Why You Need to Work on Your Glutes

Let’s talk about the booty!

These muscles are way more than just for show- they are the powerhouse for human movement. We have a team of three gluteal muscles (and some smaller accessory muscles) which provide strength and stability to the lower body and pelvic area. We use them when we walk, run, dance, jump, during lifting motions and more! If you are experiencing back, hip, knee, ankle or foot pain and dysfunction, lack of glute engagement could be the culprit.

interior glute muscles medical diagram

The Glutes

Gluteus Maximus: This is the largest muscle of group (and creates it’s lovely shape). It extends and rotates the hip, and assists our quadriceps (the front of our thighs) when we decelerate. This muscle is important when we walk, run, and jump.

Gluteus Medius: This is the primary stabilizer of the hip. When we are on one leg, glute medius makes sure the knee and pelvis remain aligned.

Gluteus Minimus: This a deep muscle that assists with hip rotation and abduction.

Prone Hip Extension

man laying on chiropractic massage tableIf you’ve come in to see us for a back, hip, or lower limb issue, you’ve experienced this test! We use the prone hip extension to evaluate lumbopelvic function. The activation of muscles during a prone hip extension simulates the muscle recruitment pattern of hip extension during gait.

So, if we ask you to lift you right leg in this position, the sequential firing pattern we expect is as follows: right gluteus maximus, right hamstring, left lumbar erector spinae, right lumbar erector spinae.

Unfortunately, most test results are far from ideal! We often find the erectors or hamstrings fire first, with the glutes late to the party.

Less than ideal glute firing decreases the stability of the pelvis and the body’s mechanical efficiency. This could lead to compensatory patterns, and potentially pain and injury.

About Love Health

We are sports medicine doctors and specialists ready to help you move better. Contact us today to learn more, or set up an appointment.

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