FITNESS FOCUS: Strengthening the Glutes So it might not be a shock to most of you that the muscles that make up the “Glute Group” are one of the largest muscle groups in the body. In a culture that spends most of its time trying to minimize the maximus, perhaps we should stop and take a closer look (figuratively, of course) at this large-muscled area. If we believe that God created our bodies for a purpose, then what purpose do these large muscles have? I doubt that God’s purpose in creating this specific muscular system had anything to do with how well they fit into a pair of jeans or what they look like in a bathing suit. But more on that later….My point is, the glutes are there for a functional purpose and having strong glutes is beneficial for our entire bodies. Strengthening your glutes will improve your posture, relieve strain in your lower back, increase the efficiency and power of your leg muscles, and create the support of the part of the CORE muscles called the pelvic girdle. So instead of trying to minimize the maximus, let’s work toward maximizing it’s strength!
Instructions for Heel Beats
- Lie on your stomach with your forehead on your hands. Keep your shoulders pressed back and down out of your ears.
- Hips are pressing into the mat, but pull your abdominals in, not allowing them to rest on the floor. (This will protect your lower back.)
- Legs are extened straight behind you. Heels are together, toes turned slightly out.
- Inhale, and then exhale continuing to pull your navel away from the mat. Feel your spine lengthen.
- Keep your abs lifted and legs together, engage the inner thighs and lift your legs slightly off the mat.
- Your legs stay lifted as you quickly beat your heels together and apart. (Think “Charlie Chaplin”…tap, tap, tap)
(Keep your shoulders back and down, head resting on hands, not craned up looking forward.)
- Do 10 beats. Rest and repeat.
FAITH FOCUS: You are right, there are no specific references to “glutes” in the Bible that I could find. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t find some inspiration in God’s Word for Faith Focus today. As I stated in the previous section, the “wisdom of the world” in regard to our glutes would seem to indicate that they contain two main uses 1)to sit on them while we watch tv, 2) to fit nicely into our “skinny jeans”. But, (no pun intended–well, maybe a little) if we go with what we know from scripture first 1) God created us and formed us for a purpose-including our glutes. Then what does He want us to do with them? Well, Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God created EVERY PART OF US in order to DO good things that He has PREPARED for us to do. In order for us to 1)walk in alignment with God’s will, 2) stand firm in our faith 3) lift up/take up the full armor of God, we must utilize ALL of the muscles He has given us. We must build them strong to hold us upright, move us with efficiency, and keep us protected as we flow through this life.
In closing, our glutes are one of our biggest allies in keeping our bodies in proper alignment of our bodies. As we strengthen them by exercises, we can recruit them for more efficient and effective movement in our daily activities. Our biggest ally in the alignment of our spiritual bodies? GOD’S WORD…as we strengthen our knowledge of it by doing “exercises” like reading, study, and memorization, we will be better equipped to recruit God’s Word as we move through our lives in order to hold ourselves upright, firm and strong in our faith in Christ Jesus.