What does “Glute Activation” actually do?Jun 08, 2022
"Wow, my glutes are so active right now!"
If you’ve ever hiked the ol’ mini band up around the knees for a few side steps, a squat or two, or maybe a clamshell…. There’s a decent chance you felt a little burn in the back pockets and thought, “Wow my glutes are so active right now”.
Well yeah, they are. Glute activation drills are effective at increasing mind-muscle connection to the glutes. Also, with therabands providing 3-10 pounds of resistance, they can be an effective stimulus for muscular endurance.
But... here’s what they don’t do:
- They aren’t an effective stimulus for building strength. This simply requires more load most of the time.
- They don’t build muscle mass. Even with a long lever, the stimulus isn’t enough for building muscle.
- They don’t change motor patterns.
If you had weak clamshell and a hip drop when running, a few weeks of glute activation will get you…. A strong clamshell and a hip drop when running. (@gaithappens)
Motor control at high speed (running) is not significantly changed by slow, low threshold activation exercises in a completely different position…. Duh.
You have to get closer to the position and movement pattern of running WHILE activating the glutes.
Glute Activation is a piece of a training or rehab plan, but not the end goal. It has to be combined with functional motor control and loaded exercise to be effective.
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