Gluteal muscles! Why are they so important?!
Why are the gluteal muscles important?
Well they are the biggest muscles in the body so they must be used for something. Most of us just sit on them. But therein lines one of their functions. They protect the bones around the pelvis and the large nerve supply into the legs with muscle and connective tissue.
We have three main muscles in the group – Gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. Glute max is a muscle that pulls the thigh backwards and is therefore the primary muscle to propel us forward in walking and running. So why do runners not strengthen it? We’re not sure! Gluteal weakness has been linked to all sorts of mechanic problems as diverse as back pain to knee and ankle pain.
Gluteus medius and mininus are smaller and have a different line of pull. They can influence rotation of the hip joint as well as lateral stability of the pelvis. Basically if you stand on one leg, they keep your waist band even. If they are weak, your pelvis tilts down. That changes how loads are distributed through the leg.
So – the take home messages? Glutes are important as they align your leg and the propel you forwards. Without them, we’re basically left just sitting around. Get squeezing!