Ask most people why they squat, lunge or even just go to the gym and they will tell you it’s to get a great butt. We all want one, but not all for the right reasons. Sure it’s nice to look at and will turn heads. But a sturdy, strong bottom has a much more important function within the body. Here’s what’s really behind a great behind.
Which muscles make up the butt
First of all it’s important you understand which muscles we mean when talking about “the butt”.
There are three main muscles which make up your behind: Gluteus minimus, gluteus medius and gluteus maximus. These all work together to swing and rotate the legs, extend the hips and tilt the pelvis backwards. As the name suggests, the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle, and not just when it comes to the glutes. It’s the largest and most powerful muscle of the human body.
Why a strong butt is important
Here’s the ugly truth: glutes are lazy muscles and mostly underworked. This is especially true if you have an office job where you sit a lot. Consequently, your glutes take a back seat themselves and instead let the lower back do the work for them. This may cause back, hip or knee pain.
Here are a few more reasons you should focus on strengthening your butt:
- Prevent injury. Weak glutes can cause a long chain of negative effects. Beginning with an imbalance in the hips, the pain works its way down to the knees and ankles. Whereas strong glutes ensure a steady pelvis, which keeps the knees from caving in toward each other when squatting, jumping, and landing. When your glutes are active, the lower back doesn’t need to suffer from the brunt of the motion and less loading force is put on the hamstrings, joints and ligaments.
- Perform better. Strong glutes increase power in sprints, squats, climbers and jumps. Accordingly, athletes with stronger glutes will be faster as well as more efficient and explosive in their performance.
- Look good. Let’s be honest: Buns of steel look good. We all know if someone trains their glutes. And we all appreciate it.
Now that you’ve learned the benefits of building a better backside, here’s how to do it:
- Stand with your feet not further than shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees to lower your body until your hips are below your knees, while keeping your chest upright and core tight.
- Press through your heels when going up again.
- Step one foot forward, bend both knees to 90 degrees, transferring your body weight onto your front foot.
- Push off with your front leg – weight on the heel – to return to the standing position.
- Keep your abs engaged and back straight during the movement.
- Start off in the plank position, shoulders, hips and heels in one line.
- Then repeatedly jump one foot to hand level.
- Keep your shoulders and core tight.
- Grab a barbell with an overhand grip beyond your legs and bend your body at your hips and knees.
- While your lower back remains straight, pull your torso up, push your hips forward to raise the bar.
- When lowering the bar, keep it close to your body.
- Engage your glutes during this movement.
Sprinting intervals are very efficient Running workouts and also highly stimulating for your glutes. Additionally, you can give your butt the extra kick with hill sprints or different leg movements, like knee lifting or running sideways.
Now that you know everything about your butt, it’s time to get off it and put theory into practice.