You have an injury and your research has told you to strengthen your glutes. So, you search online and find some glute exercises to do – clamshells, bridges, leg raises, exercises with a band – and you have some major glute burn going on when doing them. That means you are strengthening your glutes and therefore the pain will go away, right? Maybe, maybe not.
Glute exercises are great for everyone to do, but not all glute exercises are effective or necessary.
What do I mean? Let me explain…
Are your glutes even weak?
People will often be told they have weak glutes when injured, but that is not often the case. Am I saying they do not need to be strengthened at all? Definitely not! Everyone’s glutes could probably be a little stronger. What I am saying, though, is something else might be going on.
Many times, rather than the glutes being weak, it is situation of your body forgetting how to pattern movements properly to use the glutes effectively. Your postures, habits, and created movement patterns have trained your body to compensate using your quads and back muscles rather than the glutes. If you learn how to move your body in a way that allows the glutes to do their job and fire appropriately and effectively, you can gain glute strength in seconds.
Doing this often comes down to learning how to use your feet like they were meant to be used and learning to initiate movements with your hips rather than your knees or back.
And this leads into the second topic…
Are you strengthening your glutes effectively?
If you are doing exercises like I listed above – clamshells, bridges, leg raises, banded exercises – than the answer is no, you are not doing effective glute exercises.
While you may feel the burn with the first group of exercises, they are not training your body how to use the muscles appropriate with daily function. This means you can do all the glute exercises for months on end without creating any functional gains.
Now, I am not saying doing isolated glute work is a bad thing. It can be helpful to gain strength. But if that is all you are doing, you are doing yourself a disservice.
What do I mean? Glad you asked!
Strength vs Function
Last I checked, we function, train, and race in a standing position. Yes, we do hang, climb, and crawl at times, but the majority of our time is spent standing. Therefore, it is super important to train your glutes how to fire in a standing position, not only when lying down.
Until your body learns how to use the glutes appropriately, effectively, and powerfully when standing, you are not going to fully resolve the issue you are wanting to resolve.
Not sure how to go about doing this? No problem! I would love to help you. Schedule a complimentary call with Brianne to learn how to do this!