If you’ve been told you have an ‘inactive’ Gluteus Maximus (bum muscle) and you’re looking for the best way to get it working, a new study has confirmed a method that works.
The researchers produced changes in the excitability of the corticospinal system that is used to recruit Glute Max, with an intense 6 days of isometric training in the position shown below. A position we’ll call ‘the dog pisser’ for obvious reasons.
Subjects held the position for one minute at a time for an hour per day (three 20 minute sessions) for six days. Ouch! That’s a bunch of work, but apparently effective in producing significant changes in a relatively short space of time.
If you’ve visited us before then you will know we use isometrics (muscle contractions without movement) as a fundamental part of our training and rehab approach. Mainly because they produce outstanding results in reducing pain, improving mobility and increasing strength.
Once your ability to recruit the target muscle has been improved, which is primarily a nervous system adaptation, we then progress to adding resistance and challenging the muscle in different ranges.
To use a home improvement analogy, we fix the wiring before installing the fancy lights.
This approach not only accelerates your results, but it saves hours of wasted time doing exercises that otherwise might have little effect.
It’s worth mentioning at this point that the obsession with the glutes in both training and rehab circles may be a little misplaced (read more about this here). Not everybody has weakness in this area. It’s just as possible that you have weak hamstrings, quadriceps, or anything else for that matter.
The next time you perform an exercise think about what should be working and direct your attention to each muscle involved in the movement. Just this alone can give important clues as to which muscles are contributing and which are just along for the ride.
Go here for a post on the best exercise to activate Gluteus Medius.