This featured exercise coincides with the arrival, at Jim’s Gym, of a new piece of exercise equipment; the Glute Master. This piece of equipment can be found as station 15 in the circuit training section of the gym. The Glute Master, as the name implies, is a machine which enables the user to work their hip extensors (the gluteal group of muscles and hamstring muscles specifically).
I have chosen this particular exercise as Jim’s Gym’s featured exercise because of the increasing percentage of our population with hip and back issues related to the fact that we, in the North America, spend far too much time in a seated position. The general result of our sitting too much is that our hip flexors become shortened or tight while our hip extensors become weak. This combination of events is significant in that it destabilizes the hip girdle and lower back which can lead to joint deterioration with associated pain. The good news is there is something positive we can do.
The Glute Master allows the user to fully extend at the hip while developing strength in both the gluteal group of muscles as well as the three muscles of the hamstring group. The two keys to performing this exercise properly are:
a) Keep the upper body stationary throughout the movement
b) In the leg press phase the knee should be elevated above the level of the hip.
The final 15 degrees of the leg extension phase are critical to fully activating the gluteal muscles. It is also where the participant will reduce the tightness in the hip flexors.