Do you have low back pain?
Do you get knee pain during or after running or walking?
Do you have tight hamstrings or have frequent hamstring strains?
Do you have front of the hip pain?
Well, it might be your glutes that are the problem!
What are your glutes?
Your Glutes (or Gluteals) comprise of three different muscles; the Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Minimus & Gluteal Medius. These muscles are responsible for extending the hip behind us, lifting the leg to the side as well controlling rotation at the hip joint. For this reason the Glutes are important in:
Helping maintain your Lumbar and pelvic control
Limiting the amount of rotation that occurs at the femur during running reducing the strain on the knees.
Helping the hamstring muscle when extending the hip back. If your gluteals aren’t firing the hamstring will be working a lot harder.
Controlling movement of the femur forward in the hip joint which may cause you front of the hip pain.
So you can now see how important your Glutes are! How though do we get them firing and keep them strong? Below are 5 of the top exercises for getting those glutes working again.
Top 5 exercises for getting your Glutes working again
1. Side Lying Hip Abduction:
In this exercise we are exercising the the Glute muscle on the side of the hip (the Glute Medius). Lay on your side ensuring that your body is straight. Gentle draw the leg bone into the hip and lift the leg up to the side. Aim to feel the muscle work between the top of the hip bone and the side pelvis. Hold for a few seconds and then lower the leg down.
Next step – place some resistance band around your ankles to increase the resistance
2. Gluteal/Hamstring Differentiation:
This is a great exercise to make sure that the glutes are firing before the hamstring muscles. Sit with your knees slightly bent and place one hand under your bottom and the other on the hamstring. Push your heel into the ground ensuring that you activate your Glute before your hamstring.
3. Pelvic Bridging:
Lay onto your back with your knees bent to 90 degrees, feet resting on the floor. Gently squeeze your glutes and lift your hips up so they align with your shoulders and knees. Hold the position for 5 seconds and then lower. Repeat the exercise.
Progression- try this exercise using only one leg.
4.Squats With Theraband:
Add a resistance band around your legs when you perform squats. Your glutes will have to work much harder to keep your knees from turning in! With feet a hip width apart squat down aiming to keep the knees lined up over the middle of the feet. Return to standing and repeat.
5. Hip Hitch
Stand on your right leg with your left knee bent. As you count to 3 slowly let your left hip drop using the control in your right side Glute muscle (Glute Medius). Slowly bring the hip back up so that your hips are level. Repeat and complete on the opposite side.
If you would like more information on how to improve your glute strength or aren’t sure if glute strength is relevant to you, you may benefit from an appointment with a Leading Edge Physiotherapist. You can BOOK ONLINE now!