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Peachy Perfect

What is with all the butt exercises? The obvious conclusion for this new-found obsession, is that everyone, (guys included) wants a perfectly peach shaped toosh. But there is more to working the butt than meets the eye. The group of muscles in your butt actually have an important role in terms of our physical state, posture and function. They are central to hip function, spine support and biomechanics of the legs and trunk.

Another butt buster, is that the ‘junk in your truck’ is one of the most affected muscles groups during pregnancy!

But before you bust your butt doing squats- let’s talk about the role of the gluts.

The role of the gluteus muscles, unlike its peachy shape are far and wide, so let’s just stick to the important bits. It has a super important role in providing hip and lower back stability.  Your gluteus medius actually prevents your hips from rocking excessively or dropping when walking, running or standing. If you are weak through this muscle you may tend to drop your hips during movement, resulting in lower back pain, sore hips, knees and ankles.

Butt really what else? (last butt joke, I promise)

Unfortunately, it is not just the butt itself you have to work on. One of the most important functions of your glute muscles, is its participation with other muscles, the timing of contraction and the position you are in. For example, if your hip flexors are too tight causing an anterior tilt (excessive curve in lower back) then these muscles can struggle to even fire.

Tips to getting your butt work properly

With that in mind, here are some tips to getting those buns firing properly.

  • Stretch to make sure you are in the right position to get these babies firing.
  • Do ‘isolation exercises ‘to build up strength of that oh so important glute medius muscle.
  • Incorporate exercises with recruitment patterns. What this means is, the body learns via repetition, so if we are trying to teach it to work a certain way, we need to consciously think about it, do it and repeat it. It is really important to incorporate exercises like the arabesque, explained below, into your program, as they activate other muscles to work together with the gluts.

3 butt exercises to include in your workout

  1. Arabesque
  • Balancing on your left leg with a soft knee (slightly bent) and hips square (imagine your hips are headlights on a car and you want the lights square to the floor, not one up in the sky and the other to the floor)
  • Ensure the weight is going through your left heel (getting the butt to switch on).
  • Wiggle your toes (now the weight is through the heel)
  • Bring your right knee to your chest
  • Then bring chest forward as you kick your leg straight out the back making a straight line with the body from head to foot
  • Don’t bend into the knee, keep your left leg still
  • Make sure your pelvic floor is on (take a sip of a thick shake through your vagina)
  • Repeat 15 times on both sides x 2
  • You should feel this in your butt first, then your hamstring
  1. Alphabet
  • Lying on your right side, slightly bend right leg on the ground and hold left leg at hip height
  • Stack both hips on top of each other, there should be a small space between the group and your side waist if you are in the correct position
  • Creating the movement from your hip, start writing the alphabet with your heel Only moving within 5cm squared i.e very small letters
  • Core one, thick shake
  • No rocking through the hips or from hips up
  • Place your hand on your butt just behind the seam of your pants
  • Say hi to your glute medius – it should be cramping by the end
  • Repeat both sides x 2
  1. Lying leg press
  • Stay in same position as above
  • Lying on your right side, slightly bend right leg on the ground and hold left leg at hip height
  • Slowly bring knee up to hip height with knee in line with hip and foot in line with knee. Knee is gently pointing to ceiling
  • Return to starting position
  • Only part of body moving is leg
  • Try to keep hips down- no hitching up as knee comes up
  • Repeat x 10 both side x 2
 

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