Did you know that having weak glutes is a common problem for most of us?
The problem with this is that glutes are responsible for aiding in pelvis and hip alignment and without glute strength, lower back and hips are left unstable and therefore at risk for injury. The glutes are comprised of three muscles Gluteus Maximus, one of the largest and strongest muscles in the body. Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus two smaller but very important glute muscles.
The anatomy and functionality of the glutes are responsible for the following movements:
Hip Abduction. Moving your leg outward and upward to the side. This leg movement is perfectly exemplified by a male dog, when using a fire hydrant as a restroom.
Hip Adduction. Moving of the leg toward the center line of your body. You can perform hip adduction by clenching your thighs together.
Hip Extension. Moving your leg backward; or moving your hips forward. The “leg backward” motion is exemplified by attempting to hit the back of your head with your foot (by kicking backward). The “pelvis forwards” movement is demonstrated perfectly a simple pelvic thrust.
Hip Flexion. Hip flexion refers to the movement of bringing your thighs or knees towards your torso. Hip flexion is demonstrated by the marchers in a marching band or in the military.
Internal & External Hip Rotation. Rotating the leg or pelvis either in an inward- or outward-pointing direction. Inward rotation is exemplified by pointing your toes towards each other. Conversely, outward rotation can be experienced by pointing your toes away from each other.
Pilates considers the glutes as part of the core therefore using/strengthening the glutes with every movement we perform. Of course, there is the famous core method side kick series but glutes are also involved when performing all aspects of core work. Pilates can greatly increase overall glute strength and awareness.
I have worked with many hip replacement patients (myself included) who have benefitted significantly from Pilates glute work as well as clients who have had dramatic physical improvements by going down 2 pant sizes, asked if they had a “butt lift”. When asked, some even nicknamed the work “it’s Lily or lipo”.