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Glutes Anyone?




Why the Donkey Kick Might Rock Your World!


Here are five reasons why it's important to strengthen your glutes:


1 - Firstly, let's get it out of the way. Everyone loves tight buns, both males and females, and by strengthening the gluteus muscles, you may very well be doing humanity a service from an aesthetic perspective ;-).


The other side effects of having a shapely derrière are that you may prevent back pain, hip, and pelvic issues too!!

Okay, let's get serious.


2 - In simple terms, when a muscle isn't working effectively, the body assigns the task to the next one in line. Without strong gluteus muscles, the hamstrings or the lower back may become overactive and tighten up, causing pain in these regions as the body overcompensates for the weakness evident within the gluteus muscles.


3 - The gluteus muscles are considered part of the core and help stabilize the pelvis and hips. If the pelvis is unstable, this can cause significant stress on the hip joints and discs.


4 - Sore knees! Instability in the hips may also have an impact on the knee.


From standing, come down into a seated squat and notice if your knees drift inwards. If so, this can be a sign of weakness through the gluteus medius (side hip) - a muscle when strong would otherwise prevent the knees from drifting inwards, responsible for keeping the thighs and knees stable.


5 - Tight muscles! Weak gluteus muscles often indicate the abdominals are relatively weak. This weakness will also affect the hip flexors, inner thighs, and lower back, causing these areas to become noticeably tighter. It is an automatic nervous system response attempting to create stability through tightening up.


6 - Persistent lower back pain is often associated with weak core and gluteus muscles.



Prevention:


Two efficient exercises to strengthen the gluteus muscles are the Donkey Kick and the Fire Hydrant.


How To Perform The Donkey Kick (above image):

  • Set up on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips, holding a neutral spine.

  • Keep your left leg on the ground as you take your right leg back at a ninety-degree angle.

  • Then bring the leg back to the ground each time.

  • Repeat on the other side.

Alternate ten times and perform three sets.


Tip: Increase the load by holding for a count of five without losing stability.

Breathing: Take a breath in to prepare and exhale as you execute the movement.


How To Perform The Fire Hydrant :

  • Start on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips, holding a neutral spine.

  • Keep your right knee at a 90-degree angle as you slowly raise your left leg to the side until it is parallel to the ground. Avoid moving your right hip, as you should keep both hips square.

  • With control, lower your leg back to the floor.

Continue for 30 seconds on the left side, then switch to the right leg for another 30 seconds.


Tip: For an added challenge, wear a light resistance band around your thighs.

Breathing: Take a breath in to prepare and exhale as you execute the movement.


Remember to keep your core muscles engaged during these exercises, drawing your navel toward your spine to stabilise and intensify the movement.


Enjoy! x



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