Inactive or as I like to say Under Active Glutes is a problem 9 in 10 of us face (this statistic is not quite accurate – but you get just how common I am telling you this issue is).
The reason this issue is so common is that the symptoms experienced are often not in/on your glutes. So we tend to think our symptoms and pains are from somewhere else.
If you are suffering from any of the following then there is a good chance that you may have underactive glutes.
1. Knee or Hip Pain
Knee pain is one of the most common indicators of weakness in the glutes. This is because when the glutes are weak, your hips overwork and cannot control/align your Femur properly. A poorly aligned femur can result in your kneecaps shifting too far in one direction (outside or inside of the leg). In addition, this further adds to other muscular weaknesses such as tight quads. Tight or weak quads can cause poor tracking of the kneecap within its groove and lead to faster wear and tear.
2. Tension Headaches
Headaches can be caused by numerous issues including dehydration, blue light, high and low blood pressure, the list goes on. However, when most of the common tension headache causes are not to blame, it’s time to look at your glutes. Whilst this is a rare link it is important to understand the connection. As mentioned above, inactive glutes affect the hips. More specifically the fascial tension around the hips and our other primary joints (ankles, knees, hips and shoulders) become slack. This slack causes overuse muscles in other areas, such as our neck extensors and thus contributing to tension headaches.
3. Poor Posture and Slouching
I don’t like to repeat myself often. However, in this case I have to bring up the Glute-Hip connection once again. This is because the two are paired. When one is contracted the other is relaxed, and these two groups of muscle must have balance. If your hip flexors are stronger than your glutes then they can pull/rotate your pelvis down and cause you to have a tilt aka Anterior Pelvic Tilt.
This tilt will undoubtedly stretch your abdominals and cause them to be weak which then leads to more postural issues such as slouching (leading into kyphosis).
4. Lower Back Pain and Tight Hamstrings
When your hips cannot function properly with full range of motion and your posture becomes compromised, your surrounding muscles (Back and Hamstrings) overcompensate. This overcompensation leads to muscle fatigue and imbalances in strength/size. An overdeveloped back adds to postural mentioned above which poses a direct link to lower back pain and very tight hamstrings.
5. Poor Running Gait
If you find yourself running to one side and experience ad-hoc muscle spasms your gait could be off.
Again, there are plenty of causes to an abnormal running gait such as improper footwear, altered limb length and underlying injury. However, when you have explored the obvious and still have an issue then its time to take a look in the boot! This is because your running gait relies heavily on proper hip mobility and stabilization. If your glutes are asleep then your hips are suffering from insomnia and will be cranky and stiff!
HOW TO ACTIVATE YOUR GLUTES?
Glute activation doesn’t have to be rocket science or rely on you buying all the latest resistance bands. There are a number of easy to do bodyweight exercises that will fire up that booty in no time.
We have posted a must-do HIIT routine you can try before your next workout session.
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