5 Exercises For A Firmer Bottom
The ‘ideal’ body type trends come and go, but one thing that never goes out of fashion is a toned and firmer bottom! Who doesn’t love a pert derrière.
Your gluteus maximus (i.e. your booty) is the largest muscle in the body. Strengthening and toning this muscle and its surrounding counterparts goes far beyond a peachy appearance. Our glute muscles are the powerhouse of our bodies. Strong, firm glutes can not only prevent lower back, hip and knee injuries, they can also improve our performance in almost every style of exercise or sport due to their ability to generate speed, power and balance.
In this blog we will explore further into why glutes are important, how they work and how to achieve that peachy, toned, firmer bottom we are all after through exercise alone!
Which Muscles To Work?
When you think of a bottom you probably envisage one big muscle, but this is not the case.
It is actually made up of 3 muscles; your gluteus medius, maximus and minimus.
Gluteus maximus: the middle muscle. Your gluteus maximus is the biggest and heaviest muscle in the whole body, responsible for the most amount of movement. The size of the gluteus maximus allows it to generate a large amount of force. Consequently, this muscle is heavily associated to postural changes of the pelvis joint. The main function of this muscle is extension and external rotation of the hip and thigh joint. This muscle produces the shape and outline of the bottom.
Gluteus medius: the large fan shaped muscle assisting with rotation or circular movement of the hip. It is an important muscle in charge of lifting the leg to the side whilst walking, running and single-leg weight-bearing. It helps prevent the opposite side of the pelvis from dropping and the knee turning inwards during walking, running and single leg weight-bearing. It also helps your bigger gluteus maximus muscle flex and extend your leg.
Gluteus minimus: the small triangular muscle responsible for internal rotation and abduction (lifiting) of the thigh. Its functions are closely related to those of gluteus medius, as these two muscles act in synergy on the hip joint.
Why Are Strong Glutes Important?
Round, perky glutes play a significant role in aesthetics, but have you ever thought about the role of your glutes beyond their appearance?
It does not matter if you are a professional athlete or someone who exercises once a week, your glutes play a huge role in your everyday life. We ALL need strong glutes as they do so much for us every day. Going from seated to standing, taking a step forward, swinging a golf club, walking, running, extending your hip, tilting your pelvis…. The list goes on. ALL of these actions require strength from your glutes to stabilise your hips and lower back and consequently prevent injuries. Here are just 3 reasons why you should be concentrating on strengthening your glutes:
Proper alignment and stability from strengthened glutes can significantly reduce your risk of injury to the lower back, hip, knee and ankle joints.
To achieve this, you need strong glutes and hips to avoid dynamic valgus (where the pelvis drops and the knee caves in). When you strengthen your glutes you stabilise your pelvis. When your pelvis is stabilised you take a lot of pressure off the knees and ankles. Similarly, strengthened glutes work to protect the hips and in turn the lower back.
This leads on from injury prevention. When your hips, glutes and core are stabilised and strong you will improve your posture through good alignment of your shoulders, neck, back and pelvis. Misalignment (i.e. when one part of your spine or pelvis is not in neutral alignement) causes the rest of your body to shift awkwardly. This can lead to painful, tight or achy muscles.
Desk jobs, pregnancy, incorrect movement patterns also contribute to postural imbalances. Sitting at a desk all day can cause your glutes to stop functioning adequately leaving you with shortened and weakened hip flexors and back muscles, in turn resulting in injury. If you are sat at a desk all day, make sure to stand up, stretch and walk around regularly to prevent your glutes from switching off. Every little movement gets your blood moving and stretches out your muscles. Give your shoulders a roll frequently and really concentrate on your posture, so you are not slouching and slumping. Give this quick desk workout a go next time you find yourself sitting all day: https://www.instagram.com/p/CH-OkYLF_vl/
Have you ever seen a strong and powerful athlete with a flat bottom? I didn’t think so! When you think of exercising; skipping, running, jumping… ALL of these movements require power and strength in the glutes and hips.
A strong and stable posterior chain assists with improved speed, agility, balance and overall athletic performance, particularly if you are a runner. This is also hugely important for later life for as we get older we will depend on strong glutes and core for improved balance, reduce falls and better quality of life.
5 Exercises For A Firmer Bottom
Now we know the importance of strengthening our glutes and hips, let’s get to the fun part: the workout!
You can split these exercises up and add them into your regular exercise routines or perform them at once for a killer 10- minute booty burner!
If you do them all in one go, go for 1 minute on each exercise with a 1-minute break between sets, perform twice for a real burner effect!
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