Having strong glutes is crucial for a strong body, because your glutes play a role in all of your movements. As trainers, we work to build functional strength in the glutes to improve our clients ability to use their hips more efficiently in sports, like running, boxing, or golf, and for EVERYDAY use.
What does “functional strength” mean? Strength that translates to the way your body uses that strength in the real world. Most trainers or exercisers only use squat variations or mini band exercises to build their glute muscles, without considering how those exercise patterns translate (or don’t translate) to their movement patterns in real life.
In other words, context matters because the way the glutes function during a golf swing, for example, is primarily through rotation of the pelvis- a HUGE difference from what the pelvis is doing in squats (pictured) and mini band exercises. If we train our client’s glutes for rotational function, the muscle strength carries over to the way their body uses it during golf and daily movement.
If you train exclusively in the sagittal plane with expectations that you’re going to build functional strength, you’re missing the context that your body needs to operate smoothly. Did you know your glutes rotate your pelvis when you walk, run, and throw? Most athletes perform all of these functions at some point, and most humans perform at least one every day (walking), and it’s important to remember that if your training doesn’t factor functions that relate to the way you use your body in reality, into your exercises, your strength will be confined to the gym. Period.
Start training your body for the life it lives outside of the gym. Context matters. Our trainers recognize that not all exercises translate to the what your body needs, unless it’s specific to how your body moves. Squats would be more useful to us if we were kangaroos, but since our glutes primarily contract in a horizontal direction, as with walking, we need to train them and prepare them for what they do most. This is how strength translates to function!
Learn to move your pelvis and ribcage in multiple contexts, against multiple demands.
These structures influence function in the upper and lower extremities, alignment of the spine and head, and the ability to engage powerful muscles- like the glutes, pecs, lats, and core!
It’s one thing to consciously contract the glutes or your abs during an exercise, but in life outside the gym your muscles contract automatically based on the position your body is in.
Ergo, when we train clients in our gym we aren’t cueing them to squeeze this muscle or that muscle during an exercise, instead we cue them to align the structures of their body in a position to illicit an automatic muscle contraction.
As these positions become more efficient, we can tailor the exercise position to the specific context that it’s encountered in the real world to produce efficient movement, facilitated by the correct muscles automatically. That way when you’re out for a walk or playing a tennis match, you don’t have to think about what muscles are controlling your body and you can just go!
Control over these regions during exercise will enhance your movement potential in the real world because of their influence on multiple muscle functions, and how that contributes to efficient body mechanics.
You only have one body, learn what it needs and how to supply its needs with our team of biomechanics specialists training you on your journey to strength, function, and sustainable fitness!
The muscles of the pelvis and core, work together in harmony, and are often referred to as the pelvic floor.
The glute, hip flexor, and abdominal muscle groups are the main muscles that need to function correctly to move without causing pain in the pelvic floor region.
Pelvic motion without the core muscles driving the motion is a gamble.
Your pelvis can move, but the wrong muscles engage to move it, like your QL’s (lower back), or hip flexors and glutes contract incorrectly causing movement compensations.
Then you avoid moving your pelvis because it causes pain in your back or hips. But your pelvis needs to move, in order to integrate with the rest of your body to produce general movements.
The answer is to teach your muscles how to function/contract to support your movement needs.
Work with our trainers to build a strong pelvic floor- supporting a healthy pregnancy, faster recovery after delivery, a life without back pain or stiffness, prevention of urinary incontinence, and general function. You don’t have to be pregnant to benefit from a functioning pelvic floor.
Functional Patterns resistance training does not look the way resistance training looks in commercial gyms because traditional training isn’t functional. Pistol squats aren’t functional. Bench press isn’t functional. Deadlifts aren’t functional. How many times a day do you stop and squat on one leg, bench, deadlift, or do an isolated bicep curl when you’re moving in the real world? The muscles that these exercises train certainly function to help you move but not the way they’re being trained. It’s contextual. So you do need strong pecs and biceps as well as glutes and hamstrings but the way these muscles are being conditioned through traditional exercises doesn’t translate to how they need to function to help you move better in the real world. Your pecs and biceps help drive your arms and torso when you’re walking and strong glutes and hamstrings propel your pelvis and legs when you move. But since most of human movement is upright, on two legs, and horizontal in nature, vertical forces like squats, benches, and deads don’t have much transferability to realistic movements. Sure, those exercises will make you stronger but I say again, in what context? Are you squatting down the street or walking down the street?