I’m so lucky to have such a knowledgeable friend in the exercise science field. While I have a basic understanding of anatomy and learned so much at my yoga teacher training, I am no expert. Jordy was my study partner and basically my tutor at training. She explains things in such a simple, yet scientific way. Follow her on Instagram @jordyb.fitness. She just released an awesome (and free!) 30 day workout program that I can’t wait to try! Read below to find out why your glutes are so important! (Thanks Jordy!)
Why are your glutes so important?
Your “glutes” are made up of 3 muscles: gluteus maximus, minimus, and medius and they are WAY more important than you think.
First of all, your glutes are the largest muscle group in your body and they play a huge role in posture and injury prevention. Since we live in a world where we sit a majority of our day, this causes us to have weak glutes and tight hip flexors, which leads to our pelvis being unstabilized and our spine to be unsupported. Strengthening the glutes and performing glute specific exercises causes your pelvis and spine to come into alignment!
Performing glute specific exercises is huge when it comes to lower body workouts. For a majority of people, their quads and hamstrings take over when performing leg exercises. Now, this isn’t a bad thing all the time. When performing a squat or a hamstring curl, yes your quads or hamstrings are the main muscles firing in those movements, but it is extremely important for your glutes to be firing just as well!
You really want your glutes to be firing in any leg exercise you do! Having strong glutes will help with stabilizing your lumbar spine in movements like a back squat, deadlift, or leg press, which will help prevent any low back injuries. Low back injuries are very common when it comes to exercise or even day to day life. Having strong, powerful glutes that know how to fire properly play an important role in protecting your lumbar spine!
–Jordan Arnold, Exercise Physiologist
Here is a quick, effective, glute focused workout. I use the Peach Resistance Bands. Do each move 10 times on each side/in each direction and repeat all 6 moves 2-3 times. (Be sure to warm up and cool down!) This can be a quick stand alone workout or can be done in combination with another workout. When I did this full circuit, I did a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout with sprints and banded thrusters beforehand.
1. Fire Hydrants
- Place the resistance band around your thighs, just above the knees
- Find a table top position: wrists under shoulders, knees under hips
- Lift you leg (bent) out to the side, resist on the way back down
2. Leg Lift Up & Overs
- Keep the resistance band in the same spot as above
- From the same table top position, extend one leg straight back behind you
- Tap on one side, lift up to center and tap on the other side
3. Glute Bridge + Abduction
- Band stays in the same spot
- Lay flat on your back, press into your heels to tuck tailbone slightly and activate your core
- Press into your heels as you lift up your hips
- Once at the top, open your knees, resisting as they come back in
- You can do this exercise with or without adding extra weight (I used a 20 pound dumbbell in the video)
- Band is still in the same place
- Lay on one side, bringing your feet in line with your hips, supporting your head with your forearm
- Lift the top leg up without moving your upper body, resist on the way back down
5. Lateral Walks
- Band can stay where it is, but to intensify the exercise, move the band down to your ankles
- Squat low and begin to step sideways keeping your toes pointed forward
- The lower you squat, the more you will feel the burn!
6. Creep Walks
- Place the band around your ankles
- Squat low and begin to step forward at an angle
I hope you enjoy this workout!