Let’s not forget our glutes!! During our time of social isolation and social distancing, our normal activity routines will be sent into disarray. We might not be as mobile as we were before the lockdown began. We are not running to and from work or racing around town like we were 3 weeks ago. All this will equate to sitting on our bottom more – whether that is sitting with children to home school them, sitting out in the garden or sitting watching TV.
There are lots of home exercise programmes you can follow in this time, as well as a great Pilates online programme from the team at Katie Bells. Be mindful to try and fit 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week – that’s exercise which increases your heart rate – and two sessions of strengthening activity per week as recommended by NHS England.
We know that our gluteus maximus (our bum) is the biggest muscle in the body and is important with pelvic stability, balance, posture and preventing lower back pain. It’s also an important muscle when you are running and cycling and having a strong bum can help prevent knee pain. I have noticed over the last week during social distancing I have definitely been sat on my bottom more than I would normally.
Our gluteus maximus is a lazy muscle and will not contract or work if it does not have too. So, we must make sure we are continuing to contract and work our bottom muscles to keep it strong. The exercises below are great ones for getting our bottom muscles working. If these exercises aggravate anything else then please stop.
Glutes workout: 15-20 repetitions on each leg.
Donkey kicks – Start on all fours, hand under shoulders and knees under hips. Make sure you keep your hips level at all times. Lift your leg up to the ceiling keeping it at a 90 degree angle.
Fire Hydrant: Again, start on all fours. Hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Keep your hips level. Lift one knee out to the side until the thigh is parallel to the floor.
Clam shell: start in a side lying position. Rest your head on your outstretched arm, you can use a pillow or rolled up towel to support underneath your head. Bed your knees up and have your heels in line with your bottom. Now keeping the bottom leg on the floor, open up your top knee. The ankles should remain together. You should feel the side of your hip working, this might be a burning feeling, that’s a good sign as you are working the correct muscle.
The 3 exercises above are great ones to add to your weekly exercise routine and maintain your gluteus strength. Let’s remember in these times when we are on lock down to remain positive and maintain our health bodies and healthy minds.
Try not to spend too much time sat on your bum!