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Keeping your Glutes in good shape is not just about how you look, but probably one of the most important part of any strengthening program.

Together with the multifidus muscle (the direct stabilisers of the lower back),  the glutes provide the “power” to support the lumbar spine. So, the multifidus provides the control, the glutes provide the strength. If these muscles are weak, it means the lower back muscles have to work harder than they usually would, which increases the load on the lower back and can lead to injury.

What are three of the best butt exercises, why are they so good and how do you perform them?

 

My top three exercises to increase the strength of your glutes are:

 
  1. Single leg bridging – Lying on your back, one leg up in the air, lifting your bottom up. This specifically focusses on the Gluteus maximus muscle
  2. Side planks on your knees (Mermaid) – Lying on your side, resting on your elbows. Lift your hips up and if your are strong enough and can keep your body straight, lift your top leg up in the air and hold for 5 seconds
  3. QF (Glute squeezes) – This focusses on a small muscle group at the back of the hips called Quadratus femoris. This small muscle is responsible for control of the position of the hip, rather than a power muscle like the other two. This is an important, but very underrated exercise
 
 

 

Physical activity is important, but it’s also important not to overdo these glute exercises, right?

Absolutely. Like any strengthening exercises, the glutes need to be loaded and “worked”, then allowed to rest to ensure growth, improvement before re-loaded again to progress further. My strong recommendation, is 2-3 times a week and NOT working these same muscle groups between these days. Rest is a very important part of the growth cycle and without it, you just won’t get the change you desire.
 
 
 

 

 

Any words of caution?

Be patient. Change takes time, but it does happen. If you are consistent and keep slowly progressing your exercises over time, change will occur. Real change takes about 3 months; or longer for the muscles to grow and change shape. Doing more and expecting a faster result just doesn’t work, it means that you can’t load the muscles enough to get an actual change AND you might give up before you get a real change, even if you were on the right track.
 
 

Source: The Brain: A User’s Guide – purchase here

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