Glute Activation

When I was training for a marathon several years ago I tragically injured my knee. After numerous chiropractor and doctor visits, everyone was stumped as to what exactly caused the injury. My chiropractor came to the conclusion that I had over developed quads and that this caused my glute muscles to “turn off”. A runners world article talks about weak glute muscles and mentions ,

“Studies link glute weakness to Achilles tendinitis, shine splints, runner’s knee, and iliotibial-band syndrom.” (source)

Cycling in college, and my love for running assisted in the over-development of my quads. Recent studies have shown that chronic sitting (sitting for 6-8 hours a day) will also turn off the activation of these muscles and cause imbalances in the body structure. In the past, strength training was not something that I loved to do. However, I now know how much it aids in keeping me from not getting injuries while exercising!  I incorporate strength exercises quite a bit throughout the week. Below are my favorite glute activating exercises!

1.Clam Shell- This is by far my favorite activation exercise. They are so easy to do while watching t.v. Try doing 10-12 on each side, four times each.

2.Extended Clam Shell- This is the same exercise as above, just a little more intense. If you are having a hard time feeling the burn with the regular clam shell, these will be sure to do the trick. You can also alternate between this exercise and the clam shell.

3.Fire Hydrant- This is the first activation exercise that my chiropractor had me try .  Again, try doing 10-12 on each side, four times each.

4.Kettle Ball- Make sure to squat down as you do this exercise to feel it in the glutes. This can be used as a great interval workout. Try doing this exercise for 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off 5-8 times.

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