By Jenn Zerling
If you’re an athlete or you simply just like to work out at a high intensity, then you must add this butt series to your fitness regimen. When we move at high velocities, our bodies are more likely to compensate if the body experiences any muscle weaknesses or joint instability. A common area of weakness in many people is the gluteus medius, which is one of the three gluteal muscles. It is responsible for abducting the leg (bringing the leg away from your body and out to the side) and internally rotating the hip. During the mid-stance phase of running (or walking), the gluteus medius must contract to stabilize the femur and pelvis. While some rotation of the hips while running is normal, excessive rotation can be problematic, there is hip instability which might lead to an injury at some point.
Therefore, the following program encompasses movements that can train the gluteus medius so that these muscles are taught to fire up and work in synergy with the other butt muscles when training or playing sports.
According to Beverly Hills based doctor of physical therapy Mike Shapow, DPT, PhD, “The lumbar-pelvic-hip complex is probably the most important part of the body to train correctly, especially for athletes, to avoid knee, ankle, and hip issues. When people train this complexity of muscles which all attach within the hip area, they are less likely to experience over-compensatory movement during sport or training, thereby creating less injuries in the long run. “
These five exercises are excellent for you. Do them regularly throughout the week so that your muscles learn how to work in synergy and you experience less overcompensation from the other dominant muscles. When all muscles work in synergy, the hips will remain in an optimal position when performing high intensity sport and exercise, thereby lending to a lower likelihood of getting injured.
Do three sets of 10 reps each exercise.
Lie on your side with one leg on top of the other, bending your knees slightly. Keep your feet connected and your hips squared forward. Open up your top leg without rotating your hips upward. On the return, keep tension in the glute by not landing your top leg on the bottom leg in between reps. For a video demonstration, click HERE.
Side Lying Abductions:
Lie on your side with one leg stacked on top of the bottom bent leg, and lift your top leg up to hover off the bottom leg as the starting position. With each repetition, lift the top leg up without rotating the hips. Return to starting position. For a video demonstration, click HERE.
Single Leg Bridges:
Lie on your back with your legs together, your feet directly under the knees, your eyes on the ceiling the whole set and pull your belly in towards the ground. Using one leg at a time, on the inhale, lift your hips up to the sky, while keeping your hips squared to the ground and not rotating the hips at all. On the return, bring your hips down to the ground, with your spine landing on the ground simultaneously. For a video demonstration, click HERE.
Wrap a resistance band around your shins. Sit your hips back slightly, tucking your hips under you to avoid lower back arching. Step outward, with the forward moving knee aiming outward. Alternate feet as you walk forward. Keep tension on the band by not stepping your feet together throughout the set. For a video demonstration, click HERE.
Three Point Touches:
With your resistance band wrapped around your shins, prepare for three point touches which includes touching forward, to the side and back behind you. Start with your knees slightly bent and your hips neutral. With control, tap your foot forward, then return to starting position, tap to the side, then to starting position, then back behind you with little to no rotation in your hip, then return to starting position. Keep your core tight so that you are not arching your lower back and be mindful of where your standing leg knee is during the movements. Keep that knee tracking forward. The three tap sequence equals one rep. For a video demonstration, click HERE.
Photo and Video Credits: Mr Smith
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