As a society in general, we are spending more time than ever sitting down – on average around 9 hours per day. This represents an enormous health risk. In fact, sitting has even been called the new smoking. When it comes to glutes in particular, sitting is the kiss of death: the glute muscles are in a lengthened, weakened position while seated, causing them to atrophy. This, in turn, leads to short, tight hip flexors, which affect the position of the pelvis, which affects the position of the spine, which is connected to the…well, you get the idea.
In short, glute-focused strengthening and conditioning combats some of the risks of a sedentary lifestyle, improving your posture and minimising your risk of injury. Hooray! Barre for everyone!
So, it might be time to go ‘bottoms up’ and not the sunset Gin type
1. First things first
Before starting your workout, practice a little muscle activation. Since our glutes are already lazy and weak (just like our resistance to the snooze button), if you dive straight into a heavy workout without first waking them up you may end up compensating with surrounding muscles (hello, sore lower back). So don’t miss your warmup J
2. Eat your pasta
You’re welcome! Carbohydrates are your body's main source of energy: They help fuel your brain, kidneys, heart muscles, and central nervous system. For instance, fibre is a carbohydrate that aids in digestion, helps you feel full, and keeps blood cholesterol levels in check. The reason is this: in order to build muscle mass, it’s important to have enough glycogen stores. And glycogen, as luck would have it, comes from carbs, glorious carbs. Twirl that fork!
3. Up, down and all around
The glutes are multitaskers – they can move in a range of directions and planes. So, if you’re only doing the same three exercises over and over you won’t be working your glutes in a well-rounded fashion. And if there’s one thing we want glutes to be, it’s well-rounded! Keep them balanced by mixing up your training. Barre, BOSU, Bounce all challenge your glutes with stabilising tasks as well as strengthening tasks. All that standing on one leg while it feels like it’s on fire? That’s working your glutes. And those leg circles your Barre instructor loves? Working your glutes in all directions.
See you in class!