Very early in my Pilates teaching career, one of my new clients was about 4 weeks into her sessions when she asked me a question.
She suddenly looked very worried and I wasn't sure what was coming next.
"You keep talking about Glutes but ummm (awkward silence) what exactly do you mean by that?
Another awkward silence. I had been talking to her about Glutes and giving her Glute exercises but she had never heard the term Glutes before and didn't know why I was subjecting her to "Glute" Exercises. It was a huge wake-up call to me to never assume everyone is familiar with the Glutes. Since then I've found many clients who have had either very little or no knowledge of the Glutes when they first start Pilates. So if this sounds like you-you are definitely not alone. Read on to discover the wonders of the Glutes!
What are the Glutes?
The Gluteal muscles, commonly known as the butt muscles, are a group of 3 muscles Gluteus maximus, Gluteus medius, Gluteus minimus.
Why are they so important?
The Glutes play a role in extension, abduction, external and internal rotation of the hip joint. The Glutes help to stabilise the pelvis and support the structures above them such as the spine, shoulders and neck as well as everything below them such as the knees and feet. Strong supportive Glutes also contribute to good posture.
The Glutes can become weak or imbalanced for various reasons such as a sedentary lifestyle for example. Pregnancy puts a lot of strain on the Glutes due to the extra weight as does carrying and lifting a toddler. Chronic pain such as back or knee pain can cause the Glutes to switch off.
Glute Activation and Strengthening with Pilates
Pilates provides an ideal way of strengthening the Glutes but before beginning Glute strengthening exercises, it's important to make sure the Glutes are activated or firing correctly. Glutes can become switched off and sluggish and other muscles such as the hamstrings, for example, start to try to do the work of the Glutes. There is no point proceeding with Glute strengthening exercises before activating your Glutes as this only encourages the wrong muscles to work instead of the Glutes, therefore, reinforcing dysfunctional movement patterns. My Online Pilates Membership Site provides more information about Glutes and a technique to keep them activated and working to support you at their optimum level. When you are ready to proceed to Glute strengthening my Online Pilates Membership Site also contains Glute exercises and workouts for all levels from Basics to Advanced and Pre and Post Natal.
Take some time to familiarise yourself with your Glutes so you have the awareness to know when they are functioning well and supporting you. If you suspect you have a weakness or imbalance, by practicing the Glute Activation and strengthening exercises on my Site you will be able to maximise the function of your Glutes so you can take control of your own health and fitness.
Great Glutes really are the answer to both recovering from or preventing a large range of issues. So get started now, you will be very pleased you did!
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