Talking About Glutes
Following on from our hamstring blog, we’re now going to discuss the role of the glutes in the body. We will discuss the difference between the 3, their importance in injury prevention, athletic development and especially rehabilitation.
At Longevity in Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick, we often have clients coming to us with knee pain, hip pain and low back pain, or athletes that need further development for their sport. During this process the glutes are regularly addressed due their significant involvement in these areas.
The glutes refer to 3 muscles of the hip complex, which include Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus. Each of the 3 superficial glute muscles have minor differences in their roles of the hip complex, however they all greatly assist one another in ensuring optimal function.
Gluteus Maximus is the largest of the glute muscles. It is one of the most powerful and strongest muscles in the body as it is responsible for driving our dynamic movements. It is the primary extensor of the lower limb meaning all our dynamic compound movements such as running, jumping, squatting and going up steps, will be driven by our Gluteus Maximus.
Due to its size and large nerve innervation, it is essential to develop strength and power of Gluteus Maximus for athletic development. This would involve exercise prescription around developing larger leaps, higher jumps, larger amounts of weight lifted, and being effective with unilateral work.
Gluteus Medius and Minimus:
Gluteus Medius and Minimus share almost identical functions, which are to stabilise the hip during dynamic and unilateral movements.
They play a crucial role in the movement of the hip as they abduct (move the leg out), rotate laterally (rotate out) and medially (rotate in).
As mentioned, they also stabilise the hip during dynamic and unilateral movements meaning when we shift onto 1 leg or drive with our hips they do not drop or become uneven. This means our hips stay stable and strong during activities like walking, lunging, step ups, hiking and landing.
Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation:
Now that we have discussed the function of the glutes, we need to outline their role in reducing the risk of injury. Such injuries include:
- Gluteal tendinopathy
- Hamstring strains and tendinopathy
- Chronic lower back pain
- Chronic hip pain
- ITB pain
- Chronic knee pain
- Prevent hip and knee replacements
As the hip drives and initiates our lower limb movement, we need strong glutes to deal with the load placed upon them with each step or other dynamic movement. If they’re not strong enough, the loads placed upon them such as excessive force from sports or a fall, overuse from exercise or repetitive straining will greatly increase our risk of injury. During rehabilitation of the above conditions, our goal will be to increase the strength, stability and capacity of the glutes.
The videos below are of our Exercise Physiologist Dylan, rehabilitating his own hip injury, specifically targeting the glutes.
If you’re dealing with any pain or conditions outlined above or are requiring some sport specific training in this area, feel free to consult one of our Exercise Physiologists for an assessment and program to set you up for success, relieve your pain and get you fitter and stronger in the process. Longevity has 4 convenient locations in Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick for you to access an Exercise Physiologist for all your clinical and training needs.
Contact Longevity Exercise Physiology and Personal Training to get started — 1300 964 002