Activating Hams/Glutes ...

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    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. "

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    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.
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    Rsvd...

    I will post up some suggestions tonight for her
    "The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance." - Socrates
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    realy focusing on staying back on my heels helps me, also the right shoes, flat no heal lift
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    thanks a lot for the replies. hope to hear more ideas. appreciate it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    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.
    this is what her trainer had to say ""Initiating the squat with the knees instead of the hips. Anterior pelvic tilt throughout causing an arch in the lumbar. Stance is good, feet are good.""
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    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?
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    Quote Originally Posted by rombusempire View Post
    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?
    while I appreciate your passionate response I think you misinterpreted something. From what I can gather she and her trainer know that her knees are not supposed to go past her toes, but is having a lot of trouble keeping that from happening. I'll ask her though just to make sure I'm not the one who is confused.
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    Quote Originally Posted by useyourhead View Post
    this is what her trainer had to say ""Initiating the squat with the knees instead of the hips. Anterior pelvic tilt throughout causing an arch in the lumbar. Stance is good, feet are good.""
    This is ambiguous and open to interpretation. That's why I asked for specifics.

    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.
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    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.
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    ^^^Your knees don't move when you squat? I'd love to see a vid of a straight legged squat!
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    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..

    SMR


    Mobility
    Hip Adductor Stretch
    Hip Flexor and Quadriceps Stretch
    Lunge and Reach
    Hip and Glute Stretch
    Hip / Glute / Piriformis Stretch
    Seated or Standing Sumo Stretch
    Chair Exercise
    Cradle Walks
    Striders

    Glute Activation
    X-Band Walks
    Band Abduction Squats
    Supine Bridges
    Plate Pushes
    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
    Bird Dog
    Bowler Lunges
    Donkey Kicks
    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!
    "The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance." - Socrates
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    This was very helpful, will start throwing this into my routine
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    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!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Resolve View Post
    ^^^Your knees don't move when you squat? I'd love to see a vid of a straight legged squat!
    Lol nono sorryr I meant my knees do not move forward at all.
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    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.
    Br
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    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....
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    Quote Originally Posted by rombusempire View Post
    Lol nono sorryr I meant my knees do not move forward at all.
    Unless you're in a squat suit, your knees are going to move forward some, but how far they move forward is going to depend on the squat style (e.g. Oly v PL).
    M.Ed. Ex Phys
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    What zir, judo josh, and rodja said.
  

  
 

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