Random Fact about the Ass: Donkeys have a special and very efficient digestive system that is capable of breaking down even the most inedible vegetation known. They don’t just breakdown the vegetation, they can even extract moisture very efficiently out of those plants and use the same to keep themselves hydrated.
Is “Sitting is the new Smoking?”
So there is a new study out there that suggests “sitting is the new smoking.” What it really means is being sedentary is the new smoking. However, most of us spend our sedentary minutes (or hours) on our derriere. I can almost guarantee that you are on your behind right now reading this blog. I won’t lie, I am sitting on my buns of steel writing it. Today I want to share what the glutes are and why they are so important to keep strong.
Did you know that your glutes are the largest and strongest muscle of the body? Yep…your butt is the most badass (yes pun intended) part of your body. It is made up of three parts: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, and the Gluteus Minimus.
These three parts work together to help the hip abduct, adduct, rotate, and extend. They also help the hips thrust (lots of fun things that come out of this…think sports and nightly activities), improve posture, and help you pick up heavy objects much easier. Finally, they help you walk and that is kind of important. The glutes are IMPORTANT!
In my line of work I deal with numerous injuries, conditions, and limitations. More times than not, the problem is in some way connected to your glutes. Here are some indicators that your glutes need to be strengthened.
- Low back pain: Your back hurts not because it is weak. It hurts because it is overcompensating for the lack of strength in your glutes. The best remedy for low back pain is activating your glutes.
- Knee pain: Weak glutes wreak havoc on the hips and that will put more pressure on the knees. Work on the glutes and the knee pain will ease up.
- Decreased hip mobility: Hips are essential for stability. If your glutes are weak your hips usually are too. You want that strength and flexibility in both.
- Tight Psoas muscle: The psoas is a functional opposite of the glutes. The psoas flexes the hip and glutes extend it. The psoas anterior tilts your pelvis and the glutes posterior tilt it. If the glutes are inhibited the lower back becomes unstable and the psoas kicks into hyper drive to stabilize the lower back. That’s its primary job. So for a tight psoas the glutes are always a player.
- Plantar Fasciitis: If you’ve ever had this then you know how ridiculously painful it can be. (This sidelined me for a year from sports.) Get those glutes strong to help out with your feet, especially you flat-footed people.
- Decreased shoulder mobility or pain: There is some science here that I won’t go into. However, there is fascia tissue that connects the body from the glutes to the shoulder. If the glutes are tight it can make the range of motion much worse in your shoulder. Just like the back, if the glutes aren’t doing their job, the shoulder will overcompensate causing pain or injury. (This also goes for you elbows)
- Hamstring and groin pulls: Another painful injury that can be avoided if you get those glutes performing the way they are supposed to.
My point is: Strengthen your glutes. Your next questions should be “How?” and “What should I do?” I am glad you asked. Here are some of my favorite ways to strengthen your Kim Kardashian…I mean your glutes.
Exercises to strengthen the glutes
- Mini-Band Lateral Walk
- Cable Machine Kickback
- Cable Machine Standing Hip Abduction
- Hip Thrust
- Single Leg Hip Thrust
- Kettlebell Swings
- Walking Lunges (or Reverse Lunges)
- Single Leg Romanian Deadlift
- Split Squats
- Back Extensions
Consult a personal trainer or ask me how to do these properly. Form makes all the difference.
Stretches for the Glutes
- Pretzel Stretch
- Pigeon Pose
- Twisting Buttock Stretch
- Figure 4 Stretch
Booty in Pop Culture
-Kim Kardashian (Sorry, no Kayne in this pic)
-Sir Mix A lot
Top 5: How to say Butt in other languages!
1. Italian: “Culo”
2. Norwegian: “Rumpe”
3. Spanish: “Culata”
4. Swahili: “Kitako”
5. Latin: “Blandeque Coruscant”