Rising Trend in Lower Body Training - Glute Training
About the Author:
Susane Pata is a Life Fitness Global Master Instructor. She designed TRX’s first-ever group fitness program and conducts TRX education courses for fitness pros.
Doing exercises that strengthen your glutes will absolutely get you a nice butt—make no mistake about it, this is absolutely true. In this 5-week glute strength blog series, I will provide some exercises and ideas to help with that goal. But I also believe it is wise to understand that those very exercises that create a shapely bottom can also prevent and reduce pain. Strong glutes can reduce the likelihood of injury, or even reduce the severity of existing pain in the low back and the knees.
Pain Can Be A Real Buzzkill
When you have pain, it is hard to stay motivated to work out. It’s like Pavlov’s dog, conditioning you to stop moving every time you feel the pain. Hence that is one of the very reasons so many people skip out on workouts—and thereby miss out on all the wonderful exercise benefits.
Statistics show and physical therapists agree that about two-thirds of Americans experience low-back pain at some point. Knee pain is also a big issue among Americans. In either case most tend to lay blame with the location of pain, when the real problem is with muscles that support the lower back and stabilize the pelvis (and support knees), like the glutes!
Muscles that support the lower back area like the glutes should be both strengthened and lengthened. Weak glutes and tight overused hip muscles can cause imbalances in the hips, as well as instability in the lower spine—all of which leads to pain.
The Sleeping Booty
When the glutes do not get used after sitting for extended amounts of time they fall asleep on the job, a condition known as “sleeping booty.” The part of the glutes that helps stabilize the knee can no longer do its job well and once the body is in action again, the knees have to take on a lot of stress which can get painful. Many hip muscles tend to get tight as a result of taking on the workload for the sleeping booty. For example, a deep and small hip muscle called the piriformis and the hip flexors tend to get very tight as a result of underactive glute muscles. This can greatly contribute to low back pain.
The Remedy: Myofascial Release and Building Glute Strength
Releasing tightness with some foam rolling and performing key glute-strengthening exercises consistently and progressively can develop strength, sculpt a beautiful butt and keep injury at bay. In the next 5 weeks, I will be sharing some foam rolling tips and glute exercises that will do just that! You can add (or refine) these moves into your routine, make sure you are performing them properly and maybe even gain a whole new appreciation for what these exercises can do in terms of injury prevention! So stay tuned and be sure to check back for the next blog in this series.
Note: This is article one in a four part series on glute training. Article two to follow in the upcoming weeks.