Many of you may remember the Sir Mix-A-Lot song, “I Like Big Butts”, but for those of you who do not remember this popular early 90s rap song and wonder why someone would prefer a big butt, think about this. The butt, which is composed of the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus is the ultimate sign of strength, power and in most cases a point of attraction for the opposite sex. The Glutes are often neglected and allowed to wither away into nonexistence by the working public who spend most of their time sitting at a desk, riding escalators instead of taking the stairs and generally performing activities without activating the Glute muscles.
But why should I have strong or shaped Glutes you ask? Well first of all, to hold up those pants without having to pull your belt so tight that it cuts off circulation. On a more serious note, having strong Glutes can help improve posture, ease back pain, strengthen your running stride, help prevent knee and hamstring injuries and increase power output during activity involving the legs.
At Fitcorp Asia, one of the things we emphasize with all of our new personal training, group training and even Boot Camp clients is the importance of Glute activation. We identify weaknesses or imbalances during initial evaluations and many of the problems that our clients face, whether it is in their performance or dealing with pain can be traced directly back to a weakness or an imbalance in the Glutes.
Activating the muscle fibers of the Glutes are the first step in developing a stronger, more shapely butt. Learning how to trigger those muscles on command and integrating their usage into the lower leg exercises that you may have done for years will provide much greater results over the long haul. Once you have successfully learned how to activate the Glutes, multi-joint exercises like squats and lunges will provide much more results.For the ladies who are concerned with having a larger butt, don’t worry one bit. These are the reasons why:
1. The Glutes are the second largest muscle group of the body after the back. For this reason, when we stimulate growth of these muscles, not only are the muscles used more, but more calories are utilized resulting in greater overall fat loss throughout the body.
2. Muscle takes up less space than fat. More muscle, less fat…less space. Just ask my personal training clients how their jeans fit since we’ve been Glute training.
3. Muscle has a defined shape giving the body nice curves. Need I say more?
For all the guys who are thinking, I don’t want to do Jane Fonda exercises; these are the reasons to reconsider:
1. Consider Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth. For all of the men striving to be faster but focusing on the quadriceps, think again. It is the Glutes that are required for horizontal propulsion and according to studies fire more than twice as much as the quadriceps during sprinting. Don’t forget your backside gentlemen!
So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get off your backside and get moving. The road to a happier, healthier body starts here.
By Rich Thurman, B.Sc., MA, CSCS, CPT.
Rich is the Fitness Development Manager and a Fitness Coach at Fitcorp Asia. Thailand’s leading personal training, sports performance and corporate wellness organization. With a Bachelors degree in Physiological Science from UCLA a Masters in Sports Management from The University of San Francisco, Rich has over 10 years of experience in Fitness, Sports Performance, Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation. Whether it’s fat loss or toning, personal training or group exercise Fitcorp Asia, Thailand’s leading sports experts has something for everyone. For more information check out our website at www.fitcorpasia.com or drop Rich a line at Richard@fitcorpasia.com