Monday, January 30, 2012

Glute activation

Just a couple of quick links connected by glutes.....

Martin Berkhan (you must have heard of him) posted this on Twitter and Facebook, and it is interesting as a study:

Low load exercises targeting the gluteal muscle group acutely enhance explosive power output in elite athletes.

It is this idea of activating the glutes as a warm up and it now seems to have some support from research.

I put a glute exercise in the Hillfit exercise routine - a hip extension / glute bridge - because I think that it is important to get the glutes firing, especially given that our habitual sitting posture tends to see those muscles under activated.  I was really focussing on a big 3 - squat (wall sit), pushup and row - but wanted to add a hip hinge/glute move.

Interestingly I saw this post today from Mike Reinold on the kneeling hip thrust as a simple glute exercise.  I was messing with this tonight using bands


Matt said...

Hi, I was pointed here from Whole Health Source. Do you think it makes a difference if we curl the toes under as in the video or if we lay our feet flat while doing the kneeling hip thrust? Will the activation of the gastroc/soleus make any significant impact?


Chris said...

hi Matt

the focus is the glutes in this so for me the key is whatever position will allow you to work them effectively. I find the position in the video more comfortable so that is what I have used.

Steven Sashen said...

It's become pretty common at track meets to see athletes doing medium squats (60% 1RM) as a warm up.

I'm a big fan of doing single leg supine hip thrusts before I race.

Jen Brown ~ SpartaPT said...

Thanks for sharing those links.

I work with a lot of triathletes & runners & most (if not all) have (extremely) underactive glutes so I always include some glute activation exercises (whether a bridge or a hip thrust similar to the one that Mike R linked to).

It really seems to help people to switch on their entire system. Without it, I find people default to their 'natural' movement patterns which is to be dominant or overactive through their front/anterior line.

Love the blog!


Bill DeSimone said...

Chris, you've asked me about this, and I wish I knew you were using it in Hillfit, I would have been kinder;)
It's a curious move, because while I'm sure the glutes feel like they contract, peak torque for the glutes is much closer to the start than the finish position. And you know what I wrote about "feel".
I guess it works more on the "neuro-" side than the "muscular" side.
For my two cents, the old Nautilus duo hip and back, which is almost invisible today, came the closest to ideal exercise for the glutes.

Chris said...


Thanks for the comment. I thought long and hard about this move. I've sent you a more detailed email but it got in because I felt it was safe and if not ideal then at least it was simple to teach.

I felt guilty though wondering if I had betrayed the spirit of Congruent Exercise.....

I re-read Congruent Exercise this weekend by the way and will try to get a more detailed review up soon. It is still a great book

personal trainer weybridge said...

great video thanks for sharing

Bill DeSimone said...

Chris, I hope I didn't come off like "Exercise Police". Let me rephrase: I'm curious about the move, because...(whatever I wrote). When others like a movement, and I don't, I try to figure out if they're right.
I've seen many physical therapists give exercises to "wake up" a muscle group, even if those exercises don't work through the peak torque angle. So, there may be something to "feel", just not in the bodybuilding context.
Besides, I included an exercise in Congruent Exercise for many of the reasons you do this one: safe, direct, even if not perfectly congruent. (A free pdf of the Bodyblade Plus Guide to whoever points it out.)

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