Why is glute activation important?
Weak glutes can lead to all manner of musculoskeletal issues and they play a huge role in overall body strength. But what makes them so influential? First of all, let’s look at what and where they are. Your gluteal muscles – commonly referred to as glutes – are the muscles that form your backside. There are three major muscles in that area, and all are tasked with moving and supporting your upper and lower body – so you can see why they’re so important. Glutes are there to do more than just support though, having strong glutes is important for many other reasons too e.g. to reduce the risk of injuries and to improve poor posture. Inactive glutes – those that are not used as much as they were designed to – need a little bit of activation to get them strengthened and firing on all cylinders again.
What are the causes of having weak glutes?
The main reason seems to be that many of us are leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles. We’re so used to driving to work, sitting down all day while we’re there and then flopping onto the sofa at night, that our glutes become inactive over time. Over-reliance on other muscles can also contribute to weak glutes, and of course, if a muscle doesn’t get exercise, it can slowly weaken.
The best exercises to build strong glutes are found at Curves
At Curves we offer a Full body workout, which means we get to activate your glutes as well. We have a range of machines that will help. Two in particular are specifically designed to work on and strengthen this area. The very appropriately named glute machine is where you extend one leg at a time behind you against a flexible resistance bar. This helps build strength in each glute muscle in a stable and controlled way. The second machine is called the squat machine which helps to position you in the ideal pose to make the most out of every squat. Strong glutes are so important to our everyday lives and both these machines help strengthen and tone these muscles, resulting in an overall stronger body.
Strengthening Tips & Tricks
If you’ve missed a Curves workout or don’t have a Curves gym near you, perhaps can you try these 3 simple and universal exercises that are a great way to strengthen your glutes.
Start standing with feet just slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
Sit your butt back into a squat, without letting your knees go past your toes. Make sure your weight is in your heels, and keep your chest up.
Start in a standing position with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
Step backwards with your left foot, landing on the ball of your left foot and keeping your heel off the ground.
Bend your knees creating two 90-degree angles with your legs. Aim to have your back knee hovering about three to six inches off the ground.
Return to standing and repeat with your opposite leg.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep both arms on the floor by your sides with palms facing up.
Before lifting your hips, check your heels are close to your butt and your feet are hip-width apart.
Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips until you form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
Pause at the top and squeeze your glutes again to make sure they’re still active, then lower slowly.
If you’re looking for a full body workout in only 30 minutes and to activate your glutes, get the advice and support of a coach, and so much more, please contact your nearest Curves club or book a free consultation now!