In Wednesday’s post, I wrote about creating contraction in the gluteus maximus (GM) at all times. In standing, this does not create external rotation, but what about posterior pelvic tilt?

In Becoming A Supple Leopard, Kelly Starrett maintains that it is possible to strongly contract the GM when standing without tilting the pelvis. It probably requires heightened body awareness and perhaps a glance in the mirror to make sure a pelvic tuck is not happening.

I think an occasional GM squeeze can be beneficial. Reestablishing that hip extension balances out all the sitting we tend to do in our daily lives, can lift the arches of the feet and stabilizes the pelvis and spine. However, I do not think it is beneficial to contract them constantly because the GM consists mostly of fast-twitch fibers, which are better at generating short bursts of strength. Contracting them all the time would cause muscle fatigue.

Here are two Yoga Tune Up® exercises that address the Gluteus Maximus. The first one strengthens and tones the GM while the second one provides a deep stretch. It is important to do both, because whatever you strengthen needs to be lengthened too!

1. Bridge Lifts Minivini contracts and tones the GM:

2. Asymmetrical Uttanasana stretches the GM:

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