Gluteal Medius and Maximus Activation

Welcome back from a summer which showed that you must make the most of what you have and to experience life in all types of ways. Such was the case on the West Coast of Sweden this summer. I enjoyed, running in the rain, cycling in the rain, crossfit in the rain and even swimming in the rain…. ah, what a lovely summer!

However, after a summer of competitions for a lot of my clients, it has come to my attention on a number of people, even the fit and strong, the Gluteus maximus and gluteal medius are not performing the way the should.

A bit of research has shown to me that the flow on affect of a inactive ‘glut max and med’ is very real in many little pains in other joints or muscles. For example, the hamstrings will take too much load, the ankle joint or calf in running, the hip flexors in stabilisation and balances when doing mobility work.

The best exercises are generally the most simple. This is true when it comes to the glut max and med.
Side lying straight leg abduction  ((Glut Med)(as the name suggests, lay on your side with straight leg and lift the top leg straight up and come back down in a controlled manner until your leg is perpendicular with the floor – do not rest on the other leg. Do it 10 times and feel the burn! Check my instagram
for the example.
Single leg deadlift and single leg squat is the most basic for the Glut Max. Stand in a regular position on one leg, bend the knee slightly and flex at the hip to touch the ground with the opposite hand to the leg you are standing on. return to the starting position- remember to keep the knee about the toes as you go down.
The single leg squat is the same movement but with more of a flexed knee.

Of course for the hardcore, you can add weights, rubber bands etc to assist in greater strength building, however, just using your body weight to start with is a good way to increase the activation during warm ups, simple rehab or prevention work. However, as you strengthen them don’t forget the opposite muscles (mainly the hip flexor group) to assist in your overall balance!

Always, for the nerds, here is a good article comparing 12 different exercises and the affect on these butt muscles. Click here. 

Happy Training!