Why train your glutes?

The ‘gluteals are a pretty dynamic group of muscles, three of them in fact; gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. They work together with various other muscles to allow movement through the hip.  If they are not working as they were designed to work, something else in our body needs to make up for them.  Pretty simple.

Man having a back pain

Having poor development of the glutes could be they are weak or they don’t work optimally, this could mean that other various joints will suffer (including the spine, shoulder, knee, ankle).  Yes, the glutes (or lack of well enough developed glutes) could be causing that knee twinge, lower back ache or even that shoulder issue you are complaining about.

So before I get into actual glute training exercises (that’s for another day), I want first to give you a few more benefits of training those lovely three muscles.

  1. Better movement: your gait (stride) will improve, you’ll find you move with more ease and more power.
  2. Reduction in lower back pain: if your glutes are strong enough to support both your movement requirements, your smaller muscles of the lower back won’t need to compensate.
  3. Knee pain will be reduced or eliminated: the glutes work in harmony with other muscles to control movement through and around your knee, if they are not able to do their job, pain can (and will) likely show up in or around the knee.
  4. Better lower body alignment thorough better hip stabilization: this reduces the occurrence of shin splints, ACL tears and sprains, IT band tightness and even Planter Fasciiltis.
  5. Burn more calories, efficiently: when you work and develop your glutes, you are working the biggest muscle group in the human body.
  6. Well trained glutes = nice butt:  need I say more.

Now running off and doing 100’s of squats, though great for strengthening these three essential muscles, there are some things that you should address first.    Number one should be your mobility.  If the joints required to move while you work to strengthen are all gummed up, guess what, there are more problems heading your direction.  Secondly is choosing the right exercise for you; hip bridges, squats (front or back, low or high bar), lunges, deadlifts or a combination of all.  Next time!  Can’t wait that long… reach out to me and I’ll give you some direction.

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The ‘Mobility Primmer’

Soft Tissue aspect of Mobility:

Mobility consists of three distinct components: Soft tissue work, stretching and joint mobilization (each of these components has sub components, but we will start with these).  Typically with soft tissue work we are focused on two things; myofascial and trigger point release.

We also need to remember prior to digging into this that the ‘cause’ is the riddle that we need to be constantly seeking to solve.  That could be a sustained injury, imbalance, form, lack of strength, bio mechanics etc.

Myofascial Release:

What it is:  connective tissue providing support and protection that runs all over our body.

Why: these muscles can become restricted due to overuse, injury and inactivity.  When they do, inflammation occurs causing the tissue to thicken, which leads to more inflammation and pain.

What is does: brings blood flow to the area which promotes healing, breaks up adhesions, restores elasticity and reduces pain.

Trigger Point Release:

What they are; knots in the muscles.

Why release: think of a bungee cord with a knot in it.  These points tend to radiate to other parts of the body ie. Trigger point in trap radiates down the shoulder.

Tools for self myofascial release and Trigger point release:

Myofascial release using a foam roller;  Slowly roll a muscle group or area, find a tender spot and a few seconds there, slowly the tension and pain should decrease 5-30 seconds, then move on.  Option to add tension ie. Lat rolling and extension of shoulder or arms crossed in front. Adding tension in the muscles being worked on with increase the depth and results.

Trigger point: roll around and if able on the knot – gently –  until it releases, usually under 30 seconds.  Generally something smaller is used ie. lacrosse ball, acu-ball, etc.

Both can be dealt with by using the ‘tack & stretch’ (tack the area, then contract/release muscle in order to break up any adhesions and restore blood flow)

What not to do:

Roll a joint with a foam roller – use something smaller

Aggravate an already tender area – work around it

Stop because it hurts a bit – discomfort vs. Pain

When:

Before you work out, to release adhesions, bring blood flow into the area, wake up the body.  Use a more aggressive roller.  I tend to opt for more quickened mobility stretches and dynamic movements vs. too much rolling.  ** unless I have a knot or an area that is stubborn that I might try to get it to trigger before my workout.  (I find mobility stretches work better then rolling or lacrosse ball techniques prior to my workout)

After you work out, to bring back blood flow into an area, which will speed recovery.  During a dedicated mobility work out.  Foam rolling and trigger point work is the soft tissue part of a mobility workout.  It will leave you feeling tired and worked over.  Drink water & rest.  You may have soreness the next day.

Welcome – Sometimes we just need to ‘blog’

Hi All.  A wee bit about this blog.  There is so much amazing content ‘out there’ that we needed to find a way to bring it to you, in one easy to locate place.  Ta Da… a Blog is born.

Here you will find content that has been reviewed prior to sharing (because you can’t believe everything you find on the internet and see in print), videos that we think you might find helpful and original content generated by Body Centric.

Your comments are always welcome as are your thoughts on what type of information you’d like to see (keep it clean and professional).