Let’s change the discussion about butts.
Most of the time, our hip muscles are only confined to subjects of booty bands and bikini boot camps. Well, there is nothing wrong to show off your butts or wanted to get good-looking bums. However, your butts play a more crucial role than just adding glam to your bodies.
The glutei muscles are a group of three muscles that aid in maintaining posture and enable us to walk or run correctly. Out of these three muscles, today we will talk about the greatest: gluteus maximus muscle and gluteus maximus exercises that can help you strengthen your butts and also aid you in improving flexibility.
But before discussing, let’s have a brief overview; what are gluteus maximus muscles, and what is their particular role in generating lower-body movements like walking, running, climbing, etc.
WHAT ARE GLUTEUS MAXIMUS MUSCLES?
The Gluteus maximus muscle is the broadest muscle of the human body that is blameworthy for shaping your butts. It is the most superficial muscle in all three gluteal muscles, which are present on the posterior side of the hip joint.
Being the broadest muscle at the hip, it represents 16% of the total cross-sectional area. Because of its size, it is responsible for generating an enormous amount of force and helps in making the correct posture. It also causes extension and lateral rotation at the hip joint. The Gluteus maximus also helps in pelvis stabilization, middle split turn out and power in your backbends.
Thus we can say that the gluteus maximus plays a major role in the movement of the lower extremity. However, because of our sedentary lifestyles, most of us are actively assisting in the weakening of our largest muscles. The prime contributing factor in this regard is our long-term sitting. One of the surveys made by ergonomic manufacturer Ergotron confirms that 86% of the total full-time American workers spend their entire time in sitting position during their office times. Merging your entire office sitting time with your evening Netflix session on the sofa, you have got the easiest way of weakening your glute muscles and of course tight hip flexors.
However, weakening of the gluteal muscles will not cause a problem only in your buttock region but also creates a series of problems all the way from your back to your foot. Knee soreness and back pain also include gluteus maximus weakening as a significant contributing factor. So we can say that if we want to save our lower limb, we need to strengthen our gluteus maximus muscles.
Now the question arises that what is the best way to strengthen your gluteus maximus? Well, the answer is quite simple. Do gluteus maximus exercises with consistency.
GLUTEUS MAXIMUS EXERCISES:
There are plenty of gluteus maximus exercises you can perform, such as compound barbell movements. However, these activities are immensely arduous to perform, especially if you are a newcomer at the gym.
Deadlifts and squats are also famous, but some people find it challenging to maintain them appropriately. So we need those exercises that can target your gluteus maximus muscles and are equally easy to perform by everyone. Here are some gluteus maximus exercises you can do at home.
GLUTEUS MAXIMUS EXERCISES AT HOME:
While explaining gluteus maximus exercises, we divide them into two portions. Gluteus maximus strengthening exercises and gluteus maximus stretches. Firstly, we will see gluteus maximus strengthening exercises you can do at home.
GLUTEUS MAXIMUS STRENGTHENING EXERCISES:
The easiest gluteus maximus strengthening exercises are demonstrated in the following section:
Hip thrust, sometimes called bridges, is a pretty self-explanatory exercise.
- Lie in supine line position (facing upward) with your hands flat on your sides, knees tilted, and your feet inserted. Exert force on your heels towards the ground and try to lift your hips in an upward direction.
- Move slowly and tighten your gluteus maximus muscle and core during the entire duration.
- Repeat it 5-8 times.
You can start hip thrust initially in this way. Once you have developed the stamina, you can add weights like ball barrel, kettle barrel, or medicine balls to make your gluteus maximus muscles more powerful.
STANDING HIP EXTENSION:
This exercise mainly targets your gluteus maximus muscle and help you to stabilize your core and manage your pelvis:
- Stand up straight in front of the wall, kitchen counter, or the back of the dining table or study table chair.
- Keep your back in an erect position, strengthen your core, and permit your both legs to tilt slightly.
