Feel like you are running or cycling, but your Glutes aren't pulling their weight? You are in good company. I meet very few runners or cyclists whose Gluteus Maximus muscles are functioning correctly, and unfortunately the glute bridge won't help.
The Glutes should be the primary muscles that drive your leg into extension, assisted by the hamstrings, whose primary role is knee flexion and stabilization. It's not uncommon to be told by a physiotherapist that your hamstrings are overactive and your glutes are weak.
The glute bridge is usually recommended to address the imbalance between the glute and the hamstring; however, it can be a futile exercise, as the hamstring can still fire but in a compromised (shortened) position. If the glute max is inhibited instead of weak, the glute bridge reinforces the compensation pattern instead of modifying the firing pattern.
Sensorimotor Repatterning (SMR) tests to see if the Glute Maximus is neurologically inhibited versus weak. An inhibited muscle cannot be effectively strengthened; SMR focuses on correcting the dysfunctional neurological patterns causing the Glute Max to inhibit. Once fixed, the glute bridge, deadlift, squat, etc., are all excellent exercises that can strengthen the glutes efficiently.
There are many ways the glutes can become dysfunctional; here are just a few examples:
1. Previous injuries cause a compensation pattern to avoid pain but never revert to the original, more functional pattern once the injury has resolved.
2. Dysfunctional sensory receptors at the site of scars (surgery or otherwise) anywhere around the abdomen, lower back, or as far down as the ankles cause inhibition as a safety response.
3. Gut inflammation, which in turn has an inhibitory effect on the lymphatic system. In a state of panic, the nervous system further redirects the neural drive of the muscles around the waist (including the glutes) to dysfunctional gut organs as a protective mechanism.
With SensoriMotor Repatterning (SMR), I can usually identify and resolve faulty neural patterns inhibiting the glutes in one session. Three sessions allow for a complete assessment and resolution of muscle function in functional positions that best represent your day-to-day movement.
You can book an SMR appointment with me here