Strengthen and tone your core and glutes through a variety of resistance training exercises designed to target the areas which support your lower back and provide the foundation for your body.
Having having a strong core is essential for everything from preventing chronic lower back pain to having the best posture in town. Having a weak core can lead to poor posture, back pain and bladder-control .
Core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work together. This leads to better balance and stability, whether on the playing field or in daily activities. In fact, most sports and other physical activities depend on stable core muscles.
First, it's important to understand what the core actually is. Your abs are referred to as the superficial core and your deep core is made up of five muscles that lie below your abs and wrap around your midsection like a corset, connecting to your spine.
These muscles are your transverse abdominis, multifidus, internal obliques, pelvic floor and diaphragm. They work together to stabilize your lumbar spine, also known as the lower back.
What are your glutes?
There are three major muscles in this area: your gluteus maximus (the main, large muscle that shapes your backside), your gluteus medius and your gluteus minimus (two smaller muscles that assist the gluteus maximus in moving your body).
What is glute activation?
For many individuals, their glutes often remain ‘inactive’ ’. Inactive glutes can mean that the muscles are weak and are not relied on as much as they should be during physical movements. Glute activation refers to ‘activating’ (also known as ‘firing up’) the muscles in an effort to strengthen them.
What causes weak glutes?
While there are many reasons why an individual might have weak glute muscles, one of the main causes is that many of us are living increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Many jobs now involve people sitting down for a big part of their day, or after a long day of work we go home and sit on the couch; this means that the gluteus muscles can become dormant more than they should be. Another reason why someone might have weak glutes could be because of poor form and generally over-relying on other muscles during everyday movements, which contributes further to the muscles remaining inactive.
For these reasons, even if you perform posterior exercises regularly, there is still a good chance that you might have weak glutes. This is especially true if you have not tried to actively work on activating the muscles in this area.
Why is glute activation important?
Learning to activate your glutes is important so that you can strengthen them. Strong glute muscles are extremely important as these muscles can have a major impact on your overall body strength; your glutes support your core, help to support a range of exercises and compound movements, as well as help avoid muscle imbalances which can lead to decreased mobility.
Considering this, it makes sense that under-utilized glutes can contribute to a range of health issues including poor posture, lower back pain, balance issues, lack of strength, muscle pain, and could potentially increase the risk of injury.