Glutes are the biggest muscle group in the body and are made up of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus.

The role of the glutes is to stabilise the pelvis and hip. They work together to provide proper pelvic alignment when moving and when balancing on one leg. As a result, weakness of the glutes has a significant impact on your body’s biomechanics during everyday activities like walking, going downstairs and lifting. The compensation for this weakness and change of biomechanics then commonly results in injuries – particularly to the lower back, knees and feet.

The gluteus maximus and hamstrings are the primary muscles that extend the hip and provides the power for propulsion when running, jumping and even heavy lifting (like banging). When the gluteus maximus is weak, the hamstrings end up doing more of the work and therefore lead to tight or injured hamstrings.

What causes weak glutes?

When we are sat down the glutes are lengthened and inactive, therefore the longer we sit the weaker our glutes become. Unfortunately, modern lifestyles involve a lot of sitting, whether that’s at a desk, in a car or on the sofa.

How to strengthen the glutes at home?

Exercise is the key to strengthening your glutes.

Below are 5 key exercises that you can do at home using a miniband to help build up strength and control of your glutes.

Glute Bridge with band

  • Lying with knees bent and arms across your chest with a resistance band around the knees
  • Engage trunk muscles to stiffen the spine and pull knees apart slightly
  • Clench  buttocks together and tuck your tailbone under to engage your glutes and raise hips off floor until knee hip and shoulder are in a straight line
  • Keep the knees pulled apart and hold for 2 seconds
  • Exhale and return to start position
  • Do not overextend your low back.

Fire hydrants with band

  • Place a resistance band around the lower thighs
  • Start on hands and knees with hands below shoulders and knees below hips
  • Engage the trunk muscles to stiffen the spine
  • Lift the knee out to the side without twisting through the trunk
  • Pause and top and slowly return to start position

Side Plank Clam

  • Lying on side with resistance band around the lower thigh and knees bent to 90 degrees
  • Elbow directly below shoulder
  • Engage trunk muscles to stiffen the spine
  • Lift hips off floor to bring spine into neutral
  • Squeeze heels together lift the top knee without rolling the hip back

Monster Walks

  • Place a resistance band around the legs at the ankles
  • Perform a small squat keeping the legs apart and knees in line with the 2nd toe
  • Lift 1 leg to the side to take up the tension on the band
  • Keeping the legs apart and in squat stance, walk forward, then backwards

Glute Taps

  • Place a resistance band around the legs at the ankles
  • Perform a small squat keeping the legs apart and knees in line with the 2nd toe
  • Place all your weight through the supporting leg.
  • Slowly tap to the side, then  diagnonally  backwards.
  • Keep your hips level and maintain a shallow squat on the supporting  leg

Minibands

Minibands are light and don’t take up much space which means they are great to store or take away when travelling. 

Bands vary in different resistance, therefore start on the lightest resistance and you can work your way up to make the exercise harder. It is important to progress the exercises to ensure continuous strengthening of the glutes.

By Louisa England. 

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