The gluteus maximus is an extensor muscle that came into being when we stood up and the gluteus maximus and the hamstrings pulled down on the back of the pelvis and spine in order to pull the trunk upright. Quadrupeds have gluteal muscles but they are relatively weak. To stand and walk upright we needed stronger and bigger butt muscles to help stabilize the pelvis.
I am always going on about people being tight assed and in need of relaxing their butt and letting go. Almost everyone tucks their pelvis under and grip the gluteal muscles (among others) to hold us upright. But a strange thing can happen to the gluteus maximus as we tuck under and grip. It can become tight and weak and lose any relation to its natural size and shape.
A lot of people simply have no butt. The gluteus maximus has atrophied from poor posture and walking patterns. The next time you are walking down the street check out people in front of you, or walking towards you. See if their knees bow out to the sides when they move. This is often an indicator of tight hips, weak inner thighs and not enough tone in the glutes. Look at the jeans people are wearing and see if their butts fill out the pants. While plenty of people have plenty of butt, a good number of people have nothing but wrinkled fabric where bigger butt muscles should be.
Learning to stand and walk correctly are the best ways to develop a new relationship with the gluteal muscles. There are three of them but gluteus maximus (gluteus medius and minimus are the others) is the only extensor of the bunch. Gluteus maximus doesn’t do much of anything while you are standing and only begins to work when you go upwards on an incline or stairs. Learning to relax it when it should do nothing and use it correctly when it should be working is a key to rebuilding your body into a more efficient machine.
In terms of exercises we will be putting up some squatting videos in the near future. We love squatting at the FitzGordon Method and there is nothing better for working the gluteus maximus and building better and bigger butt muscles if you need them.