Time for a Qwik Kinesiology Lesson
As if that title wasn’t funny enough, what isn’t so funny is that weak and undertrained glutes can lead to low back pain, poor posture, and over time, can lead to a host of overuse injuries on other muscles that were forced to pick up the slack.
Whether you are Running, Jumping, Bending, Squatting, Hinging, Thrusting (hey now), Stepping, Lunging, or Climbing, using your arms and legs in a rhythm is the magic key to doing it faster, stronger and safer.
Last summer at the Perform Better Summit, I had the pleasure of listening to Josh Henkin speak about his Ultimate Sandbag training philosophy, and why it is more than a bag with handles. His focus was on the connection between the muscles above the waist with the ones just below it; your back and glute muscles. They are like Siamese twins, connected together and rely on one another to perform in order to work their absolute best. You can use exercise and quality movement to enhance the quality of connection while strengthening all the muscles involved. Here’s what I mean;
The Gluteus Maximus [GMax] connects via the TLF [Tensior Fasciae Latae] to the contralateral Latissimus Dorsi to form what is known as the “posterior oblique myofascial sling. Weakness, or possibly a misfiring sequence, of the Gmax will predispose the sacroiliac joint to injury by decreasing the function of this posterior oblique myofascial sling. (Gibbons, 2014)
To keep a familiar benchmark here, let’s replace the word ‘Gmax/Gluteus Maximus’ with ‘Butt Muscle’; we only talk super scientific around here (clearly)! Okay, so your right butt muscles are connected to your left lat muscles (largest back muscle), and vice-versa. In a movement, such as a deadlift, where your glutes and big back muscles have to work together at the same time, this is important to know. Why? Well, if your right glute is weaker than your left – due to a muscular imbalance, old injury or current technique – your left back muscles will be out of position, with extra stress in the wrong areas and the potential to not utilize your full strength capacity. If that mumbo-jumbo flew right over your head, this little diagram should clear things up;
Over time, this can result in a muscular misfire, where some get the green light to engage, while others get stuck at a yellow and have to hang back because they don’t know how to drive at that same speed yet. In small amounts, this can show itself as a stiff lower back, tight hamstrings, or if you consistently need extra time to loosen up a particular area of your hips or back.
Be present and pay attention to what is happening in the body
Sometimes these signs can be very subtle, ultimately leading to lower back injury/irritation, the culprit behind decreased overall strength/performance, the comfort of daily living, and longevity… DEFINITELY NOT WHAT YOU WANT.
So What Can You Do Now?
- Try to notice if there is a slight difference between the left and right side of the body – we all tend to have one dominant side, and it is best to get them equal. If you need help figuring this out or want my professional opinion, connect with me here and I’ll get back to you ASAP
- Add in butt muscle specific exercises to target important muscles in strengthening stabilizing your hips… For your convenience, I put together a compilation of some of the best Glute-Butt-Back-Leg muscle building movements right at your fingertips at any time.
*poof* *tada* *presto*
If you are looking for individually customized programming of these exercises or a weekly program to reach your outcomes, send me a message to book a Strategy Session.
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