The idea of ‘Lazy glutes’ is an epidemic that seems to have taken grip overnight. But is there any truth in that idea?
The incidence of ‘Lazy glutes’ usually gets the blame when you experience back or knee pain. Unless you have experienced an impact injury, or an MRI scan shows there is an issue in that area, then pain is usually an indication of ineffective movement patterns. In this case the pain is energy expressed in your body, in the wrong place.
What’s happing when you experience pain in that instance is that your muscles are simply untrained or unable to work instinctively in the way they should. In other words, when they are required to do so, your muscles are not working effectively ‘in sync’ with your joints and other supporting muscles without the need to for you to consciously ‘squeeze’ them.
Standard exercises usually prescribed for so-called ‘lazy glutes’ are lying or being seated, doing isolation exercises such as hip raises, pulses, leg raises and clams. Although these certainly give you that great burning feeling, and makes you feel as though you are achieving something, sadly these types of exercises are training your glutes to ‘fire’ in a way that is irrelevant once you stand up. When you do so your glutes have to fire in a very different way, with a very different set of muscles than when you were working on the floor. When it comes to increasing your strength for lunging, squatting, reaching, twisting, lifting and running, isolation exercises are most definitely not going to help.
Muscles do not work singly or alone in your body and training your glutes using isolation exercises simply creates an unnatural movement pattern.
The first thing to be aware of is the importance of working in an upright position in a way that causes your glutes to instinctively switch on and act ‘in sync’ with the rest of your body. Your glutes are power muscles which also function to decelerate movement, i.e. they act as a break to stop you collapsing to the floor when you lunge, squat and jump. So, using exercises that cause your glutes to maximise both these functions will automatically make them work better.
The exercises in this workout video will enable you to do just that and fire up your glutes without you having to consciously think about it.
Exercise is about being smart and combining what your body needs, into a workout that gives you what you want. These three exercises are great not just for switching on your glutes, but also will give your legs, core and back a great workout. We guarantee you will feel a very sore butt tomorrow after this following this routine!
Here are a few other nuggets of information for you on how to get your glutes to switch on instinctively:
Stop working with your feet turned out all the time. Doing a side lunge while keeping your foot facing forwards requires much more work from your glutes than if you turned your foot out.
Focus on pressure from the inside of the foot and big toe when pressing through your feet. The reason this makes a significant difference is that your foot needs to pronate slightly (roll in) for the subsequent joint movement up the leg to work efficiently which then switches the muscles on correctly. So, stop trying to press from the outside of the foot.
Get up off the floor and start working standing up. Use different angles and different directions, work in a clockwork motion and lunge to 12, 1, 2, 3, and 4 o’clock. Use your arms and reach in all directions when you squat; reach forwards, diagonally, and sideways. This makes your glutes work naturally without having to think about getting them to work by ‘squeezing’ them.