The Bottom

Those who attend class on a regular basis know how I go on about the butt, tush, glutes or my particular favourite, the arse.

Many of us rarely give these important muscles a second thought, unless it is how good they look in skinny jeans or a swimsuit and then we focus on how they look rather than their function.

Here are some well known and some less well known facts about your tush.

  • You sit on it at some point during the day. Some people do so for hours.

  • It affects what kind of underwear and jeans you buy.

  • A good bum will always get you noticed.

  • Some are small, some wide, some narrow and some are huge.

  • The main muscle of the buttocks, the Gluteus Maximus, is the largest muscle in the body.

Now some basic Anatomy about your butt:

The bottom has three main muscles. The Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus.

We will start with the biggest:

Gluteus Maximus

The Gluteus Maximus is the largest and one of the strongest muscles in the human body. It is the most superficial of the three muscles that make up the gluteals and makes up a large portion of the shape and appearance of the bottom. It has several functions besides providing a soft cushion to sit on.

The Gluteus Maximus is important in many of our daily activities such as lifting, walking and running. It helps to move the upper leg backward as in rising from a squat position (getting out of a chair), driving of the rear leg when running and it assists in the stabilisation of the pelvis. Therefore a weakness in this muscle can compromise our ability to perform many daily activities. A Gluteus Maximus weakness may also be associated with (although not necessarily the cause) lower back, hip and knee pain.

Gluteus Medius

The Gluteus Medius originates at the top of the pelvis, runs from the front to the back of the pelvis, and then inserts into the thigh bone.

The Medius assists with rotating and bringing the leg bone out to the side. It also controls the side to side sway of the pelvis when walking and can help stabilise the head of the femur in the hip socket making it an important muscle in maintaining the function of the hip. This muscle often becomes weak through bad movement patterns, injury or poor posture.

The Gluteus Minimus
The Gluteus Minimus is located deep and forward of the Gluteus Medius and attaches to the thigh bone along with Gluteus Medius, separated by a large bundle of gluteal nerves. The Gluteus Minimus internally rotates the hip (turns the foot in). It also assists in abducting and rotating the thigh inwards. It also works with Gluteus Medius in steadying the pelvis when the opposite leg is lifted.

Butt Exercises

The Clam

Adopt the side lying start position on your right side, and lengthen your right arm out underneath your head, in line with your spine.

Lengthen your left waist curve, so your side does not collapse into the floor.

Place your left hand in front of your chest flat on the floor, bending your elbow to support you.

Bend both knees in front of you, drawing your feet back in line with your pelvis.

Exhale as you open your top knee, keeping your feet connected. Inhale as you control your leg back to the start position.

One leg Bridge

Start position is shoulder bridge level one, with a neutral pelvis and the spine rolled away from the mat.Inhale to prepare, exhale to lift one leg into a table top position with your hip at 90 degrees and knee at 90 degrees.Avoid tilting your pelvis from side to side.Inhale as you replace your leg down, ready to repeat on your opposite leg.

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