Sir Mix-A-Lot wrote an entire song about it (and I know EVERY SINGLE WORD. Seriously.) The Kardashians are famous for it, Destiny's Child sang about it, and I think J.Lo has hers insured. Tiger lost his swing because he wasn't engaging it: The BUTT. Bum. Derrierie. Ass. Tush. Booty. We are obsessed with the butt yet so many people can't engage their glutes while working out--I call this Gluteal Amnesia.
The Glutes are such an important muscle group but often the hamstrings, lower back, quads, and hip flexors take over instead of letting the glutes actually work. If I had a dollar for every time I told a client to put their hand on their glutes or I poked them and said "Engage THIS" I could retire. It's that bad. Suffer from knee issues? Lower Back issues? SI joint issues? For starters, blame your glutes. They're on vacation, chilling on a beach with a mai tai while the other muscles/joints/ligaments are doing the work.
I will write more on the glutes over the next few weeks because I am obsessed with them (partially because I suffer from Gluteal Amnesia myself). I will breakdown some exercises often performed in our classes so you can make sure you are doing them correctly. As instructors we are here to teach, educate, and correct form but in a class of 10 that's 20 butt cheeks and honestly those odds are stacked against us, so keep checking here to learn more. But I will leave you with one exercise to start your at-home education: standing on one leg. I love single leg stance and anything with balance!
When you stand on one leg your supporting Gluteus Medius is engaged to keep your pelvis in neutral. If you have a weak GM chances are your hips are not even while balancing on one leg. Focus on keeping your pelvis in neutral (pubic bone and hip bones on the same plane) and your hip bones level with each other. I bet some of you are practicing now---it's harder than it looks! I'm now singing "you can do side bends and situps, but please don't lose that butt..."