The fitness industry has seen its share of trends and fads over the past few decades. I can remember at a young age, my Mom in the living room sweating through various videos with titles like “Buns of Steel”, the classic “It Figures” aerobics session on TV each morning – mostly because this signified the morning run of cartoons were over. In school I remember Billy Blanks’ “Tai-Bo” – as girls in high school we had the option to do these videos instead of running outside when the weather was crappy – you can guess what we chose!
10 years ago “core training” was hot in the fitness industry and it was everywhere, articles online, top 10 best core exercises gracing magazine covers, belly-blaster fitness classes, you name it, it was out there. A strong core was the answer to everything back-pain related and a solid core workout was the secret to achieving that elusive bikini body. Why was it so trendy? Because it worked! People all over started doing exercises like planks and utilizing swiss balls to challenge their core in all kinds of wacky ways and with this, people were seeing significant reductions in back pain. For the truly disciplined, when combined with a good diet and lots of cardio, that elusive 6-pack actually made an appearance.
I remember being in Costa Rica attending bible school and a group of girls gathered each morning under the careful guidance of one of the girls as she directed her personal “6-minute ab routine” all in hopes of avoiding the extra weight gain associated with travel…not to mention… she had that 6-pack of abs everyone was chasing!
Fast forward to 2015 – today. One of the biggest trends now in training is GLUTES! “Sculpt a better booty” “10 exercises to your best butt” “5 best exercises for a perky bum” “Brazil butt lift workout” – and this is just the first page on google! So is it just a crazy fad? The next best thing for everyone that’s grown bored of holding a plank for minutes at a time? Or is there actually something to it? And more importantly, do we ditch the planks to focus on glutes now?
While core strength is still important, there’s so much more to a strong, functioning core than just the muscles in your tummy area, our mid-sections are much more complicated than that! You see, many of the muscles surrounding the pelvis (think booty and hips) also connect to the low back. There are over a dozen muscles throughout your hips and pelvis that all contribute to the position of your pelvis and how it moves – why does this matter? Because your back and the muscles of your “core” are all connected to your pelvis – if there is muscle imbalance in your pelvis, your core function is going to be affected.
So why the focus on glutes? Glutes are a large muscle that helps to not only stabilize your pelvis, it’s what propels you forward during a walk or run, it gives you that extra peppy step to take the stairs two at time, they help us to lift heavy objects and climb hills. Glutes play a pretty big role in allowing us to function in our daily activities, and for the really active crowd, it’s what helps us do the things we love with strength and efficiency.
Our unfortunate reality is that we are becoming a society of people who spend most of our day sitting and sitting is no good for good glutes!
Muscle imbalance is one of the main causes of overuse injuries in the low back, hips and knees and when pain is present we become limited in what we are physically able to do. So there is something to this glute activation/strengthening trend. But does this mean that we need to ditch out on the core work to address the glutes? No way. We need both for our body to function optimally, so we can do the workouts and activities that you truly enjoy. BUTT (hehe) if you haven’t been addressing your glutes, try incorporating this mini glute circuit into your workout regime today to get them fired up! …and remember a functioning booty will also become a good-looking booty!
Click the photo to open in a new window and get a closer look 🙂