Muscle Spotlight: Glutes
We have many pet names for our backsides – booty, fanny, tush … but no matter what we call it, our buttocks play a critical role in our musculoskeletal health and ability to function properly. From climbing stairs to standing from a seated position, our glutes are imperative to accomplishing many of the movements we take for granted. Let’s take a look at what the glutes are, what they do, and how we can keep them strong and healthy.
Exactly what are the glutes?
You probably already know that your glutes are the muscles that reside in your buttocks. But did you know that there is actually a set of three different muscles that make up the gluteus muscle group? The gluteus maximus is the real workhorse of the three, and the one we often think of when we talk about exercise.
The gluteus maximus makes up the shape of your derrière and works when you thrust your hips forward or move your hips to the side. The gluteus medius and gluteus minimus are smaller muscles that assist the gluteus maximus with other, more specific movements.
What are the benefits of maintaining strong glutes?
Having strong glutes does more for you than just making you look good in your jeans. Because glutes are the largest muscle group in the body, when they are strong and well-maintained, they can assist other parts of your body with many tasks. For instance, strong glutes can help take pressure off your knees, a common area of pain for many women. Without strong glutes your body tries to compensate by using other muscles.
The Curves circuit has your glutes covered!
During your Curves workout you will use two machines designed specifically to strengthen your glutes. The first is the glute machine, where you extend one leg at a time behind you against a flexible resistance bar. The second is the squat machine which positions you correctly to ensure maximum efficiency from 30 seconds of squats. Both these machines help strengthen and tone the gluteus muscles, resulting in an overall stronger body.
Our glutes assist us in all our natural, whole body movements. When you think about it, almost everything we do – walking with friends, squatting to pick up our grandkids or even kneeling down to garden – requires the extension of our hip. This is why strong glutes are so important to our overall health and fitness.
So get your butt in gear and give your glutes the time and attention they deserve!