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Why You Need To Exercise Your Butt
Butt. Booty. Rear-end. Rump. Caboose. Behind. There are so many names for our rear that I could probably write a whole article about names for our rears. Our butts are in the spot light more than they were a few years back. When I was in high school (just a few years ago wink-wink) it was not fashionable to have a big butt. Other than the Queen song “Fat Bottom Girls” I don’t really remember a focus on our behinds. We all know, things go in and of fashion very quickly and right now it’s fashionable to have a big butt.
What is more important than having a big butt is to focus on having a strong butt. Exercising your butt is much more than trying to get a bubble butt or fill out the rear of your favorite pair of jeans although those will be side benefits.
Our rear has three major muscles to it – gluteus-minimus, gluteus-medius, and gluteus-maximus and the shape of our behinds are mostly a result of genetics. These muscles help your hips move in and out and rotate. They are also probably the most neglected muscle groups on our body.
Unfortunately for most of us, we spend our days sitting on our backside which does absolutely nothing to help keep us strong. Yet without a strong butt, we would not be able to get up out of that chair, stand, garden, or do so many other things we take for granted.
Building a strong butt may help you reduce back pain because we use our butts to stabilize our pelvis and help with hip rotation. When we are weak in these areas, we often find that we experience lower back and knee pain as our bodies work to compensate for the weakness.
A strong butt also helps with simple things like walking and getting in and out of a car. If you’re like me, you’ll know when you worked those muscles as you need help sitting down on just about anything including the toilet. There have been many times that I am extremely grateful for those bars on the wall in a public restroom! Competitive? A strong butt will help you increase your athletic performance.
Best Exercises For A Strong Butt
Where should we start to strengthen our behinds? Squats and lunges with or without weights are both great exercises to start with and will work your primary butt muscle which is your gluteus-maximus but you will need to add a few more exercises to work all three muscle groups.
To exercise your gluteus medius, start by lying on your side and bring your knees and hips to a 45 degree angle from your body. With one leg on top of the other, you lift your knee up while keeping your heels together, than lower back to your starting position. The exercise resembles a clam opening and closing. Make sure to keep your spine neutral and don’t allow your body to roll forward or backward. Repeat on each side for 30 seconds.
The gluteus minimis is the smallest of the three muscles. It helps with hip extension and is extremely important when you are balancing on one leg. Side planks will help strengthen this important muscle. Lie on your side with your legs stretched out. Stack one leg on top of the other so that your knees and ankles touch. Support your upper body with your left forearm. Place your elbow directly below your shoulder. Squeeze your ab muscles and exhale as you lift your hips and knees straight up off the floor. Keep your body rigid – no bend. Hold for a count of five then slowly exhale as you lower your body back to the floor then repeat on other side.
You guessed it. None of these exercises will be easy and if you find yourself having trouble, it’s best to reach out to a trainer or fitness instructor who can help you with your form. It’s important to remember that quality is more important than quantity. Our butts are our largest muscle group and just about every motion in our lower body is assisted by our glutes. Take the time to train your booty!
To your health,