Bottoms Up! Some facts about your gluteal (bottom) muscles Sitting for long periods can lead to the gluteal muscles atrophying (wasting) through constant pressure and disuse. This may be associated with (although not necessarily the cause of) lower back pain, difficulty with some movements that naturally require the gluteal muscles, such as getting up from sitting, and climbing stairs. The activation of the gluteus maximus during hip extension is delayed in people with a history of low back pain compared to people with no back pain. In people with low back pain the hamstrings and long back muscles instead of the gluteus maximus initiate hip extension. Even after the episode of low back pain has resolved, the incorrect firing patterns in the gluteus maximus remain. Studies have shown that exercise and massage are effective at reversing and protecting against atrophy ( wasting ) of these muscles. Jogging Doesn’t Develop Great Glutes This is one of the most popular myths. Glutes are fast twitch muscles, which means that long endurance activities such as jogging will not develop your glutes as needed. In fact it might even create a bigger imbalance between your quads and your glutes. Glutes are designed essentially for sprinting and jumping. If sprinting or jumping isn’t an option for you (because it isn’t for a lot of people!) we can focus on other exercises to keep those bottoms toned and working. In Pilates we do bridges, single leg bridges, squats and lunges, clam and side leg lifts among other exercises. This Term we will be checking your glutes are firing correctly! To hit the glutes even more, focus on pushing from the heels, rather than from the toes.