Despite training consistently, the glutes are a muscle group that can often get overlooked, particularly by men. Yet there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it is in fact one of the most important muscles to train.
Firstly, the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle group in the body and forms a huge part of the structure of your body. Yet often people are not strong in this area, meaning that it should form a crucial part of your training programme.
So why is having stronger glutes so important? How can it have an impact on your life?
Less Back Pain
Many people get aches and pains because they are not strong enough in key areas of their body. It can be common for people to start training ‘abs’ because they want them to be more visible, but then often complain of lower back pain and are more susceptible to injury, especially when playing sport.
If your muscles are not strong, areas such as your lower back tend to take more of the workload in the positions you get into. Training the glutes in isolation will strengthen them and shift the pain away from areas, such as your lower back, that are unable to take the pressure being placed upon them. Less pain and aching will lead to a better quality of life.
For you to have more balance and stability, having strong glutes is essential. Being the biggest muscle group on the body, they provide a strong base and more of a safety net on single-leg movements, such as the split squat and the lunge. These exercises are excellent, not just for building glute strength but for building better stability in both legs.
Perform Compound Movements Better
Compound movements are the heavier, more demanding exercises that work multiple areas of your body. They are excellent for improving strength and burning lots of calories and should be implemented into your routine at some point. However, to perform exercises such as the squat, deadlift and lunge, strong glutes are essential. So, by training them in isolation first, you will be able to have a stronger foundation to build from, which will improve performance and decrease the risk of injury.
Another big reason why having stronger glutes is that it improves the muscle visually. Many people complain of ‘sagginess’ around the bum area and try all sorts of methods to solve this problem. However, the best way to have a rounder, tighter, firmer butt is to train your glutes consistently. This will then improve your self-confidence, especially if this is an area that bothers you.
Strong glutes can have a huge impact on your posture. When you spend long periods sitting down, your hip flexors are elongated and become tight, meaning that your tailbone tucks in and your shoulders and spine round, leading to poor posture. However, by training the glutes, you can get them strong enough to stabilise the hips, which helps balance and align the lower and upper body.
Finally, a huge benefit of stronger glutes is that it reduces your risk of impact injury. When you are weak in the lower body, you are much more fragile and brittle, meaning that any collision could have more damaging consequences. However, stronger, more muscular glutes would strengthen your bones and provide more protection for your lower body.
This is key, especially in more physical sports such as rugby and football, and also in running, as the impact of your foot hitting the floor is softened by areas such as the glutes, quads and hamstrings, meaning less damage to the ankles, hips and knees.
So, glute training is a vital part of your development when it comes to changing your body shape. This is because is decreases back pain, improves balance and stability, helps you perform compound movements better, is aesthetically pleasing, improves posture, and prevents injury. All these areas have a huge impact on the quality of your life, so make sure you train your glutes consistently to experience these great benefits.