Health Fitness

Glutes and Lower Abs Facts: The Weakest Link

You’ve probably heard this a thousand times; a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. It is even more relevant when we talk about the human body. As a trainer who trains 40+ hours a week, I can tell you that while everyone has different pain points, there are some that are very common. Among them are the glutes (your butt) and the lower abs (especially in women). In order to achieve great results with my clients, I have become a pro at developing the glutes and lower abs. So here are some facts that can help you build strong, beautiful buttocks and lower abs.

Glutes and lower abs work together

If you’ve ever changed the tires on your car, you know that the easiest way to loosen the bolts is to use a four-way lug wrench. You can then apply opposing forces at the same time by pushing on one side and pulling on the other. These opposing forces work together to create more force. This is called a force couple. The glutes and lower abdominals work in a couple of forces to tilt the pelvis back. – To make sure you understand what it means to tilt your pelvis backwards (posterior pelvic tilt), imagine that your pelvis (girdle to hip) is a large container of water; You want to impoverish the water in the back. – A posterior pelvic tilt will help stabilize the lower back against the arms and legs trying to extend the back. Therefore, keeping the back in the correct posture will increase force production for the arms and legs and reduce the risk of injury.

Glutes and lower abs are essential for a strong core (back pain)

As I explained earlier, the torque of the glutes and lower abdominals is critical to stabilizing the back. If these muscles are not working properly (which is the case for most people), this means that your back is constantly under pressure because it is not working from the correct posture. Therefore, strong lower abs and glutes will greatly reduce your risk of back pain or injury and may even help you alleviate or eliminate back pain if you already have it.

The glutes are the strongest muscles in your body.

Not many people know this, but your glutes are actually the strongest muscles in your body! If it is the strongest, it has to be very important. However, most people’s glutes either don’t fire at all or are just very weak compared to the other lower body muscles, especially the quadriceps. This is probably due in large part to sitting in a chair for 8 hours a day. Strengthening your glutes will undoubtedly greatly increase your speed, power, and stability.

The glutes are often inactive

This has already been mentioned, but again I must stress this fact. If your glutes aren’t working properly, you will undoubtedly eventually have some sort of chronic pain and never perform at your peak performance level. Glute activation can be done by simply lying on your stomach with your knee bent to 90 degrees; you should then push your heel toward the ceiling. Make sure you’re not using your lower back; you want to lift your thigh off the ground, but your hips need to stay on the ground. You also need to be sure that your glutes are really being activated. Feel your buttocks and if you don’t feel them contracting very hard, try to touch or palpate them as you raise your heel towards the ceiling.

Jogging doesn’t develop nice glutes

This is one of the most popular myths. The glutes are fast-twitch muscles, which means prolonged endurance activities like jogging won’t develop the glutes as needed. In fact, it could even create a greater imbalance between the quadriceps and glutes. The glutes are essentially designed for running and jumping. Of course, it’s not safe for anyone to do this, such as beginners or people with chronic pain, but keep that in mind. If running or jumping isn’t an option for you (because it isn’t for a lot of people), you can focus on hypertrophy training, 8-12 reps at a moderate intensity. To work your glutes even more, focus on pushing through your heels, rather than your toes.

Great glute exercises

sumo deadlift
Floor Hip Extensions: Maintaining a posterior pelvic tilt at all times greatly increases glute activation.
Lateral Side Leg Raise – Do not move your hips during the movement

The lower abdominals are often inactive

Like the glutes, the lower abs are often inactive. This can also be due to long periods of sitting, but I’d say the two main reasons lower abs work are poor nutrition and/or scarring; this shuts down muscles that quickly become very weak. To learn how to get your lower abs working, check out How to Work Your Lower Abs [] to improve performance.

The lower abs lose their job due to the hip flexors – leg raises don’t necessarily work the lower abs

If your lower abs aren’t working properly, your hip flexors will override your brain’s message telling you to work. So, doing leg raises without good lower abs coordination will only work your hip flexors and upper abs (which are meant to compensate for your lower abs, even if that’s not their job). So you create more imbalance each time and create a lot of twist on your spine, greatly increasing your risk of back pain and injury.

Great exercises for lower abs – you should absolutely master all the coordination exercises before attempting these

Lower Abdominal Hip Raise
reverse crunch
Hanging Reverse Crunch

Placing a lot of emphasis on your glutes and lower abs will greatly improve your performance level by increasing your stability, your ability to produce force in your arms and legs, your speed, and your power, while drastically reducing your risk of injury.

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