The spine plays a vital role in the rest of your body and relies on other muscle groups and structures for optimal function. Stabilizers such as the gluteal muscles provide the spine with muscle support and lower extremity function.
If gluteal muscles are not working at their optimal function, the spine, as well as lower extremities, can suffer. So, keeping your glutes strong can help to minimize pain.
Gluteus Muscle Group
When the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus do not stabilize the way it should, problems in the lower back, hips and knees can occur. What causes this lack of stabilization? Prolonged sitting and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to weak glutes.
The gluteal muscle group has many responsibilities such as providing the ability to stand from a seated position, climb stairs, or even standing straight. They have the ability to propel the body forward and backward as well as side to side all while keeping a person balanced.
If one has back pain or has trouble standing on one foot, these could all be signs of poor gluteus muscles. Due to the lifestyle that many Americans live, weak glute is a strong possibility for most.
How To Strengthen Weak Glutes
Acknowledging that you may have weak glutes is the first step in the right direction. By performing simple exercises, the body will stimulate and activate the gluteus muscles and therefore increase the function of the lower extremities. By performing these three exercises, the gluteus muscles will reach their optimal function:
A hip extension can be done by using a regular kitchen table chair. Square your hips and shoulders up to the back of the chair and lift one leg at a time back towards the wall behind you. Hold this pose for 5 seconds and then repeat. Lift each leg 10 times and then switch to the other leg.
A glute bridge is a second exercise that will help you strengthen your gluteus muscles. Lie flat on your back with your arms beside you and palms down. Place your feet flat on the floor and bend the knees. Next, tighten the core muscles and lift your buttocks off the floor creating a straight line with your shoulders. Avoid sagging as you perform this exercise and hold for 10 seconds. Try 10 reps of this exercise and then rest.
A clamshell is where you lay on your side with your knees touching each other and bent at a 45-degree angle. Rest your head on the lower hand and use the upper to stabilize yourself to avoid rocking back and forth. Tighten your core by pulling your belly button in towards your spine and hold. Keeping your feet touching, raise the top knee up as high as you can without shifting your pelvis or hips. Don’t move your lower leg at all. Pause and hold at the top for three to five seconds. Bring the knee back to the starting position and repeat 20 times. Flip and perform on the other side.
Chiropractic and the Glutes
The brain is the central part of the nervous system and sends messages to every part of the body. The nerves that communicate with the gluteal muscles are located at the lower lumbar of the spine and if the base of the spine is not reaching optimal function, chances are the rest of the spine is lacking as well.
To ensure the proper range of motion and a strong spine, maintaining the gluteus muscle group is a high priority. Strong glutes mean a strong spine, so working with a chiropractor can help to ensure that the spine and all the surrounding muscle groups are doing their part. If an adjustment or manipulation of the spine must be done, a chiropractor can perform this technique and help to increase the functionality of the spine.
Our team of Atlanta chiropractors at AICA can provide you with the highest level of care as well as education on how to increase the functionality of your spine. Having a strong and healthy spine can help to minimize pain associated with many conditions as well as achieving a better level of health. Call us today at (404) 889-8828 to learn more!