What a lazy bum!
Our bottoms; the gluteal muscle group aka the glutes, is a stubborn muscle group that would rather stay asleep and let other muscles take on the big tasks.
Daily activities such as walking, using the stairs, performing chores etc can keep our other muscles functioning sufficiently, but our glutes need more activation.
What's the impact?
Sitting on our booties for many hours a day can potentially damage the glute muscles by different mechanisms.
One of the first things that can happen is the shortening of our hip flexors.
When this happens, we lose mobility, feel stiff and we may experience pain in our lower back, knees and the hips.
Once the hip flexors tighten up our glutes decide to shut down. This is because the tightening of the hip flexors does not allow for full hip extension at the range where the glutes work their best.
Daily sitting compresses the glute muscles, which in turn impairs blood flow & potentially nutrition.
Several muscles can make up for weak glutes including hamstrings, adductors, quadriceps and erector spinae (the group of muscles & tendons that run pretty much the length of the spine on both sides).
🍑What's the big deal about the glutes?
Firstly, it's not about necessarily having a peachy booty, despite what some social media posts can lead us to believe, although indeed there maybe many of us who do want to and that's ok.
More importantly, our glutes have several big jobs that all relate to our ability to move correctly, here are just a few:
- Moving the thigh rearward (hip extension).
- Extending the trunk (hip extension).
- Moving the thigh laterally (hip abduction).
- Rotating the trunk or leg (hip external rotation).
- Rotating the pelvis rearward.
- Stabilising the hips.
- Preventing the knees caving inward.
- Preventing excessive spinal motion.
- Preventing a slouching posture.
- Reducing of incidents of hamstring & groin pain that causes lower back pain.
- Our glutes are also responsible for many aspects of sports performance.