With the glute Maximus being the largest muscle in the body you would hope it was doing most of the hard work when it comes to running and jumping.
Unfortunately through repetitive poor movement patterns and the lifestyles we lead our glutes become inhibited.
When the glutes become Inhibited the nervous system recruits surrounding muscles to compensate, this leads to a variety of muscular imbalances limiting athletic performance and eventually leading to INJURIES.
A common muscular imbalance among athletes is anterior pelvic tilt, this is the type of imbalance is what will cause an athlete to become quad dominant. The hip flexors and quads become tight and overactive which tips the pelvis forward causing excessive curvature in the low back.
On the flip side depending on someone’s structural balance the hamstrings and adductors may become tight and overactive, tucking the pelvis under causing the low back to flatten out. Commonly refereed to as posterior pelvic tilt, this is more common amongst the general population.
Having greater awareness of your own structure will allow you to determine what corrective exercise you should be focusing on to create structural balance.
It’s this balance that will ultimately allow the glutes to become dominant, allowing you to express your athletic potential.
However, a slight anterior pelvis tilt has been shown to be beneficial for athletes, trying to achieve complete balance may not be the correct path but ensuring that the anterior pelvic tilt is not excessive and is not limiting performance is the key.
If you truly want to become an explosive athlete making sure that your glutes are dominant and working synergistic-ally with your hamstrings and core is the foundation you need to build off.
So the key to running faster, jumping higher and preventing injuries is GLUTE DOMINANCE.
Are you a Quad Dominant Athlete?
If you’re a Quad dominant athlete you’re depriving yourself of your true ATHLETIC POTENTIAL.
There are few ways that are dead give a ways, ask yourself these questions below:
– Are you the guy that squats and feels that your quads are doing all the work? Or your glutes never get sore from squatting?
– Does your low back get destroyed from squats & deadlifts?
– When you play sport do your legs fatigue quickly, especially in the quads?
– Do you experience knee pain, low back pain and/or stiffness?
If you answered yes to any of these there is a good chance you’re quad dominant. Even if you didn’t there is a very good chance that you still are. Either way every athlete should be strengthening their glutes.
How to Become a Glute Dominant Athlete
I’m going to keep this short and sweet, the recipe to become a glute dominant athlete is the following:
Hip Mobility + Glute Activation Exercises + Inner Core Strengthening + Consistency = Glute Dominant
I know from my own personal experience it wasn’t until I really focused on opening up my hips in conjunction with glute activation work, that my glutes started to fire.
My body is predisposed to anterior pelvic tilt, something I need to continually work on, so the key for me was opening up my hip flexors and quads, hitting my glutes 2-3 x per week and strengthening my core with stomach vacuums. (The video Below Briefly describes what a stomach vacuum is, I’d Youtube the exercise also for more info)
Ensuring that the deep muscles of the core, the ones that you don’t see are working and firing in the correct sequence is a big part to becoming glute dominant.
This is why stomach vacuums should be a key core exercise as it strengthens the deep inner core muscles like the pelvic floor and intra abdominal wall.
Instability in the CORE will lead to other muscles taking the role of stabilizers, which is exactly what we don’t want.
Consistency is the key to anything, becoming glute dominant is no different, you will need to stay on top of your mobility and activation work indefinitely. Otherwise your body will revert to the faulty recruitment patterns and poor movement quality that it has been used to for so long.
There will come a point where you wont need to focus on it as much but you’ll always need to incorporate this stuff into your training regime.
Check out the video below for hip mobility and glute activation exercises.