It’s not easy, butt, with a little knowledge and lots of Mojo,
we can all enjoy the benefits of a strong and perky derrière.
Well done, J LO!
Our glutes are part of our core muscles, which mean they’re at the center of most all our movements. They help us get up and down from sitting and propels us when we jump, lift heavy objects and climb stairs. They’re also essential to stabilizing our spine and maintaining posture.
The Glutes are comprised of 3 muscles;
The Gluteus Maximus is our largest and strongest muscle. It is considered an anti-gravity muscle because it helps us get up and down from sitting and propels us when we jump, lift heavy objects and climb stairs. When the Gluteus Maximus is neglected and under-active, other muscles and joints have to work harder to absorb extra wear and tear.
The Gluteus Medius is important for hip, pelvis and knee stability. It is smaller than the Maximus but its location more to the side of the pelvis makes it important for lateral stability, coordination and power.
The Gluteus Minimus predominantly acts as a hip stabilizer and abductor of the hip. It’s one of the most important muscles for controlling and producing lateral (side to side) movements.
The Piriformis is important in lower body movement because it stabilizes the hip joint and lifts and rotates the thigh away from the body. It’s used in walking, running, climbing stairs and in sports related activities.
Strengthening our glutes is key for overall lower body strength and stability. In Mojo, we strengthen our booty in almost every single move we do. Here’s just a few:
Squats: Squats are a compound exercise that target the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. To help increase intensity and cardio potential, we’ll also add in sumo sqats and jump squats.
Lunges: Lunges are another compound exercise that target the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. To help increase intensity, we’ll add in walking lunges and reverse lunges.
Marching or knee crunches are great exercises for targeting the glutes and quads, requiring you to squeezing your glutes at the top.
Hip thrusts require that you lift your hips upwards which helps you reach new hard to reach glute muscles.
Tips to getting more out of your Mojo workouts…
Here’s a few to consider:
Engage ALL your muscles from the ground up –
We do a number of leg lifts lifts, squats, crunches and kicks to help build our back side. In order to get the most out of all these moves, form is imperative. Keep your back properly aligned, head up and core/booty engaged.
Spring from the calves and engage your upper body and glutes to help tow your legs up to your chest safely and effectively.
Without help from your core, kicking or lifting too forcefully, can strain your hips.
Other than “shoulders back, head up”, I’d say “squeeze” is my most common Mojo cue.
It might seem like it comes naturally, but “phoning-it-in” and assuming your glutes are getting in on the action is not enough. You gotta ASK (squeeze!) all those guys to come along and join in the fun.
Not feeling the love (not sore?) after your Mojo workouts? If for some reason you’re not feeling strengthening benefits, it’s likely you’re not engaging your core to the full extent and should focus on contracting and tucking in your buttocks and belly when doing these moves.
While having a tight booty is a good thing, being too tight can age us and lead to injury.
We do a variety of stretches after every class that help keep our hips loose, but adding these (above) “Netflix” friendly stretches at home, will greatly improve, strengthen and extend the life of our precious glutes.