Activate Your Glutes! Here's How
By Megan Peach, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Did you know?
The gluteal muscles are an important muscle group for everyday functional activities. The gluteus medius muscle acts to stabilize the pelvis during single limb activity such as going up or down stairs, balance exercises, and even walking. The gluteus maximus helps to maintain trunk control & propel the body forward during walking and running. A recent study in the February 2013 issue of the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy investigated gluteal muscle activation during specific exercises to determine which exercises were most effective in recruiting the glute medius & maximus while minimizing the recruitment of other substituting muscle groups.
This particular study found that a sidelying leg lift and side step exercise were of the top three most effective exercises for strengthening the gluteus medius, and the clamshell and single-leg bridge exercises were most effective for strengthening the gluteus maximus. Of these exercises, the clamshell, side step, and single leg bridge exercises were found to be less likely to recruit other musculature such as the tensor fascia lata (TFL).
Selkowitz DM, et al. Which exercises target the gluteal muscles while minimizing activation of the tensor fascia lata? Electromyographic assessment using fine-wire electrodes. JOSPT 2013; 43(2): 54-65
If you have specific questions about these exercises or would like to incorporate them into your home exercise program, please contact Megan Peach, DPT, CSCS at 406.556.0562.
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