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Stronger Glutes-Less Back Pain

by Fitness, Health

If you suffer from lower back or knee pain, you aren’t alone. In the United States, lower back pain is said to affect nearly 65 million Americans; it is the leading cause of missed days at work. Knee and joint pain affects millions more—in fact, nearly a quarter of all Americans suffer from arthritis. 

Pain is a very real part of life for most of us. 

But, if you work out, there is something you can do to minimize your back or knee pain. 

the key is actually your glutes

You use your glutes to walk, bend forward, stand up from a seated position, move your legs up toward your torso, and squat— a lot. But, the glutes stop working when we sit, which restricts blood flow and weakens the muscle. This means you will wind up relying more on your quads or lower back muscles for regular movements. And, unfortunately, even if you work out every day, spending the majority of your day sitting down will lead to a weak bottom and the potential for pain. 

To make sure your glutes are fired and ready to work out, we’ve listed a few of our favorite movements from warm-ups. All of these will directly lead to increased strength!

donkey kicks

Start on all fours. Make sure your hands are directly below your shoulders and your knees are below your hips. Lift one leg behind you, keeping your knee bent, until your leg is in line with your body and the bottom of your flexed foot is parallel to the ceiling.

Repeat 15 times on one leg before switching sides and completing another 15 repetitions. 

 Remember not to arch your back, and focus on your glutes doing all the work!

single-leg glute bridge

Lie on your back with your hands by your sides, legs bent, and your feet flat on the floor. Lift one leg off the floor, then squeeze your glutes and slowly raise your hips off the floor. Your upper back stays on the floor while you lift your hips and keep one leg straight. 

Complete 15 reps on one leg before switching legs and completing 15 reps on the other side.

clamshells

Lie on your side with your knees slightly bent and your knees and hips resting on top of each other. Rest your head on your arm or prop up your head on your hand.  While keeping your feet together, raise your top knee, opening your hips. When you can’t lift your knee further, slowly lower it and bring your knees together. If you want to make this tougher, try using a band just above your knees.

Repeat for 15 repetitions on one side before switching sides.

We’re here to help

There are just three movements you can do to strengthen your glutes. But, we have dozens more available for you. Reach out to us at info@southlandingfitness.com if you are struggling with any pain and need some help, or if you’re looking for specific exercises to strengthen your lower body and relieve the pressure on your lower back.

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