Get the real bottom line by Simon Duberley, Athletics Coach

 Sitting down for hours at a time in front of a computer screen, taking the elevator instead of the stairs and using the car for simple tasks like popping down to the shops for a paper.

 Sounds familiar?

If it does, you could be suffering from a loss of glute function or as one therapist has labelled it, gluteal amnesia.

The gluteal muscles are one of the most important muscle groups in the body. They help you stand, help you push off the ground and assist in balance. When correctly trained they enhance every activity you do. These aren’t muscles we should be neglecting with an overly sedentary lifestyle and with a loss of glute function leading to lower back pain we need to start taking a closer look at how we can look after them.

 On top of this, the gluteal muscles collectively form the feature affectionately known to all of us as our bum and who wouldn’t like their bum to look a little nicer. In recent years my work has taken me a number of times to Brazil and in that part of the world gyms are full of people working on a plethora of exercises with only one intention, to build a nicer bum. Indeed bottom toning and the exercises used to do it are now widely shown on social media. It seems the world has realised that our bottoms are in fact made of muscle and there’s a lot we can do to change the shape of them. No augmentation needed.  

So where is a good place to start in our quest for a more functional and better looking backside? There are many exercises to choose from but my preferred beginner exercise is the Glute Bridge. Once you become proficient at this double leg variant, you could progress to its single leg form depicted on the second picture.