WOMEN’S HEALTH – Trust me when I say this, but your glutes are working O.V.E.R.T.I.M.E. Seriously. No matter what you’re doing, odds are your butt muscles are involved.
The glutes are one of the biggest muscles in the body. They contribute to your overall strength, and they help you sit, stand, run, walk, jump, and hike, says Kehinde Anjorin, CFSC, NCSF, a certified functional strength coach, personal trainer, and founder of PowerInMovement.
“They play a pivotal role in hip and lower back stability, and they’re also your biggest hip extensors,” she adds.
What’s more, your bum aids in your ability to hinge and squat, while simultaneously working to keep your back strong and pelvic stabilized, helping to lower back discomfort throughout the day, says Anjorin. Plus, strong glutes can make you a better runner—and even help you avoid knee injuries.
Here’s a quick posterior primer: Your glutes include three distinct muscles: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. The gluteus maximus is the largest and provides most of the shape of the buttocks, says Anjorin.
It also keeps you upright when sitting and standing, and acts as the lower-body power generator allowing you to run, jump, squat and extend or rotate your leg outward and backwards.
Second in command is the gluteus medius, which sits between the gluteus maximus and gluteus minimus, and its main job is to stabilize the pelvis.
It also promotes movement of the hip and upper leg including hip abduction, hip external rotation, and hip internal rotation, says Anjorin.
And, you guessed it, the gluteus minimus is the smallest and located right below the gluteus medius.
“This muscle helps to produce several movements of the hips and legs including hip extension, hip internal rotation, and hip abduction,” adds Anjorin.