My name is Carmy and I have a broken booty. Well not broken broken but more of a lazy booty. So lazy that it just doesn’t pull its weight when I do things like squats and over time I’ve become quad dominant. And the proper term for this is non firing glutes.
Over the years, I’ve seen a few people about it but because I am
lazy busy, strengthen is always the right thing off my list when life gets stressful. The last few weeks as I’ve tried to get back into the groove of running, I’ve been focusing strengthening my glutes first. Glutes, core, then if I have time arms, shoulders, back, calves. But glutes came first. I won’t lie to you and say that it’s easy because I’ve practically tried everything under the mood only for me to be like “I feel nothing” and my physio going “hmmmmmm.” Clearly my glutes had banked on staying lazy.
Non firing glutes can be caused by anything from muscle imbalances, inactivity, injuries, etc. While I’m not a physiotherapist (please see one if you think you need help), here is what I have been doing through the help of a handful of therapists that seem to be working.
One legged clam shells
Here’s a link to someone doing regular clam shells. I personally found this way to not work at all as I looked at my therapist and said “I feel nothing.” However, speaking to another one (hi Ben!), we modified it so my bottom leg is straight, my top leg is bent and I am only lifting from the floor to the height of my bent leg being parallel to my hip. Does that make sense? I found that with this tiny movement, I can focus on squeezing my glutes more. (update: I’ve found a link to demonstrate what I’m describing but I do not lift as high as shown in the photo)
Modified leg press/supermans
I don’t even know if this is the correct name so I’m going to call it what I want! I lay on my front side and bent one leg at a 90 degree angle. From there, I push that bent leg up by contracting my
butt cheek glute muscle. Then I do the same but with both legs at once, extended instead of bent. I think the term more the other version is called standing kick backs but I prefer laying down and doing it so I don’t end up leaning too far forward or kick too far back without thinking about small movements/glute contraction.
Lunge to standing
I go down into a lunge position then
after what seems like forever for my glute to figure out what’s up while contracting my glute muscles, I try to get into the standing position using only my front leg. I’m always tempted to use my back leg to get back into a standing position but that is a no-no. Front leg only!
While there are a hundred more glute exercises, these are the 3 that I focus on and are the ones that only seems to be working for me at the moment (no squats until my glutes fully fire). Like I said earlier, I am not a medical professional so you’ll have to go to your own therapist are a diagnosis and exercise plan as what works for me may not work for you.