When you drop into a drop squat, split squat or step down into a lunge, do your glutes fire? Do you feel like your glutes are doing most of the work? Or are you silently suffering from quads-on-fire while everyone around you crushes their workout without grimaces or putting their hands on their thighs.
The term glute amnesia gets tossed around by coaches, trainers, and health care professionals a lot. How could it be possible that glutes just don't fire? Wouldn't they waste away and disappear via evolution? Are we just a few generations away from flat butts and boring beach days? After reading this blog, the answer will be no.
Let's start by clearing something up. Your glutes fire, they do work, and they aren't going anywhere. However, they may not be working very hard. Glutes tend to take a back seat (no pun intended) for a few different reasons. The two most prevalent are your body doesn't extend or externally rotate at your hips. For example, if you stand with a big curve in your low back or if your feet turn in when you pick up heavy things, your body doesn't use hip extension and external rotation as much as it should. Therefore, the muscle that makes these movements happen, the Gluteus Maximus, doesn't work very hard.
Take 10 seconds and watch this video to see what I mean.
Now let's talk about how to fix this problem. To be honest, if your "glute amnesia" is as simple as your hips don't extend or externally rotate, then this is going to take all of 5 minutes. If you have other contributing issues like your ankles don't flex, your back has a rigid lumbar curve, or you hold tension all throughout your body, then you might need to be evaluated by someone who knows what they're doing to get your glutes all the way back to 100%.
First up: Hip Extension
Next: External Rotation
How it works:
If you follow the directions in these videos your glutes should be back on immediately. I would honestly love to know how it works for you. Shoot me an email with your success or your questions at John@HumanFunctionandPerformance.com
See ya next time!