You may be sitting in a class and thinking- why are these muscles important?! Why am I working these muscles so hard? We’re here to help explain that. Read along through our next couple blog posts to see what muscles we target in class and why they are important! Today’s focus is on the glutes, one of my personal favorites!
My personal favorite. You always feel the burn in glutes if you come to take my class. But why are they important?!? Yes, they are important for all-around aesthetic appeal. But what is the actual purpose? There are three muscles involved in your glute muscles: your gluteus maximus (the main muscle), your gluteus Medius and gluteus minimus (which are two smaller muscles that help assist you in moving). Did you know our glutes are the body’s largest, most powerful muscle group?!?! This is why we need to focus in on training our glutes!!!! In today’s world (especially during COVID19 quarantines) we are sitting majority of our day. Which in turn results in weak glutes! This turns around and adds more pressure on the other parts of our legs when working out. Our weak glutes aren’t helping our legs which is making the other muscles in our legs have to compensate for our weak glutes. What other muscles have to compensate? Our quads, and hamstrings which can leave our booties falling short (literally). What are some symptoms of weak glutes? Tight hip flexors, knee pain, lower back pain and weak ankles. Wow. I don’t know about you, but I feel the tight hip flexor thing. So, what can we do to help these muscles?
Our weak glutes are stemming from our glutes not being activated. Ever had a coach before an athletic practice make you start with a “dynamic warm up” to get your muscles moving? There is a reason for that- if we go right into our workout without firing up our muscles, they won’t work properly during the workout. It is SO important to find a good warm up that works for you prior to working out, so that your muscles are able to warm up which will result in increased flexibility! If we don’t warm up our muscles properly, that can result in a pulled muscle-which is extremely uncomfortable let me tell you. So why do we start with the workout with activation of our muscles (specifically our glutes)?? So we are able to strengthen them during our workout. Hence why we start each True40 workout with a “Dynamic Workout”! We want to get your muscles warm, heart rate up and your body ready to work! We start each class by activating these muscles, so we are able to strengthen these muscles as we work throughout the class.
Why Are Your Glutes So Important?
Strong glutes are essential to your day to day life, and here’s why! You use your glutes when changing directions, accelerating, decelerating and when creating explosive jumps! The stronger your glutes are, the more efficient and explosive you are able to be in your movements! We use our glutes every single day- jumping, running, standing up and even while we’re climbing that staircase to work! Glutes are essential to our daily living.
Finding That Mind Body Connection
I’m sure we’ve all been in a True40 class and heard this saying at least once- but what does it mean? This goes back to exactly what we started with in the beginning of this blog post. Glute activation. We are activating these muscles in order to strengthen them- right? Correct. In order to truly connect to these muscles and find that activation, it is vital to our workout we connect our thoughts to the specific muscles we are working- in this case glutes! Sometimes it is so hard to find that Mind body connection, but it is so essential to a successful session. Your workout is enhanced when you are able to block out any distractions that may be looming in your head and you are able to focus in on the muscles we are working to target. You really need to focus on engaging these muscles and contracting these muscles while you are working on them! Which leads us back to making that Mind body connection. One thing we’ve found helpful is to kind of refer to this as “getting in our zone”. Thinking specifically about our muscles we are targeting and sometimes, even placing a hand on the muscle we’re targeting to really tell our brain this is where we are sending our focus.
Soooo, how do we really find this connection in this group?!? Here’s some tips that help us!
- Placing a hand on the muscles you’re working. In the side diamond posture? Place your hand on the top of your gluteus Medius and minimus and really feel it working with each rep.
- Focus contracting with each move you make! Really focus your energy on moving that muscle, controlling that movement and finding that contraction as you move!
- In a glute bridge? Press your heels firmly into the mat and as you lift up in your glute bridge, feel that squeeze! That is sure to help you find that fire.
The main thing you need to do to really find that burn in your glutes is to focus on the contracting of your muscles as you lower and lift. If you really think about the back of your glutes when you work them, we can promise you will feel them! Once you are truly able to achieve finding that connection in glutes, your workouts will never be the same! You will feel increased work in those glutes, and it will also help your form.
No matter what your personal fitness goals are at this moment or where you’re even at on this journey, strengthening your glutes has SO many health benefits that are sure to continue helping you as you continue on your fitness journey. Go channel your inner J-Lo and work on building that booty!