“Stretch and Strengthen your glutes!” – What exactly are the glutes?

shutterstock_162857741“Stretch your glutes!” Strengthen your glutes!” These are common terms you hear in sports injury rehab and injury prevention. What exactly are the glutes, their function and the importance of them with regards to injury.

Glutes are a group of muscles around the hip and pelvis that work closely together to provide normal and efficient movement patterns. These muscles each play a specific role in relation to the hip, pelvis and lower limb mechanics. The most superficial muscle and the largest glute muscle is the gluteus maximus which is a powerful muscle involved in hip extension. Then more to the side of the pelvis/hip is the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles that one of their roles is to assist keeping the pelvis level and stable in single leg stance. The hip rotators then sit deep around the hip joint and have a role in stability and hip movements.

Deficits or dysfunctions in the glutes may lead to poor movement patterns and subsequent injury and poor sport performance. If these muscles are too long or too short they cannot contract efficiently. Timing of activation or engagement of the glutes is vital to prevent overload of the lower back and hamstrings preventing injury to these areas.

Hamstring, hip, pelvis or lower back problems may relate to poor gluteal function. In Touch Physio will help you assess this gluteal function and see if this is a contributing factor to your injury.

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