San Diego Training Systems guest blog
Why Glute Activation Is Important For Runners And Cyclist Office Workers
It is a well-known fact in the fitness industry that the glutes are the biggest muscle group in the body. However, perhaps a lesser-known fact about the glutes is that this muscle group remains sorely inactive, even amongst runners and cyclists.
In this article, I will go over the reason behind this and tell you the significance of glute activation in your running and cycling activities.
Why Do Our Glutes Remain Inactive?
Before you activate your glutes, it is important to understand why your glutes (even though they are the largest muscle group in the body) don’t fire up when you begin training. Well, there are two reasons behind this.
Stronger Muscles Take Over
The first reason why your glutes remain inactive is that stronger muscle groups take over whenever you begin any physical activity. In runners and cyclists, the calves, quads, and hamstrings tend to be extremely well-developed and much stronger than the glutes.
This is why these smaller muscle groups engage much faster than the glutes when you start training, and the glutes remain inactive.
Long Hours Of Sitting
Office workers will understand the pain of sitting in a chair for long hours at work. Not only does sitting for long hours mean that you are not getting enough movement in throughout the day, but it also means that your glutes are inactive for long stretches at a time. This causes the glutes to take longer to engage whenever you go running or cycling.
Why Is Glute Activation Important?
There are several ways in which activating your glutes while running and cycling can help you. Let’s take a look at some of them here.
Improve Your Form
Activating your glutes can help you maintain your posture and improve your form while running and cycling. This is because the glute muscles stabilize the hips. Once you begin activating your glutes, you will realize that your knees and hips are completely aligned with your pelvis and that you are in great form while running.
Long periods of inactivity can cause the glutes to weaken and become powerless. And this can spell disaster, especially for runners and cyclists. This is because weakened glutes increase the risk of injuries such as runner’s knee, shin splints, and even IT band syndrome.
If your glutes remain inactive during physical activity, then this automatically means that your other muscles, i.e., your calves, quads, and hamstrings, are working overtime to help you move. These muscle groups are much smaller and tend to get exhausted much faster than large muscle groups like the glutes. Therefore, activating the glutes can provide extra strength and support to your other muscle groups when you go running and cycling.
Improve Speed And Efficiency
The glutes are a powerhouse of strength and speed. Activating the glutes can help you run faster and cycle quicker without getting too exhausted.
Prevent Lower-Back Issues
A lot of runners and cyclists face problems with their lower back. The reason behind these problems is that the glutes are not engaging as much as they need to be while running or cycling. Inactive glutes mean overactive hamstrings, and we all know that hamstring overuse is the main reason behind the development of lower-back issues.
How Do You Activate The Glutes?
If your glutes have remained inactive all this while, it is impossible to fire them up overnight. However, there are several ways in which you can begin to activate your glute muscles over time. Let’s go over some of them so that you can begin to incorporate them into your own routine.
Stretch Your Glutes
Inflexibility and stiffness in the glutes are the main reasons the glutes take so long to engage when running or cycling. You can counter this by performing glute stretches to open up your glute muscles and your hips every day.
Strengthen Your Glutes
Weakened glute muscles are usually the ones that take the longest to engage during physical activity. Therefore, strengthening the glute muscles with various exercises can help your glutes remain active while training.
Do Some Foam Rolling
Foam rolling is an excellent way to release the stiffness and tension in your glute muscles. If you do not have a foam roller at home, then don’t worry! A tennis ball massage would work just as well.
Be Conscious Of Your Glutes
Runners and cyclists tend to forget about their glutes whenever they begin their daily activities. However, consciously engaging your glutes while running and cycling can help to develop the habit of activating these muscles during times of physical activity.
Are you guilty of not activating your glutes too? If you are, then I hope this information helped you! Learn to activate your glute muscles, and you will soon see the difference in your training!
About The Author: Dr. Scott Gray
Dr. Scott Gray is an internationally recognized and expert physical therapist & sports performance coach specializing in sport, athletic, back, and neck injuries. He is the inventor of a revolutionary form of treatment called the GRAY METHOD™. This type of treatment unlike others, addresses the CAUSE rather than just your SYMPTOMS with a full body approach. For more information on how to ease or overcome your injury or sports performance training, go to physical therapy in Fort Myers, Florida , physical therapy in Cape Coral, Florida, or sports performance training in Fort Myers, Florida.