As you may have noticed, I didn’t post yesterday. I was fighting a headache that felt like it was going to split my skull in two all day long. And, I really wasn’t up for staring at a computer screen and trying to be creative. But I’m back at it today.
On Monday, I wrote about some simple ways you can help your hips out. You can read that post here. In short, most of our hips don’t work that well. Due to our sedentary lifestyle, our hip flexors tend to be tight and stiff, which can cause a host of problems.
I also mentioned in that post that when one muscle (or group of muscles) gets short and stiff, the antagonistic muscle(s) tend to get weak and ineffective. In the case of the hip flexors getting stiff, we see the hip extensors (most notably the glutes, or butt muscles) get weak and they have difficulty functioning properly. Since the gluteus maximus is the biggest muscle in the body, it can be safely assumed that it’s incredibly important for it to fire correctly.
Due to the hip flexor situation we all face, it is not uncommon for me to see my clients glutes firing improperly, or close to not at all when they first start coming to me. I immediately start working on getting these muscles to “wake up” and perform like they are supposed to.
Like Monday’s post, the following exercise by no means portrays a comprehensive approach to getting the hips to work properly, but it can definitely get you started in the right direction. Performing the following exercise can help the glutes begin to fire properly which gets them back in the game and helps counterbalance the tightness in your hips.
The goal here is to activate the glutes, by squeezing your butt as tight as you can in the top position. Make sure you don’t arch through your low back, but through the hips. This is done simply by making sure the contraction takes place in the glutes. You may find this much more difficult than you think it should be. Be patient with it. The more you do this, the more your glutes will “turn on” and be ready for maximum muscle fiber recruitment.
Perform 2-3 sets of 12 reps.