Here’s some interesting information on gluteal muscles and running. Enjoy!
Post by Mark Taczanowski of True Sport Care
Mark was on the medical staff of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He has a great deal of experience working with elite athletes.
Before we explain why the Glutes are so important, I’d like to help your readers understand the mechanism of why this happens in the first place.
As we know from our analysis, the Glutes are “disconnected.” The runner has no clue this is happening because there are no symptoms in this area. The only thing the runner feels is pain in or around the calf, achilles, heel or bottom of the foot. This is typically the result of tightness running through the calves. Let’s not simply stop here. Let’s continue to ask the question, “Why are they tight?” They are tight because they are being OVERUSED. Let’s keep asking the same question…”Why are they being overused?” They are being overused because there is a weakness somewhere else in the posterior chain like the hamstrings or glutes. If we can activate the glutes, the calves will have less stress and carry less load. This restores the balance and the lower leg, calf or foot pain goes away.
How to activate your glutes? Great question! I have seen this time and time again. How about a Glute Bridge? It should wake up the Glutes, right? Not necessarily. I’ve seen many people perform Glute Bridges perfectly only to feel lower back pain from the exercise. It is because they are not targeting and feeling the glutes as the glute bridge intends.
It is easy for a trainer of any kind to tell their client to SQUEEZE the target muscle, be more in tune with that muscle, or even demonstrate the “proper” way to perform an exercise, but unfortunately this does not serve ALL the clients the same way. Sure some may feel this muscle activate, but certainly some will not. Form does not always cultivate activity so coaching in this manner may or may not work. When a patient or client FEELS the muscle perfectly, everything falls into place.
Our Glute Activation videos attempt to ISOLATE the glutes unilaterally. This activation is designed to eliminate as many of the recruitment strategies as possible, allowing the athlete to finally feel what it feels like to contract or fire a glute in the first place. We use the terminology “Fire, Wire, and Seal.”
Our job is to teach you how to find the muscle, target the muscle, and make this muscle switch active. Once that is primed, then the muscle will likely participate in an activity such as running or jumping. When it is used in combination with other synergistic muscles, it is considered “Wired.” From repetitive firing and wiring, the system becomes sealed. Once you are able to use all the muscles in a chain driven activity, you become more efficient. This, in turn, creates less stress on the system, less overloaded muscles, less pain and better performance. Time and time again, we have patients visit us with an initial pain complaint but as we teach them how to use their bodies more efficiently, their pain reduces and they start PR-ing EFFORTLESSLY. This is the logical effect from our proven system.