Our glutes not only shape our buttocks and make our jeans look great; they are also incredibly strong body moving muscles and hip stabilizers. We have three sets of gluteal muscles in our buttocks: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus. Why are our gluteal muscles important? The gluteus maximus muscle is one of the strongest muscles in your body, and for those with lower back pain—your glutes may be contributing to your discomfort.
The gluteus maximus, the largest gluteal muscle, is used when running, hopping and jumping. This muscle can be activated and strengthened through squats, climbing stairs, jumping rope and plyometric exercises. Strengthening these muscles helps with balance and fall prevention—especially when walking on uneven surfaces.
The gluteus medius and gluteus minimus are smaller muscles and hold an important function when walking. These muscles help stabilize the hip when we transfer our weight onto the weight bearing leg when we walk. If you practice transfering your weight from one foot to the other you will activate these muscles. Some exercises that strengthen these muscles are side-lying leg raises, walking and running.
Activating and strengthening all three of your gluteal muscles is vital to increasing functional range of motion and potentially reducing lower back pain. Here is a great article and exercises to help keep your lower back and glutes healthy and strong: https://www.acefitness.org/prosourcearticle/5013/build-strong-glutes-and-a-pain-free-lower