• Matt

Glutes Not working?

Within the fitness industry, there are lots of terms (nomenclature, if you will) thrown around to sell products and for the person using these terms to make you think they have the answers. For example, you might have heard of 'muscle toning'! Maybe that certain exercises or rep ranges help 'tone' muscles and not build muscles.

Maybe that pilates helps develop long and lean muscles, and more importantly for this post, the term 'glute amnesia'. Sure, if your doctor has specifically told you you have an issue with your gluteal muscles, then you could be an exception. But chances are it comes down to one of the following...

If the glutes (or any muscle) doesn't seem to be functioning how it should, I believe it could be due to:

  1. Synergistic dominance - another muscle (or grow of muscles) taking over when usually it should be assisting, such as the hamstrings in the car of the glutes

  2. Reciprocal inhibition - another muscle (or group of muscles) on the other side of the joint activating (such as the hip flexors) causing the other side (e.g. glutes) to relax.

  3. Mind-muscle connection - Using the brain/mind to tell the muscles to do their job

Firstly, you can improve the mind muscle connection through practise... You can start with simple exercises just like squeezing your glutes, and progress onto bridges whilst again, thinking about squeezing/activating your glutes.

Next, you can work out if your hamstrings and/or hip flexors are taking over and influencing the glutes with tests for flexibility and activation. However, even with thee tests, it can be important to start training with focusing on what muscles are doing the work during an exercise.

For example - most people could perform a glute bridge. But thats not always the only point of the exercise. It's to focus on squeezing your glutes, getting the muscles working and connecting the mind and muscles. This way you can do the exercise correctly and get more from each exercise too.

HERE are some basic glute exercises to get you started... remember to think about what you are doing and what's working.

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