What is a gluteal muscle
Glut this glut that, but what is a gluteal muscle? Often people throw out the muscle glut but don’t necessarily even know what they mean, where it is or even how to strengthen it. There are three gluteal muscles in the body. Gluteus maximus, often referred to our bottom muscle; gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. In this blog, we are going to be talking about gluteus medius and minimus and how these muscles can best be strengthened to help support our posture and alignment. And no it doesn’t involve a lot of squats and stair climbing!Clam:
Leave it to the classic clam to get those gluts firing. It may seem like an easy exercise but don’t let the name fool you. This exercise is great for getting your hip stabilising muscles firing and switching on to help support your posture and alignment.
Lift and Lower:
This classic lift and lower exercise does exactly what its name says. While lying on your side in your Pilates neutral alignment you will be lifting your top leg away from your bottom leg and then slowly lowering it down. If you can’t feel this exercise on the side of your hip, then roll those hips forward; you will be sure to feel the burn!Side kick:
Let’s add a component to our lift and lower exercise; once your top leg is lifted away from your bottom leg, let’s kick that leg out in front of us. This added component, allows your gluteal muscles to work just that little bit more as it stabilises you whilst you dynamically move your top leg. If you are working this exercise properly you may even feel your gluts on the opposite side!
This exercise is done lying on your back working on your gluts in combination with your other stabilising muscles including your deep core muscles and inner thigh muscles. With any exercise we do, we look at strengthening the muscle as well as being able to increase the stability and coordination of it. You will find that the hip twist exercise does just that.
Swimming level 4:
Finally, the swimming level 4 or what I like to call the SUPERMAN! This exercise is done on all fours and strong gluts are essential for being able to maintain that Superman position. Ever try to balance a glass plate on your back. Well, envision your favourite glass object resting on the middle of your back as you attempt to raise your right arm off the floor while you raise the left leg. Your gluts alongside your core will help you maintain that level back to keep your favourite glass from falling off.
Give these exercises a try! Our glut medius and minimus are two very important muscles that are often forgotten about. They play a key role in maintaining hip alignment, spinal stability and overall good posture. You will be surprised at how weak these muscles actually are!