Here’s a fun fact: glutes enable several actions for your exercises like: concentric contraction (muscle shortening), hip extension, lateral hip rotation, hip abduction (moving leg away from the body center) and posterior tilting of the pelvis.
While you’re at it, read about cellulite as well. Understanding the anatomy of your glutes and what cellulite actually is can massively benefit the way you workout.
Have you ever wondered where the word “glutes” came from? Three major muscles in our butts are all called gluteus, varying in size and function. These are the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus.
Although the largest among the three major muscles, the gluteus maximus does not help much in shortening the butt muscles. That is because its function is more on lengthening as it helps extend, turn, and spread your legs.
Uniquely shaped like a porkchop, the gluteus medius is located near the exterior of the pelvis. Its major use is to balance and stabilize the pelvic area when moving around. It is the muscle used when we perform hip abduction and hip rotation.
Although this is also a major muscle, the smallest glute is more like a joint muscle that goes along with the gluteus medius. The former helps the slightly larger muscle in balancing while walking around.
The glutes are a set of muscles that play a vital role in keeping our body aligned. Frail glutes cause painful knees and an aching lower back when squatting. Our lower back is also affected as the glutes are a part of the posterior chain–a set of muscles going from the bottom of our ankles to the upper part of the lower back.
Even the glutes need a little help from some neighboring muscles in the legs. A couple of minor muscles help the butt perform certain exercises.
Piriformis are long thin muscles assisting in lateral rotation and leg abduction. It is located around the pelvic area and crosses the hips.
Tensor fasciae latae (TFL)
The TFL inserts itself on the band of the fascia on the outer part of the leg. It has a lot of functions that support the glutes. For one, it supports the gluteus maximus in stabilizing the hip joint and the knee joint during extensions.
Superior gemellus and Inferior gemellus
The gemellus muscles assist the glutes in certain movements. The superior gemellus allows high rotation and aids leg abduction. Meanwhile, the smaller muscle, inferior gemellus acts as a supporting muscle to the larger superior gemellus.
Obturator internus and obturator externus
As their names indicate, the obturator internus and the obturator externus enable rotation and abduction on the thighs.
Maintaining The Muscles
Inactivity within the muscles causes atrophy, and the glutes are not different from the other parts of the muscular system. Our bodies are made to do more than just sit under artificial light for eight hours a day, hence the importance of exercising, or a least walking frequently. Sitting around too much and not moving about leads to gluteal amnesia. Gluteal amnesia occurs when the butt muscles are atrophied enough to get uncoordinated, which leaves the butt working improperly when moving.
It’s important to realize that glutes depend on a constantly moving body. Several movements that activate butt muscles are throwing, striking, jumping, and running. There are different sports encouraging these movements so there are various options. However, if you’re not used to being physically active yet, start by walking more, or climbing stairs, or alternately sit and stand at an hourly interval.
While we know the importance of working out for our butts, we should get to know what specific parts affect each exercise. We need a diverse range of movements to make sure our exercises target each muscle vital to shaping our butt. In that way, we maximize the development of our muscular system, our body strength, and how our booty looks.