The glutes are the group of muscles around the hip that are essential for functional movements, performance and injury prevention. A good way to describe the dysfunction of the glutes is by imagining firing off a cannon from a boat without an anchor. How accurate can that cannon be without a steady base to sit on? There is little chance of it hitting its target when the boat is rocking around on the ocean. The glutes are like the anchor or mooring which ties the boat down, creates stability and allows accuracy and control of the movements of hip joint, knee joints and ankle/foot joints.
As well as stability, the glutes are responsible for global movement of the leg. When they contract they can bring the leg backwards (extension), outwards to the side (abduction) and rotate the hip outward (external rotation). If the glutes are not strong enough to initiate these movements, the body is able to recruit other joints such as the lumbar spine to compensate. However, this is inefficient and leads to injury of these joints because it is not their primary role within the body.
So don’t wait until its too late.
Here are three exercises you can do at home to begin to build your glute strength:
1. Glute Bridges
3-5 Sets, 10-15 reps with 3 second holds of the bridge.
Making sure to tuck your pelvis back underneath prior to lifting up and not arching your lower back.
3-5 Sets, 10-20 metres
Ensure that your body stays facing forward and not swaying side to side. Slow controlled movement is the key!
3. Single leg wall-holds
3-5 Sets, 20-30 second holds
Remember to push the knee against the wall and hold, feeling for the burn in the glute region. Always have a straight spine, knees level with each other and slightly bent.