
When the glutes are not strong enough to do their job of extending the hip and pushing the body forward, other muscles not as well designed for the job take over. The hamstrings, low back, quadriceps and calves may become disproportionately strong, increasing your risk of injury.
Unfortunately with our ever increasing sedentary lifestyles and the amount of time that we spend sitting, it is vitally important that we actively work our glutes.
So, next time you are in the studio ask your instructor to spend an extra 5 minutes more than she usually would on that tush of yours!
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