The Essential Glute

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By Personal Trainer – Katie Brighton-Jones
It used to be all about the core. But now it’s all about the glutes, the essential muscle group that contributes so much to how we function and maintain a balanced and optimal body and its form.
Forming part of the posterior oblique sling, alongside the contra lateral latissimus dorsi, the glutes not only provide lumbo sacral stability, but provide force closure at the sacroiliac joint.
The proper function and strength of all the gluteal muscles mean a stable pelvis during running and walking. Controlling the stability of the lower limbs too. They are our main hip extensors, driving us up hill/stairs and out of our seats. Weak and dysfunctional glutes have a detrimental effect on our hip stability and lower back. This can result in back pain and an unstable SI joint. Weak glutes can result in the tightening of the thoracolumbar fascia, illiotibial band and tensor fascia late, resulting in a great deal of tension and dysfunction.
By properly training and strengthening our glutes, we ensure stability and functionality. Including the efficient transfer of loads from lower limbs to upper body, happens via the glutes and the core muscles.
We tend to spend too much time sitting these days, lengthening glutes and tightening hip flexors rendering them inhibited. So, releasing the hip flexors and re-firing the glutes means a better functional body. The most important thing to remember about training one muscle group, is the other muscles that oppose and facilitate them. When we sing ‘the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone’ it’s no joke. Fluid functional movement that incorporates the entire body is always the best way to train and to understand that flexibility and strength affects every inch of us.
So, my message it to improve your glute functionality and strength, but don’t neglect your opposing anterior sling (obliques and adductors).  For a personal assessment and functional training plan, please contact reception on 01242 222111.
My top gluteal exercises are:
Deadlifts
Split squat
Hip extensions
Banded monster walks
Hip extensions with elbow drive
Functional controlled articulate rotations for joint capsule mobility.
For more information, on these exercises, email me on katie.brighton@themedical.co.uk

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