Experienced Lifters Don't Need Glute Activation

Key Points

  • A glute activation warm-up may increase glute efficacy and improve hip mobility

  • The benefits of a glute activation warm-up may be short lived and not carry over to the next workout

  • Experienced lifters don’t need to perform glute activation in a warm-up, unless you enjoy it

Glute Activation Research

In a previous blog post, I wrote how beginners need to learn how to activate their glutes to their full potential (read here).  However, once the skill is learned, should glute activation still be recommended? And if it is,  is it worth the time? A study by Parr and others sought out to find the answer. Rugby players performed an explosive weightlifting exercise (high hang pull) at 80 percent of their one rep max after a dynamic or glute activation focused warm-up. Electromyography (EMG) was used during the exercise to see which protocol was more effective ( see jacked dude below) (1) .

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Learn How To Activate The Booty

Key Points 

  • The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body

  • Glute activation is a learned skill, one that improves with practice

  • Beginners should use a glute activation protocol in the warm-up for at least two to four weeks

Gluteal Amnesia

The term "gluteal amnesia" has been floating around the interwebs lately. In short, it refers to the inability to use or feel your glutes during a movement. Fortunately for us, gluteal amnesia doesn't exist. If it did, you wouldn't be able to walk or stand upright. However, you might not be using your glutes to their full potential due to other muscles doing the work for you (i.e., hip flexors, lower back, quadriceps). If you suffer from constant back pain or can't get the glutes sore after a workout, then your glutes might not be firing on all cylinders. Moreover, this should cause some concern, not the end of the world concern, but enough to motivate you to make a change. Lucky for you, glute activation is an easy skill to learn, and yes, it is a skill.

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Increase Abdominal Activation By 400%

Key Points

  • Posture dictates abdominal activation

  • A long lever posterior tilt plank is more effective than a traditional and long lever plank

  • A long lever plank is more effective than a traditional plank

  • A strong core is essential for injury prevention

I have lived with scoliosis since my early teens. I am not sure if I was born with it. I remember seeing the x-rays for the first time (right). During college, I dealt with numerous lower back flare-ups, from bulging discs to back spasms. I experienced shooting pains down my legs and lost the ability to train. I was in chronic pain. All I could do was walk and stretch. I was miserable.

At the time, I blamed my scoliosis for the pain. However, looking back, I don’t think it was due to my spine being crooked. Most likely it was due to my core being too weak. I have come to learn that a strong midsection is essential for injury prevention, especially regarding the lower back.

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Is Foam Rolling Worth The Time?

Key Points

  • Foam rolling doesn’t release “scar tissue”

  • Foam rolling increases flexibility and pain tolerance

  • Foam rolling increases sprint performance, but doesn’t improve muscular strength or jump performance

  • A dynamic warm-up is more effective than foam rolling

What Is Foam Rolling?

Foam rolling is a form of self-massage where the individual uses their body weight to compress a targeted muscle with the goal of improving the surrounding connective tissue. For example, to roll out the quadriceps, you would lay on top of the foam roller in a plank position

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