The one group of muscles you don’t really ever get a chance to look at are probably some of the most powerful in the body. I am speaking of the glutes; in particular the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. The fact that we can’t actually see improvements we make back there usually leads to the saying “Out of sight, out of mind.” But when you learn of what these power house muscles really do for you, you may change your point of view.
The gluteus maximus is the larger of the three muscles and is a powerful extensor of the hip and it also aids in lateral rotation and adduction. How does this translate to everyday life? The gluteus maximus helps pull your hips back when you bend forward, aids in turning your foot out when standing or walking and helps to bring your leg in from a side leg raise.
The gluteus medius and minimus lie deep under the gluteus maximus and are abductors (help push your leg out in a side leg raise) and aid in internal rotation of the hip. These muscles are also important postural muscles as they help keep the pelvis level during movement.
Some fitness professionals have even considered the Glutes as part of the core musculature because of how these muscles help with stabilization of your body during certain exercises. When you have weak glutes, exercises seem more difficult, and your posture may suffer. Below is a list of exercises to help develop each of the gluteal muscles.
- Standing side leg raise with a band
- Side lying leg raise with a band
It is important to note, that when performing each of these exercises, your goal is to feel the glutes working more than any other muscle. If you are not, you need to get your form checked by a Personal Trainer or another qualified fitness professional. They will be able to help you with perfecting the execises.