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Hips don’t lie: weak glutes spell trouble  
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Hips don’t lie: weak glutes spell trouble  

Keeping bodyweight in check and maintaining an active lifestyle can keep the glutes in prime condition

Keeping bodyweight in check and maintaining an active lifestyle can keep the glutes in prime condition

In the fast-paced career-driven rush, finding time for exercise and maintaining fitness becomes hard as other priorities take over. As the overall fitness gets pushed aside, problems such as back pain and postural issues appear. Back pain is caused by a sedentary lifestyle, which also leads to the weakening of the muscles that add stability to the body, ultimately leading to bad posture. One of the muscle groups directly involved in it are the glutes.

The gluteal muscles, located in the buttocks region, are one of the biggest muscle groups of the body. It consists of three muscles – gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The glutes, also known as the protector of the hips, perform a variety of functions.

Physiological role of glutes

“Gluteus muscle group helps to keep the body straight and one of their major functions is protecting the hip joint,” says Bishwaranjan Das, a musculoskeletal and sports injury specialist at Manipal Health Enterprises, Mangaluru.

“All the three gluteal muscles contribute together to facilitate hip movement,” adds Das. “The movement of legs is done by the gluteus medius while the overall shape of the buttocks is provided by the gluteus maximus, which also happens to be one of the largest and bulkiest muscles of the body.” Das also says that gluteal muscles being in good shape relates to having a strong back and legs.

Apart from this, gluteal muscles also help in maintaining good posture, along with mobility and stability of the spine.

How do glutes get weak?

Sedentary lifestyle leads to weaking of the gluteal muscles. Sitting at the office desk for long hours is another reason as the glutes are the first muscles to get affected. Medical problems like degenerative nerve conditions and myasthenia gravis can also weaken the glutes.

Adverse effects of weak glutes

“Flattening of buttocks due to muscle atrophy and tight gluteal muscles affects the overall fitness of the buttocks,” says Das. “This directly influences the posture of the body which ultimately leads to postural issues like weak back or spondylitis, disc-related problems, reduced spine curvature, severe back pain and different spine pathologies.”

How to keep glutes healthy?

The best way to ensure that the glutes are in prime condition is by keeping a tab on the bodyweight along with maintaining an active lifestyle, including regular exercise. Those involved in desk-bound jobs can undertake physical activities like swimming or cycling at least once a week coupled with regular walking.

Opting to climb the stairs instead of taking the lift can do wonders for the glutes along with exercises such as lunges, squats, glutes bridge, fire hydrant and bird dog.

“For doing glutes exercises, the form, breathing and the number of counts is important,” says Rishi Jethwa, a fitness trainer from Ahmedabad, India. “Someone who is just starting to do lunges, squats, glutes bridges and other exercises should start with one set of 15 counts and increase the number of counts over time. In addition, the counts should be done slowly where the position should be held for a second or two. While performing glutes bridge, it is essential to exhale when the hip is brought up and inhale when it is brought down.”

Takeaways

  • Glutes, one of the largest muscle groups in the body, plays an important role in maintaining posture and provides support and stability to the spine.
  • Weak glutes can lead to severe back pain, postural issues, reduced spine curvature and disc-related problems among others.
  • Keeping bodyweight in check and maintaining an active lifestyle can keep the glutes in prime condition, thereby preventing serious consequences.

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