How Strong Glutes Prevent Injury to Your Knees and Back
Strong glutes prevent injury to your knees and back while making you look and feel your best. However, it’s common today to have weak glutes. If you have a job where you sit for long periods of time at a desk or in front of a computer all day, then spend time at home sitting while watching television or looking at your phone, you’re at risk for inactive and weak glutes.
Strengthening your glutes will stabilize the spine, prevent rotation of the pelvis, and help you avoid tight tendons. Building your muscles can also help protect your knees and back. Using a machine like the Core Home Fitness Glute Drive to target the gluteal muscles can activate your muscles to protect your knees and back from injury.
Why should I worry about weak glutes?
Weak glutes can cause a number of health problems outside of your butt area. They can cause your pelvis to rotate, putting you at risk for back injury by causing a slight curvature of the spine. This curvature can lead to spine pain and even injury as more and more strain is placed on this area of the body. If you already have a damaged disc in your spine, weak glutes can make the problem even worse by increasing the stress on the spine. Additionally, weak glutes place strain on your kneecaps and joints. This is referred to as a collapsing kinetic chain and can have severe implications, including increased risk for ACL tear or injury.
These symptoms can appear across all age groups. However, you can do simple exercises at home to help build and strengthen your glute muscles, which will help reverse your chances of injury. Here are the muscles that make up your gluteal region:
The gluteus maximus is the largest of your three gluteal muscles. This muscle is what gives us the characteristically round shape of the bum. It assists with lateral rotation but is only used when force is required, through plyometric exercises like when running or jumping. Gluteus maximus exercises improve your mobility and health while giving you a muscular and defined bum.
Stretching and focusing on your gluteus maximus through exercise and activities such as hip thrusts, squats and glute bridges will help care for this muscle. Your gluteus maximus works in conjunction with the other two glute muscles to support your hips.
This gluteus medius is located between the gluteus maximus and gluteus minimus and connects all three muscles in the group. Your medius is primarily responsible for hip abduction, the hip joint movement when the leg moves. The medius rotates the lower limb while preventing the pelvic drop of the opposite limb. At-home glute exercises for the medius maintain hip stability and prevent injury, as well as help to develop a more shapely and curvaceous back side.
The gluteus minimus is the tiniest muscle in your bottom, but it’s just as important as the other two. The gluteus minimus is a triangle-shaped muscle running from your hip bone to your upper thigh. It works in tandem with the gluteus medius for hip abduction and stabilization.
Do I have weak glutes?
Weak glutes can cause a number of physical symptoms in your lower body. You might have weak glute muscles if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Pain in your lower back, hips, or knees
- Hamstring injuries
- Tightness in your hip flexors
- Overpronation or rolling the foot
- Tightness of the Achilles tendon
- Plantar fasciitis
- Shin splints
You can test for weak glutes through a single leg stance test, also called the Trendelenburg test. Focus on maintaining good form while performing the test.
- Keep your eyes open, and stand on your left foot while lifting your right foot off the ground, trying to keep your pelvis level to the ground.
- Hold for up to 30 seconds, then repeat on your right foot.
- Dropping your pelvis toward the leg in the air or leaning toward your standing leg to compensate, are both signs of weak glutes.
Another test is the single leg squat. Stand on one leg and perform a squat while holding your other leg behind you. Repeat on the other leg. Focus on maintaining good form. If you have to move your supporting knee inward during the squat, you probably have weak glutes.
Exercise at home to strengthen your glutes
Working your glute muscles helps improve your strength and stability, which helps prevent injuries. This is important for athletes and anyone who wants to lead an active life and improve their overall health.
To best prevent future injury or pain caused by weak glutes, activate them regularly through a home workout, especially if you sit often. Regular glute exercises are suitable for all ages and experience levels. Here are two activities you can do at home for targeted results.
Hip thrusts, performed with the Core Home Fitness Glute Drive, strengthen the glutes, hips and quadriceps, while stabilizing the pelvis, lower back and knees. The Glute Drive helps you isolate your glutes, choose different levels of resistance for a custom workout, and maintain proper form. It eliminates the need for makeshift exercises and lets you get an effective workout in a small amount of time.
Set your desired resistance and sit in the Glute Drive with the belt fastened. Stabilize your core by keeping your ribs down and pelvis tucked. Drive your hips upward while keeping your feet on the floor. Slowly lower your hips to the starting position. Repeat for 10 to 12 reps.
This crucial exercise for building glute strength has several variations to target specific muscles, but the essential movement stays the same. Use the Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell set to add additional weight for a targeted home workout.
- Stand with your legs apart near shoulder width, and hold your desired weight in each hand.
- Keep your back straight, bend your knees, and squat to the floor.
- Briefly hold, then return to standing, clutching your glutes at the top.
Improve your health
Spending more time at home is an opportunity to begin working on your glutes at home. You’ll find that it is quickly worth your efforts. With the proper commitment, you’ll feel better, look better, and prevent some of those nagging injuries that interfere with everyday life.
Click here to discover how the Core Home Fitness Glute Drive can help you reach your strength goals.