When glutes are the topic of conversation, the focus tends to be on what they look like or how to change what they look like. Somewhere along the line, we forgot to mention that glutes are far more than just aesthetics!
I’m not here to tell you that you should or shouldn’t want your glutes to look a certain way, but I am here to provide reliable information that might fill in some of the gaps when it comes to all things glutes.
What are your glutes?
Your glutes consist of 3 powerful muscles – the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. The gluteus maximus is the largest of the 3, and lies on top of the gluteus medius. The gluteus medius lies on top of the gluteus minimus.
What do they do?
The hip joint is where our pelvis and femur (thigh bone) meet. The glutes work together to move and stabilize our hip joints, which allows us to control how our trunk and legs move.
Each of the glute muscles moves the hip joint in specific ways:
- The gluteus maximus extends the hip (think: going from a seated position to a standing position) and externally rotates the hip (think: turning your legs out towards a duck position).
- The gluteus medius and minimus abduct the hip (think: bringing your leg out to the side) and internally rotate the hip (think: turning your legs in towards a pigeon-toed position).
Why are they important?
Strong glutes are the key to moving well, reducing the risk of injury, and feeling better overall. They allow us to walk, run, sit, stand, jump, and everything in-between!