3 Glute Blasting Exercises to Fire Up the Posterior Muscles and Reduce Back Fatigue
Over 80 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. More often than not, this pain is as a result of fatigued and overworked back muscles. Why do these muscles in our back get so tired and painful?
We have forgotten the proper ways to sit, stand, move, bend, drive, cook, and brush our teeth (yes we even bend improperly to spit!). Instead of using our legs and spine properly as “hunters and gatherers,” our sitting lifestyle has brought us to new levels of bending, slouching, and living in chronic hip flexion.
This new lifestyle leads to the incorrect use of many muscles, the most important being the glute muscles. The combination of these 3 large muscles (gluteus maximus, minimus, and medius) is extremely powerful. These muscles are integral to actions such as climbing stairs, getting out of the car, and standing us upright after bending over. Without the correct utilization of these muscles, we “overuse” the muscles in our mid and lower backs to compensate. These poor back muscles were not meant to do this job! It’s like asking the NYC doorman who doesn’t drive well to park a car in a LA valet parking lot. Disaster!
Awakening the glutes in a productive way can take the pressure of that poor NYC doorman. Let the back muscles relax while the glutes actually do their job. A combination of targeted stretches and exercises can help bring these important glutes muscles back to life. A wonderful by-product of these glute emphasizing exercises is a nicely shaped rear end. Who doesn’t love that?
Here are 3 exercises you can do in the privacy of your own home, with no equipment, that can help get your glutes (and hamstrings too!) fired up again:
- Lie face up with the knees bent and the feet hip width distance apart. Lie with the palms face up and the back of the shoulders into the mat. The pelvis should be in a neutral position with a small space between the lower back and the mat.
- Push the lower back into the mat using the abdominals and begin to roll up with the spine into a "bridge" position. Be sure to articulate on the way up starting with the lower back, then the mid back, then the upper back. At the top position, think about using your glutes to get your hips a bit higher.
- Roll down reversing the order until the lower back touches the mat. After, release the pelvis back into the neutral starting position.
- Repeat for 10 to 15 repetitions.
- Lie on your side with your hips stacked on top of each other. Knees should be bent and stacked. Line the heels up with the glutes. Make sure your pelvis is not “tucked under” and that you have a normal arch in your lower back. Often times it helps to feel like you are “flipping your tailbone backwards” to achieve the proper pelvis position.
- Lift the top knee up to the ceiling while keeping the feet connected. Do not let the top hip open up to the side. Return the knee back to the beginning.
- Repeat for 10 to 15 repetitions on each side.
SINGLE LEG DEADLIFT
- Stand on one leg with perfect posture. Hold on to a railing or foam roller for support. Be sure that holding on to something does not force you to round your back.
- Lead with the chest and start to hinge forward from the hip joint of the standing leg, keeping the floating leg behind you and straight. Only lower as far as you can go without allowing any part of the back to "round".
- You can soften the standing leg to get the proper hip hinge, and make sure both hip bones are facing down to the floor evenly.
- Stand back up slowly and do 10 to 15 repetitions. Repeat on the other side.
About the Author:
Zeena Dhalla is an NPI-Certified Posture Specialist™ and self proclaimed posture GEEK. She specializes in helping people feel less pain and look leaner through home based exercise and stretch routines. Download her 5 Minute Solution to Hunchback Posture if you want to improve your posture and intimidate those around you with your rock star stance.