Confession time. I have horrible knees. Early stage arthritis in both knees plus some functional issues a few years back led to severe knee pain. I have gone to see physical therapists numerous times, and the number one recommendation I always get is “Strengthen you glutes”.
“Glutes”, in this context means my gluteus muscles, the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius. The official name for- your butt.
Strengthening your gluteus muscles helps with all kinds of knee issues. It will help your squats, and alleviate joint pain. Whenever I have clients or class participants who struggle with squats, lunges, or other leg movements, I usually modify with some sort of glute exercise.
Don’t get me wrong, many exercises which are considered leg exercises work your behind as well. Squats are one of those movements that hits practically your entire lower body. But if squats are troublesome for you, don’t fret. You can work your butt off without experiencing pain in your knees or other joints.
Perform each exercise and rest 1-2 minutes between sets. While some of these movements may seem easy, slow down and focus on form. You may also wish to use weight for some exercises.
- 3 sets of 10 Zebra Kicks, each side
- 3 sets of 10 Alpha Dogs, each side
- 3 sets of 15 Glute Bridges
- 3 sets of 10 Crossovers, each side
- 3 sets of 10 Crane Deadlifts, each side
- 3 sets of 15 On Thin Ice, each side