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Weak glutes are one of the most common muscle weaknesses exhibited. The irony is, the muscles of the hips and glutes are designed to be the strongest in the entire body. Given their location around the pelvis and their influence on the center of mass and spine, they are designed to be incredibly strong and capable of providing stability in all three planes of motion. As you’ll see in this video however, many of us are walking around with very weak glutes and I’m going to show you how to figure this out quickly.
There are five tests that you can easily perform to determine the status of your glutes. The first is the simple quadruped kneeling leg extension test. Here you want to get on all fours and straighten one leg out behind you. Make sure the knee is straight and that your hips are squared up to the ground. From here, attempt to squeeze your glutes on one side and lift that leg up towards the ceiling. Do you feel an intense contraction in the glute muscles?
If so, that would be a good sign that you have the ability to activate your glutes. That is not enough however. From here, you now need to bend the knee to further shorten the hamstring and put more of the emphasis on the gluteal muscles to perform the same activity of lifting the leg towards the ceiling. Squeeze again and see if you are able to reproduce the same discomfort. If not, that is your first red flag. Be sure to test on both sides as imbalances are common between the right and left legs.
Next you want to perform the bridge test. Lay on your back and press your heels into the ground with a bent knee position. Lift your hips as high as you can. If you already start to feel some cramping in your hamstrings on either side this would be an early red flag that you are dealing with weak glutes. If not, then proceed to lift one leg in the air and see if you can hold your trunk and pelvis up throughout the test without sagging. Once again, if you feel cramping here or if the pelvis is unable to be kept lifted then you will need to address the weakness in your glutes.
The third test is the lunge test. Here you want to see what the strength of your glute medius is in the frontal plane. Take whatever weight you would normally use for a set of 12 to 15 reps of dumbbell lunges and then combine that weight into one hand. So if you used 25lbs for example in each hand, you would hold a single 50 pound dumbbell in one hand for this test. Lunge out with the leg that is opposite the hand holding the dumbbell and try and maintain an upright torso without fallling towards or leaning to the weighted side. If you can’t, then you have a major red flag for glute medius weakness.
The fourth test is actually more of a detection of a symptom. Do you have low back pain that is pin point located just to the right of the bony prominence on your pelvis called the PSIS. If so, this could be coming once again from weakness of the glute medius muscle. I did an entire video on this topic that you are going to want to see as it shows you how to fix this problem instantly by using a myofascial technique.
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Finally, the complicated and difficult dragon flag ab exercise is actually much more easily performed if you allow the glutes to do their part. I show you how the lack of glute activation is a tell tale sign in the poor performance of the exercise and if you can’t activate them to improve the way you do this movement then you definitely should be alerted to the red flag pointing to the weakness.
As you can see, the glutes are a major and important muscle group in the body that cannot be overlooked regardless of whether you are a high performing athlete or an average joe dealing with the repercussions of having weakness in this area. If you are looking for a complete program that overlooks nothing when it comes to training every muscle in the body, be sure to head to and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System.
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