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31st August 2020

The importance of a well-developed bum

A well-formed back side has always been an attribute admired by men and women. In this blog though I will focus on the functional importance of this body part rather than its aesthetic attributes

The biggest part of our bum is formed by the strongest muscle in our body, the  Gluteus Maximus (GM). It plays a key role in the human evolution and its ability to walk on two legs, one of the transformation that made us into who we are today. Studies have shown that the GM is mainly working in activities that require stabilization of the trunk against flexion (bending forward) like during climbing, digging, throwing, running. .All of these activities have been proposed as possible explanations for why humans evolved such a large GM. But it also highlight the connection between (in)active gluts and back pain.


However, this transition is nothing compared to what has happened over the last centuries, as the industrial revolution has spread the globe, desk jobs have become the new norm, and more and more people spend the majority of their day sitting. 

Excessive sitting and sedentary living are bad for a number of reasons, one of which being that the gluts aren’t stressed adequately. Through millions of years of evolution, the large human GM evolved because it improved our ancestors’ ability to survive in environments where running, walking in uneven terrain, and digging were a demanded part of daily life. When we completely abandon this way of life and adopt a lifestyle which the human body –including the gluts –isn’t adequately adapted for, problems occur.

The Evolution of the Gluteus Maximus - Bret Contreras


If we look at the people around us at the gym or in the street, we’ll quickly see that glut atrophy, excessive anterior pelvic tilt, and other abnormalities associated with inadequate glut training and excessive sitting are widespread. And these problems aren’t only aesthetically unappealing, but they also set the stage for poor movement patterns and injuries. Also hip, knee and lower back pain are a common consequence of this muscle imbalance.

anterior pelvic tilt vs neutral pelvis | Pelvic tilt, Easy yoga poses, Easy  yoga

A person with weak gluts and/or excessive anterior pelvic tilt will have a faulty lifting technique, inefficient running style or golf swing and many other movements. Even digging the garden or reaching up to clean the windows or pushing the pram can become a challenge. If not corrected lower back and joint pain might start appearing and despite all efforts the glut will never develop. In other words, glut atrophy, and excessive anterior pelvic tilt are serious issues that affect physical performance and health.


The GM has been an especially important muscle throughout human evolution, largely because it was active in many of the daily physical activities of our ancestors. This helps explain why the GM can handle a higher frequency, volume, and intensity of training than many other muscles.

A big and strong gluteus maximus is a natural characteristic of the human body. A modern weak and flabby bum is abnormal.

If you are dreaming of a well-shaped backside you should consider working with a qualified therapist or trainer to learn a good technique for heavy strength training.

5 benefits of lifting weights for women | Wise Living Magazine


If you like going to the gym our treatments aim to re-pattern your movements in order to master the hip hinge, reduce excessive anterior pelvic tilt, improving posture, and engaging the gluts appropriately when lifting before they can move on to heavy squats, dead-lifts, and other glut exercises.

No time or incline for the gym or/and you prefer to spend your time outdoor?

Here some tips to help you incorporate some glut activity in your daily routine and start the “rediscovery” of these strong muscles.

Use the pram or the golf trolley as a training tool

  • Make sure the handlebar is on the correct high. You should be able to stand upright and have the hands resting on the bar with elbows bent around 90 degrees
  • Build a stable frame with your shoulders-arms- pram
  • Avoid leaning forward, instead hold in the bellybutton
  • Push with the feet into the ground to start the steps
  • Squeeze your bum when pushing off

If you are carrying a rucksack or golf bag

  • Relax your shoulders
  • Avoid hunching forward
  • Keep your chest open (show off a bit)
  • Push with the feet into the ground
  • Roll over the big toe and squeeze your bum

While brushing your teeth

  • Avoid leaning over the sink
  • Press heels together, hold stomach in and squeeze the bum
  • Raise your heels as high as you can
  • Hold this position for at least 30 seconds while brushing your teeth


A sedentary lifestyle is the main cause of a poor use and development of the strongest muscle in our body: the gluteus maximus.

Weakness and incorrect engagement of the GM during repetitive daily activities or training can lead to back problems, hip and knee pain.

A strong and efficient GM can improve your look and confidence

So what are you waiting for.

Book an appointment at swissphysio and we will teach you how to regain control and strength on your gluts and how to move better.

Published on: 31st August 2020