We often see injuries originating from an unstable and uncoordinated pelvis and spine.

One of the key muscle groups that help to keep this region of our body happy are the glutes (gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus). One of the most powerful groups of muscles in the human body, this group can get ‘lazy’ due to being held in a lengthened position for a prolonged period of time. This can happen when sitting at work or when the opposing muscle group (hip flexors) become too dominant.

“Lazy Glutes”

When the glutes are working below the necessary level, to meet the daily demands placed on the body, other muscle groups will start to assist. This is when muscles such as the hamstring, calves, and the muscles along the spine start working on the glutes’ behalf. Once you start using these muscles instead of the glutes, it can change your movement patterns, ultimately leading to a dysfunctional movement pattern. This is what we want to avoid.

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Keep Your Glutes Functioning

Here’s a great routine to help keep your glutes functioning at their optimum level. This sequence is designed to release any tension in your hips, before moving on to some exercises that will really get your glutes working. It is important to do these exercises in the order specified to reap the most benefits.

We recommend you only do this sequence of exercises if you have no injuries or health issues.

The Glute Activation Sequence

Low Lunge
This mobility drill will really target your hip flexors, hamstrings, and groin. We recommend holding the position for 5-10 seconds, and repeating up to 10 times. For a deeper stretch you can hold the position for three minutes, but only if it feels comfortable (remember to keep your breathing relaxed).
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Table-Top Lunge

This mobility drill is similar to the low lunge, but with more of an emphasis on your hip flexors. Conduct the same repetitions as the low lunge. If it feels comfortable you can rotate your body over the front leg, this will move the emphasis on to the outside of your hip flexors.

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High Lunge

Progressing on from the table top lunge, this movement really targets the hip flexors, hamstrings, and calves. Do the same repetitions as mentioned in the previous two exercises. To increase the release in your hip flexors, rotate your upper body over the front leg.

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Wide Superman

This is a great exercise to work your glutes and core. Really focus on engaging your glutes as you raise your leg, raising your opposite arm links your upper body with the movement. Repeat 10 repetitions on both sides.

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Glute Kickbacks
We finish the sequence with an upright glute activation exercise. You should have more movement in your hips, and control through your back and pelvis from the previous exercises. It’s still important to focus on using your glutes and maintaining control in your back and pelvis when doing this exercise. Repeat 10 repetitions on both sides.

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Technique

When performing this sequence of exercises it’s really important to get the technique right. With our experience we can help you perfect your technique, so you are targeting the right muscles. Get in touch for more information.

We hope you enjoy trying out these exercises, look out for our next ‘Optimal Activation Sequence’.

 

The Optimal Movement Team

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