Activating Hams/Glutes ...
- 09-27-2011, 07:42 PM
Activating Hams/Glutes ...
I am posting this for my girlfriend. She is getting into lifting (was into it for a little while but stopped) and she is having some trouble activating her hamstrings and glutes. Her trainer seems competent and well versed in exercise science but they can not seem to figure out the problem. Maybe some of you have suggestions. Here is how she worded it to me ...
"When I squat I only feel my quads activating. My knees shoot out past my toes. Even when squatting with a body bar parallel to my spine, my back still wants to arch regardless of tucking my hips/flexing my butt. Glute raises and lunges and single-leg bulgarian squats somewhat activate them, but not much. My hip flexors aren't tight. "
- 09-27-2011, 07:58 PM
She's bending at the knees and not the hips. The squat is a hip movement and she needs to be sitting back and pushing her ass out. Elaborate on the back arch. You're supposed to have a tight arch in the lower back during the squat. How wide is her stance? Toes straight or angled out?
Teaching her how to box squat properly would be the best bet.M.Ed. Ex Phys
- 09-27-2011, 08:04 PM
I will post up some suggestions tonight for her
09-27-2011, 08:34 PM
realy focusing on staying back on my heels helps me, also the right shoes, flat no heal lift
09-27-2011, 08:39 PM
thanks a lot for the replies. hope to hear more ideas. appreciate it!
09-27-2011, 11:29 PM
09-28-2011, 07:45 AM
No no no and no. I have very seldomly seen squats done correctly. Your girlfriend is doing it the most commonly incorrect way; knees shooting past the knee. When I squat, I am pushing with my glutes (upper hams secondary) and my knees dont move at ALL!!!
Please fire that trainer and hire one who knows what he/she is talking about. If her knees are shoooting past her feet, her knees will be ruined in no time flat. There was only ever one time where my knees went past toes....and that was when my knees woudlnt stop hurting for 5 days.
How to do it corerctlY:
1) when you go down, stick your ass out.
2) WATCH your knees. Do not let them even move at all.
3) Balance is kept by leaning your back forward a bit.
- if the back is not leaned forward a bit you will fall backwards.
4) your glutes should do the pushing.
5) your heels should be planted onto teh floor
6) If dont undertand, practice without any weights at all until techqniue is down pat. Look at mirror from side view.
7) FIRE that personal trainer imemeidately b4 the idiot does any more damage
One time, a personal trainer was trtying to teach me how to lift; to use perfect form and lift veryvery slowly. I then asked him why pro boydbuilders donit do that. He said pro bodybuilders dont know what they're talking about. Catch my drift?
09-28-2011, 09:16 AM
09-28-2011, 09:19 AM
Regardless, she needs to strengthen the area and badly. Before she squats, have her do 3-4 sets of hyperextensions and leg curls. Getting blood to the area and establishing the mind-muscle connection.
M.Ed. Ex Phys
09-28-2011, 02:14 PM
thanks. i wanted to stress also that it wasn't only squats she is having trouble activating her hamstrings and glutes. it is pretty much every exercise that would normally be killing them.
09-28-2011, 02:16 PM
09-28-2011, 02:44 PM
First I would start off her warmup with some form of SMR to work towards helping release whatever muscle tension is present and also aid in removing fascial scar tissues and adhesions. Maintaining soft-tissue quality and length is essential for better movement and performance and if there is dysfunction (scar tissue, adhesions, etc.) in any part of the kinetic chain, then the remaining systems are forced to compensate for them.
After some SMR work I would then follow up with some mobility movements for the hips, ankles, and thoracic spine. Shortened hip flexors, tight hamstrings and weak abdominals will lock her hips up and move her into anterior pelvic tilt.
After some light SMR and mobility work then follow that up with some glute activation movements. The glute muscles are responsible for
hip extension, external and internal rotation of the hip, abduction of the hip and they also aid in stabilizing the knees. What typically happens is the glutes become inhibited as result of anterior pelvic tilt. The hip flexors become shortened typically from weak abdominals and a weak
posterior chain. Things like sitting down at a chair all day accelerates this due to the short range of motion activity for the hips. What usually happens is the muscles become dormant, which means they have shortned, developed scar tissue or adhesions and won’t engage when you need them to.
Defranco has an EXCELLENT lower body warm up routine that can be found on his site which I personally use and LOVE
Here is another good routine for her
Here are some other movements for her too..
Hip Adductor Stretch
Hip Flexor and Quadriceps Stretch
Lunge and Reach
Hip and Glute Stretch
Hip / Glute / Piriformis Stretch
Seated or Standing Sumo Stretch
Band Abduction Squats
One-Leg Supine Bridging
Supine Bridge with a Med Ball
Supine Bridge with Band
Supine Bridge on Swiss Ball
One-Leg Supine Bridge on Swiss Ball
Leg Curls on Swiss Ball
Banded Good Mornings
I am sure you can google images of the movements or youtube videos of them if you are unfamiliar with what they are and how to do them.
best of luck!
09-28-2011, 02:55 PM
This was very helpful, will start throwing this into my routine
09-28-2011, 03:39 PM
Also to add to my post..
Those movements should not be limited to just before your workouts. These are also great to do on rest days for an active rest/recovery/prehab day!
09-28-2011, 04:42 PM
09-28-2011, 04:52 PM
Defranko's warm ups are great. highly advised.
rombusempire: have you ever seen an olympic weight lifter squat, especially when performing an over head squat? The knees come out over the toes, and it is not an issue because they have the ankle flexibility to allow for that while still keeping heels in contact with floor and back straight. Most people don't have the ankle flexibility, and they end up moving to the balls of their feet when squatting and then we see the knees shoot out.
Just wanted to clarify.
To the OP, useyourhead, how do you know her hipflexors are not over active? Inability to get glute recruitment is often due to over active hipflexors and a postural deviation of anterior pelvic tilt. its very common in women, especially those who wear heels or spend a lot of time sitting.
09-28-2011, 05:27 PM
zir - iono man...i atcually also cringed when i saw the olympic lifters do that lock out after a C+J. The elbows are totlaly hyperextended. Ive seen a vid where this olympic C+J dude broke one of his elbows during that lock out.
But no wim sounding like those personal trainers, criticizing the pros...anret i....
09-28-2011, 05:29 PM
09-28-2011, 05:37 PM
What zir, judo josh, and rodja said.
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