Why You Need to Work on Your Glutes
Let’s talk about the booty!
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.
Prone Hip Extension
If 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.