Whether you know it or not, we demand a lot from our backside, especially the glutes and hamstrings. Hip extension, knee flexion, posture, smidge of rotation, speed, and well, power. Let’s us send a #blessup for our glutes and hamstrings for allowing us to walk, stand, and run.
Quite simply, myself included, most folks and even athletes have horrendous glute and hamstring development. This not only puts you at a MAJOR risk for INJURY in sport, but it also simply means you have a lot left in the tank you aren’t tapping into. If your glutes are weak and tight, they’ll tug on your hips tipping them forward (anterior tilt) and compromise functional movement and translating into sport. Nobody likes dysfunction (or maybe you do) and this trickles down, or up I should say, the stream leading to “swayback” posture effecting your spine, in which your lower back arches and shoulders round.
Simply put, a hot mess.
Let’s dive a little deeper into this, especially the beloved glutes. Yes they are important for all around aesthetics, no one raps about a small booty. There is actual function and purpose behind training them that goes well beyond an Instagram hashtag.
Most people think glute max when they hear “glutes”. While this is one strong dude and a powerful hip extensor, we can’t forget about your gluteus medius and minimus. These two are key in stabilization, abduction, rotation mainly. Huge movers for our bodies, so why are weak glutes so common? Well, we sit…a lot. Drive to work, then sit at work, then drive to the gym, move for a little, then drive home, then sit to eat, and then lay down in bed. Repeat. Due to our heavily sedentary lifestyles, many of us suffer from weak and under-active glutes. Unless you are a high level athlete or Olympian your standing to sitting ratio is probably heavily swayed. Because of this inability to develop our glutes effectively, they cannot properly engage and recruit during our training sessions, leading other part of our legs to compensate. This leads to growth and/or injury to other parts of our body such as low back, hamstrings, and glutes, leaving our backside falling short. I would bet that if you took 3 months to work on your backside, that low back pain would peace out.
How do I know if I have weak glutes? Most common symptoms or red flags I see are tight hip flexors, knee pain, low back pain, and weakness in ankles. Tight hip flexors are really an issue of weakness not tightness. A perfect example would be weak glutes causing hip imbalance. This may lead to aggressive rotation of femur, when in turn (see what I did there) can cause knee pain. So guys, your glutes are so important, I can’t stress this enough. You can couch stretch until the cows come home, but if you don’t get stronger butt, these issues will become chronic.
Now that we have stressed the point of a strong butt, where do you start? Whether you are a runner that wants to improve your 5k time or marathon pace, a weightlifter that wants a stronger lockout at the top of your deadlift, an Oly lifter that wants to learn how to generate more power in your clean, or just look good in your fresh in your new Lulu leggings, there is a program for you. Let me introduce you to my friend, strength coach, and glute connoisseur, Emilio Evans. He has developed a 3 month “Glute Program” that will get you to your goals, I promise. If you are interested in picking up this program FOR FREE, please connect with him via email or Instagram. His contact information is below.