Have you ever been told that your glutes are not firing? This common explanation for injuries and gait issues has become overused in the fitness industry especially.
Let me explain to you WHY this statement is not completely correct.
When you engage in physical activity such as running, walking, climbing and so forth, muscles never work in isolation, but instead they co-activate and co-ordinate with other muscles thanks to signals sent by the nervous system which received internal and external programming signals before performing a single movement.
Remember that muscles in your pelvis, hips and backside need to be able work together for a myriad of movement patterns.
The best way to ensure that all your muscles are working to optimise your sports performance whichever this is, is to ensure there is a consistent dose of movement variety in the muscles of the hips and glute region to stimulate different firing patterns!
Therefore, start to include complex, dynamic movements that you can plug into your overall training plan based on your ability level.
Below you can find my top three exercises to start integrating into your program:
- If you are coming back from an injury, use controlled, low impact activities that still challenge your coordination and provide variety such as
- Light Skips and Mobility in an upright position targeting different planes of motion so for instance side skipping, front skipping, backward skipping, air hurdles, ski hops.
- Integrate Unstructured movements! They will also help brain to fire muscles in random patterns and challenges muscle recruitments in different position. Include a dose of backward and lateral movements integrating the whole body so for instance you could perform side lunges with dumbbells and with a medicine ball toss, lunges multidirectional drills and so forth.
- Lift weights!! Always before approaching this exercise practice you need to ensure to be confident with your technique and volume. Make sure you challenge your body in all direction alternating single leg exercises as able too.
Take home message:
Your gluts are firing so you are safe!
When it comes to retrain after an injury, if you want to work on re-establishing muscle firing patterns you must commit to a dynamic movement regimen that allows your glutes to work in concert with other muscles.