What has Gladiator Maximus got to do with your bottom, posture, hips and lower back?!
Maximus – meaning largest & most powerful!
Did you know that our bottom muscles are some of the most powerful we have?
3 muscles make up your lovely rear end! Gluteus medius, maximus (I always think of Mr Crowe when I see a reference to gluteus maximus!) and minimus
(Hurrah! I got an anatomy diagram in again! I love an anatomy diagram!)
The gluteus maximus is the most visible gluteal muscle, but there are two smaller muscles underneath it: the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The glutes are responsible for hip movements that power all natural whole body movements. Running, jumping, walking, squatting, getting up from a chair, climbing the stairs, picking up heavy objects (kids included!) are all dependant on our booty!
Another role of the glutes is to ensure that your upper leg is in alignment with the spine. In other words if the spine and trunk are vertical – the leg must too. So the thigh is pulled down and back. This extension at the hip is primarily propelled by the muscles you are currently sitting on. Have a go at standing up, place your hand on your bottom as you so, can you feel those muscles working? Stand tall, think about your posture and use bum cheeks to stabilise and strengthen your posture.
The biggest risk of not using your glutes properly in movements where they are supposed to do most of the work is that when other muscles need to kick in, your body works in an unnatural way. This can result in nearby or even far muscles and joints getting strained or injured.
When I massage my lovely clients, one of the areas that holds most tension is the gluteal area. Common exclamations:
“OOO, I can really feel that!”
Ah! That feels good!”
“Didn’t realise I was so tense in my bum!”
The moral of this story is:
Be aware of your bottom muscles!
Know what they are doing!
Use them correctly – they hold the power!
Keep them tension free!
Make sure they are strong!