If you’ve ever seen a PT for a lower body injury before, chances are that at some point you’ve been given glute activation exercises - and for good reason! Weak glutes can be the culprit of many issues, from knee pain to poor exercise performance. But, before you start going crazy with the clamshells, know that doing glute-focused exercises may not be the only thing you need to do to get those glutes firing. Why? Glad you asked!
For those of us that spend a large chunk of our day sitting (that’s most of us) we might notice not only increased gluteal weakness but also something called anterior pelvic tilt. An anterior pelvic tilt is often caused by tightness in the hip flexors, which can occur when we spend a lot of time seated, thus keeping the hip flexors in a shortened position. This phenomenon will naturally pull the pelvis forward, resulting in an exaggerated lumbar curve.
Here’s a simple trick: picture yourself wearing a belt - where is the buckle pointing? A belt buckle that points straight ahead is what we call ‘neutral pelvic position,’ while a buckle that points diagonally toward the floor may indicate an anterior pelvic tilt. Try to squeeze your glutes while your pelvis is tilted. Not so easy, right? Now, try to squeeze your glutes in a neutral pelvic position. Bingo! See what we’re getting at here?
Postural inhibitions, like an anterior pelvic tilt, might be standing in the way of you getting the most bang for your buck when it comes to your workouts. If you think this might be you, give us a call - we’d love to chat with you!
Pro+Kinetix Physical Therapy & Performance is a performance based physical therapy practice who helps active adults and athletes in Oakland & the surrounding Bay Area get back to workouts and sports they enjoy with injections, medications, or having to take time off.