The Gluteus Maximus (main buttocks muscle) is the largest muscle in your body and provides a key link between your pelvis and lower extremities.
Today’s lifestyle requires a lot of sitting whether this be at work, in the car or in front of the TV. This means our buttocks are becoming weaker and weaker which leaves us open to an array of injuries to our back, pelvis, hips, knees and even ankles.
Our glutes are one of the strongest muscles in the human body and are the largest influence when doing hip extension. This means we need our glutes to walk, run and jump. We also need our glutes to work effectively to keep out joints stable. Our SIJ (Sacroilliac joints) of the pelvis rely very heavily on the activation and strength of the glutes. This is also the same for the lumbar spine and hips. Without the glutes these joints become unstable especially when putting extra load through them such as picking up your kids or shopping bags.
Exercises to Try
1. Stand with feet hip width apart with your hands on your bottom. Try and squeeze your bottom and hold for 10 sec.
a. Can you feel your glute muscles tighten?
b. Can you hold this contraction for 10 sec?
i. If you answered no to either of these questions you may have poor neurological control of your glutes which leaves you at risk of back, pelvic hip and knee pain.
2. Lying on your back have complete a single leg bridge (as seen in picture). One leg should be bent whilst the other is raised in the air. Try to squeeze your bottom and raise your hips upwards. If one hip droops to one side then your glutes on the grounded side are weak.
Soooo….. Stop sitting on your Gluteus Maximus!