"Glute Amnesia." Yes, it is a Real Thing.

I don’t think it is too far of a stretch to say that your gluteal muscles, or your “butt muscles” are probably the most important group of muscles you have.  They are responsible for keeping us moving well and with strength,  and  they are very important for stabilizing not just your back but your whole body.

We spend way too much time on our glutes and not enough time using our glutes so they become week, small/flat,  and they stop responding the way they should. Since they are not being asked to work, they shut down.

Low back pain expert  Professor Stuart McGill , author of Low Back Disorders, describes the loss of glute strength and size as gluteal amnesia and goes on to implicate lack of strength in the glutes for the debilitating back pain that afflicts so many.  The truth is we sit too much, we take too many elevators, we skip too many stairs. The result…Loss of glute function and the relative disappearance of the bodies most vital muscle. 

What are some of the signs that your glutes have decided to go on vacation? Here are just a few….

1.   Low back pain

2.   Chronic hamstring injuries

3.   Tight hip flexors

4.   Chronic ankle sprains

5.   Plantar fasciitis

6.   Shoulder pain

As you can see, week glutes cause serious havoc in the whole body.

Ok, what do I do?!

 1. Stop spending so much time sitting on your glutes and start using them by standing, walking, moving.  Give them a reason to start showing up for work again.

2. My favorite glute strengthening exercises.

* Bridges

* Hip thrusts

* Foundation Training Founder and Woodpecker

* Crab Walks

* Hip Hinging Exercises like deadlifts

* Squats

Make glute strengthening your first priority.  I always start my clients with a glute activation exercise like bridging, crab walk, Founder,  or hip thrusts.  Then, when we move to the strength portion of the workout and  incorporate at least one loaded squat exercise and one loaded hip hinge exercise. 

 It is interesting to see what happens once people regain good glute strength, tight hamstrings become much less tight, an aching back gets better, more power and strength can be expressed in the activity or sport of choice. 

Convinced? Then get out there and wake up your glutes!