Sitting at the desk for hour after hour, day after day, month after month, year after year (etc) means the glutes become lazy and that laziness compounds up! The body adapts to become far less dependent on the musculature and joints found within the lower body, which ultimately leads to muscle atrophy (weakening of muscles) and lengthened, inhibited glutes. This post is about how to re-activate the hibernating derrière with a simple but effective routine, shot at the gorgeous gym in Coworth Park...
Seated Worker Syndrome, as I’m christening it, doesn’t just undermine the glutes, but can also cause the remaining parts of the body to suffer – it brings into play everything from ‘IT band syndrome‘ to ‘plantar fasciitis‘, tight hip flexors, knee problems, compressed discs, back pain, and even poor posture can be linked back to the glutes. Even if you don’t suffer from any back pain but do sit for long hours, inhibited glutes can adversely affect your training results, and can render you at a higher risk of injury during your session.
Glutes are the largest muscle in the body (outside of the abdomen); they consist of the Gluteus Maximus and Gluteues Minimus (both responsible for hip extension, femoral external rotation and abduction & knee stabilization). Strong glutes help you run faster, jump higher, or lift heavier; these are all functions which help us to go about our daily business without having to think or worry about it.
When I ask clients to ‘activate their glutes’, sometimes that can be tricky. The glutes have been asleep for so long and therefore making a connection, firing them up can be harder than it sounds. If you’re having trouble engaging your glutes, give the following exercises a go, and consider including them in your routine. Whilst we all know that deadlifts, squats etc. are fabulous for targeting glutes, they are big compound movement and trying a few of these sometimes only using your own bodyweight and high rep can help isolate the glutes and activate them further before you start your session. Some exercises I find particularly helpful are:
1) Single leg deadlift (no weight) – as per below picture
2) Hip thrusters (with or without weight) – as per below pictures.
3) One leg raise
4) Side-lying leg raise (as per below two images)
2. With bent or straight legs raise them up as far as they can go and then return to starting position.
5) Pistol Squats (I find this one pretty hard so apologies for not illustrating the perfect form!)
6) REAR LEG RAISES (as per below two pictures).
1. Start by kneeling on all fours with your hands positioned directly underneath your shoulders, ensuring not to lock out your elbows, and keeping your knees in line with your hips.
2. Make sure to pull your stomach to your spine, engaging your abs, maintaining a neutral spine (avoid arching or slumping).
7) SWISS BALL BRIDGE – as per below two pictures.
I WAS WEARING: