03 Nov 2020

Glutes and backs

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Most commonly the butt of many jokes, more professionally labelled as gluteus maximus (glutes for short) this week’s blog from northlondonosteopaths is telling us how to protect our backs via our backside! Alan Nevies and his colleagues at northlondonosteopaths want to focus firstly on the need for strong glutes, which are often overlooked completely while all attention is paid to abdomen and core, and then suggest specific toning exercises for the glutes to help prevent back pain.

For those that think that small glutes are the best ( does my b… look big in this?) loss of glute bulk is not a good thing. These muscles are the powerhouse as the largest muscles in the body. They are relied on to improve movement and balance, posture and performance. They are a support for the whole body and a shock absorber during exercise. One of the many adverse consequences with many people sitting around more during lock down has meant that the gluteal muscles have atrophied. With another lockdown pending it is very important to change habits to include muscle strengthening for glutes. We need them strong to stabilise our pelvis and drive our movement. They are involved in knee alignment, which means that weak glutes may sometimes give rise to knee pain.

Alan Nevies and his colleagues at northlondonosteopaths can recommend the following activities and exercises to increase glute strength.

Squeezing your glutes as you sit or stand 15 minutes daily of gluteal squeezes. This involves sitting up straight and squeezing gluteal muscles as hard as you can for 5 seconds.

Deep lunges in which your back knee touches the ground. Step forward as far as is comfortable with your right leg and bend both legs to 90 degrees keeping your back straight and engaging your abdominal muscles. Allow you back knee to brush the floor. Return to the start position and do 10 repetitions on the same leg before switching sides.

Squats with or without weights start without weights. Feet should be shoulder width apart and sink into a squat by bending your knees and lowering your glutes until the thighs are parallel to the floor before pushing back up through the heels. Start with three sets of 10 squats.

Daily step ups or extra stair climbing good if you struggle with squats. The upward movement and acceleration of each step is a great way to strengthen glutes

Walking or running uphill walking or running on an incline is one of the best ways to work the glutes. Hill walking means that the glutes work with the hamstring to extend the thighs every time you stride forward. Find a slope or hill 60-80m long and walk up and down it 6-8 times clenching the glutes with each stride.

Alan Nevies and his colleagues at northlondonosteopaths hope that you found all this interesting and even better hope that some or all of these exercises find their way into your daily routine. We are happy to go through this in person if you want to make an appointment and come in for one to one bespoke advice.

Stay safe and well

Alan Nevies and colleagues at northlondonosteopaths