Your backside is made up of three of the largest and strongest muscles in your body: the glute maximum, glute medius, and glute minimus, commonly referred to as just “the glutes.” These glute muscles work together for hip abduction, rotation, and extension.
Unfortunately, if you have a job where you are sitting or driving for long periods, your posterior chain muscles can get weaker, while the hip flexors have a tendency shorten, making them feel tight. In short, they “turn off” or stop firing as efficiently, effectively, and strongly as they should, and they become weak and underworked.
Strengthening the muscles in your backside will improve posture and will keep the integrity of movement in your hip joint. When you keep your glutes strong, you take the pressure off your lower back because the work can be handled by the strong muscles in your backside.
Strong glutes create stability in the pelvis and SI joints, and this can lead to improvements in athletic ability in areas of speed, agility, jumping, and lateral movements. Pelvis stability can also reduce pressure on your knees which helps to prevent injury in the knee and ankle joints. In addition to increases in athletic performance, and injury prevention, strong glutes can also help with making everyday movements easier. Sitting down, standing, picking up heavy objects, and climbing stairs all become more natural with a strong backside.
For best results, train your glutes at least once a week using mostly compound, multi-joint exercises.
Glute workout using the Smart Stability Ball
Here are three exercises that you can work into your routine:
1. Wall Sit
Use this isometric exercise to build strength and endurance in glutes, calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, and adductor muscles. Hold yourself in a seated position, between 30 to 60 seconds. The addition of the stability ball to a wall sit increases the work on your balance and posture.
2. Hip Bridge Hold and Roll
The hip bridge hold and roll is an excellent workout for the hamstrings, abs, glutes, and lower back and to keep your posture upright in either a standing or sitting position. This exercise is a great alternative for those who have a hard time with squats because of hip or knee pain.
3. Stability Ball Squat
Adding a stability ball to your squat increases spinal alignment and shoulder engagement and encourages proper form through the entire range of motion. Holding the ball above your head will help your spine stay long and keep the weight in your heels.