The gluteal muscles are made up of three different sets of muscles, including the gluteus Maximus muscle (largest muscle), gluteus medius muscle, and gluteus minimus muscles.
These muscles help with the actions of hip extension, abduction, and external rotation, meaning that they get used when you’re doing any type of movement that involves kicking your leg out to the side or moving your leg behind you.
These movements are incredibly common in sports, especially sprinting and tennis, so it’s important to keep these muscles strong so that you can prevent injuries to them over time.
It’s important to have strong glutes, one of the major muscles used in most lower body movements.
The 6 exercises you’ll find below will not only help you recover from an injury but also help prevent one.
While a gluteal strain is a common injury in sports, some people may be more prone to it due to previous injuries, muscle tightness, running on uneven terrain, or failing to warm up before exercise can all lead to gluteal strain. It can also occur due to tight hamstrings.
Some symptoms include low back pain, buttock pain, and hip pain.
If your hamstring muscles are too tight, they pull on your pelvis and cause an imbalance between your abdominal and hip muscles.
That imbalance strains your glutes during exercise.
In addition, if you run with improper form, you’re more likely to sustain a gluteal strain because you’re putting extra stress on them as well as your knees.
Improper form causes impact when you run that damages tendons and ligaments.
The most effective way to prevent injury is through stretching and strengthening your body properly before exercising. Before you self-diagnose though make sure you see a healthcare provider first.
The exact time it takes for a gluteal strain to heal depends on a variety of factors including how severe it is, your age, and whether or not you have adequate insurance.
The time can also vary from one patient to another even if they’re in similar situations due to differences in health and fitness levels.
If your injury is mild and you are healthy with good insurance coverage, healing should be relatively fast.
In fact, most individuals will be able to return to work within just a few days.
Those who do more physical activity will typically take longer to recover than those who lead a much more sedentary lifestyle, it all depends on how strong their muscles are.
Most people find that they’ve regained full function of their glute muscles within four weeks; some cases, however, may take six months or longer depending on the severity and other contributing factors.
A strain of your gluteus medius (pronounced: gloo-tee-us med-ee-us) is an injury to a muscle in your hip.
It’s common among athletes and active people who regularly do activities that require sudden changes in direction, such as basketball, tennis, soccer, or dancing.
A strained gluteus medius is usually treated with rest and physical therapy.
You can use over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help relieve pain and reduce swelling.
Apply ice packs several times per day for 15 minutes at a time.
Try gentle stretching exercises; avoid exercises that cause pain until you feel better, then resume slowly.
Here are the best exercises to start bringing in to help with your recovery from a gluteus strain.
This exercise mainly targets your glutes and also works a few other muscles, making it the best exercise to start with.
Start with your shoulder blades resting on a bench and your feet flat on the floor.
Place a barbell across your hips and then lower yourself by pushing with your heels into a sitting position, making sure to keep your torso erect throughout the movement.
Lift back up until you’re in starting position, squeezing at each end of every rep.
The single-leg bridge is one of my favorite gluteal strain exercises.
It’s especially useful for developing your glutes on one side at a time.
Here’s how to do it:
Get into position with one foot firmly planted on a bench and your other leg extended out in front of you, lowering your hips down towards that heel until you feel a deep stretch in your hip flexor, then return to starting position.
The clamshell exercise is one of my favorites because it hits all of your glutes.
Start lying on your side with your knees bent, and your feet stacked under your bum.
Now slowly raise the top knee up toward the sky while keeping your keep together.
You can take this further you using a resistance band around your knees.
Machines are ideal for beginners because they provide you with stability and support.
The abductor machine is a perfect glute muscle exercise if you have access to one.
It’s a pretty easy exercise that targets your entire abductor chain, including your glutes, adductors, and hip flexors.
Get into position on an abductor machine so that your legs are lying flat on a padded platform with your knees slightly bent and feet positioned off of the floor.
Now push your knees away from each other until they form a 90-degree angle or until you feel maximum tension in your butt.
Hold that position for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat up to 10 times.
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The adductor machine is one of my favorite exercises for glute strength and size.
Some people feel that you need to train your adductors separately, but there’s no reason why you can’t kill two birds with one stone in one day by including an adductor exercise as part of your leg workout.
This is a safe, efficient movement that will have your abductors burning in no time.
If you don’t know where your adductors are, try squeezing your legs together tightly—that should activate them.
The adductor machine is a great exercise to work your glutes and hamstrings, especially when you’re already struggling with knee or back pain.
Just be careful—it can put some pressure on your kneecaps, so if you feel any pinching or chafing during your workout, stop immediately.
If you don’t have access to an adductor machine, try exercising standing up with a resistance band tied around one of your ankles for extra resistance.
When you want to isolate and strengthen your glutes, lateral band walks are a fantastic exercise.
Simply strap a mini resistance band around your knees and walk side-to-side.
As you move, try to stay as upright as possible and keep your eyes looking straight ahead.
This will help engage your glutes without putting any undue stress on your back or knees.
For an added challenge, wrap a resistance band around your knees while performing lateral band walks.
Lunges are an excellent lower-body exercise, and bodyweight walking lunges are an even better version. In fact, they’re one of my favorite exercises for my legs in general.
They effectively target your glutes (butt), quads (thighs), hamstrings (back of thighs), and calves while also challenging your core muscles to help you maintain proper form and balance.
Plus, because you use your own bodyweight for resistance and don’t require any equipment or gym memberships, this exercise can be done almost anywhere.
Take them a step further by holding a dumbbell or kettlebell in either hand. Or just one hand if you want to give your core a tougher challenge!
Glute strains are fairly common and injury and fairly easy to fix, as long as you get onto it fast.
Don’t be a hero and try and work through an injury.
Get it seen to be a doctor and do the time needed to recover before you go gangbusters again.
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