- From here, raise one leg behind you and as much as you can, assuring you not to tilt your knee further as you do so.
- Don’t stress about how high you can raise your leg; what needed is that you are capable enough to contract your glutes without using your back muscles? Hold this position for three seconds, then gradually lower your leg to get back to the initial position. It’s equal to one count.
- Do ten counts with this leg, and then try ten more counts with the other leg.
- Do this exercise 3 to 4 times every week.
Before starting, find some stool or bench so that when you place your foot on it, your knee should be tilted at 90 degrees. You can use weight benches or plyo boxes. However, if you don’t have them, you can even use a dining table chair.
- In the beginning, place your right foot onto the bench. Try to press your right heels evenly as you step onto the board. Let your left foot to your left side as you are standing on the stool.
- Return to the initial position by stepping down with right leg after that left means you are standing on the floor
- Finish 15 steps leading your right, then repeat 15 steps more with your left foot.
- Perform three sets of this exercise.
- Stand on feet opened equal to your shoulder widths apart.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles while maintaining your spine and pelvis stability.
- Attain the position as you are sitting on an invisible chair. Hold for three seconds.
- Straighten your legs to rise back up.
- Repeat 5-8 times.
It is the simplest squat from which you can start. Once you achieve the grip, you can add different squats such as dub bell squat, goblet squat, or Zercher squat in your exercise routine.
GLUTEUS MAXIMUS STRETCHES:
As we have discussed the gluteus maximus strengthening exercises, let’s have a look at gluteus maximus stretches. Gluteus maximus stretches help release tension in your tight glutes, improve your flexibility and mobility, enhance your range of motion, and lower the risk of injury. These stretches also prove beneficial with the following problems:
- Lower back pain
- Pain in butts
- Pelvic pain
- Tight buttocks
- Tight hamstring muscles
- Knee pain.
Besides this, gluteus maximus stretches are also helpful for contortion students. For instance, if someone is working on his splits, then gluteus maximus stretches should be incorporated in his warm-up plans. Now, let’s have a look at some gluteus maxims stretches:
SEATED FIGURE FOUR GLUTE STRETCH:
Seated glute stretch, sometimes called seated pigeon stretch, is used to loosen your gluteus maximus and surrounding muscles.
- Sit straight on the chair. Position your right ankle on your left thigh, just next to your knee joint. Put your palms on your shin bone.
- Maintain your spine erect, bent minutely forward to deepen the stretch
- Hold this position for 20-30 seconds
- Return to the initial position. And do it with another leg.
SEATED GLUTE STRETCH:
Seat glute stretch is used to remove tightness in the hips, glutes, and back. You can sit on a towel or yoga block if your hips need extra support.
- Sit on the floor and lengthen your leg out in front of you.
- Keep your back erect, raise your left leg and position your right ankle on your left knee.
- Tilt slightly forward to deepen the stretch
- Hold this position for 20-25 secs and then repeat.
KNEE TO OPPOSITE SHOULDER:
Knee to opposite shoulder stretch is the best way to stretch your gluteus maximus and also other glutes. It also relieves sciatic pain and releases the tension around the sciatica nerve.
- Lie on the floor in supine line position (facing upward) with your legs elongated, and your feet flexed upward.
- Tilt and raise your right knee and position your hands around your knee.
- Pull your right knee towards your left shoulder.
- Hold this position for 20-30 secs and return to your initial position
- Lengthened your right leg and do again with your left leg.
STANDING FIGURE FOUR STRETCH:
- Stand in an upright posture. Position your left ankle on your right thigh just next to your knee. It will look like a four digit shape.
- Slowly tilt your right knee, moving your hip into a squat posture.
- Stop for a while when you feel a stretch in your left glute. Hold this position for 20-30 secs and repeat with the left leg.
The glutei Maximus is a critical prime mover in back bending. If you are experiencing lower back, pain, weak core, tilted hips then you should consider a corrective exercise prescription.
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