You hear it all the time:
“Work the core.”
“Be sure to have a strong core to avoid back pain.”
“It’s important to have core strength when working out.”
Most people, when they refer to the “core”, mean the abdominals. They believe that a strong core is essential to fixing your achy back.
I beg to differ.
Yes, the abs are important. Most people have lost the ability to move from their “center”, therefore teaching them how to work the core is very important. In fact, I would suggest you read this article to learn some basics on engaging the ever important TVA, a vital part of your actual core.
However, there is one major muscle group that has proven time and time again that they are actually more important to functional movement than the abdominals: the glutes. The glutes consist of 3 major muscles:
As you can see these muscles are important mover and stabilizers of the hip joint. The glutes assist us in walking, sitting, standing, climbing stairs, getting out of bed, and every other lower body movement.
The problem these days, is that we sit on the glutes all day long, rendering them weak and useless. Without the proper use of the glutes, the hamstrings and lower back muscles end up taking over far more work than they should. The abdominals are strong and can support a weak lower back, but if the lower back keeps having to compensate for sleepy glutes, then the abs will never be able to keep up.
This leads to lower back pain, and other chronic conditions such as knee issues, that could easily have been avoided by proper use of the glutes.
Not convinced yet? Working the glutes will give you a nice, shapely, butt.
Ok now that you’re on board, here is my favorite glute exercise that you can do with absolutely NO equipment.
Be careful, it’s very easy to cheat on this exercise. By cheating, I mean using your lower back muscles instead of your glutes. Be very very cautious to read the directions and pay special attention to this common mistake.
Repeat this exercise for 10 to 15 repetitions on each leg.
It’s recommended to do this exercise daily to counteract the constant hip flexion (sitting) and to re-activate your weakened glutes. While you are doing this exercise, it also forces you to engage your TVA (core!), so in reality if you’re still looking for ways to work the core, this exercise will give you a two for one special!
Originally published at verticalign.com on August 8, 2016.
Originally published at medium.com