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Getting the Max Out of Your Gluteus Maximus 

Getting the Max Out of Your Gluteus Maximus 

April 2016 

Glutes are important in all lower extremity movement. But half of us are walking around with our glutes turned off. The problem is “sitting disease.” Even if we are active, we probably sit a good chunk of the workday. We may be working, but our glutes are on vacation. 

The primary role of the glute is to move the leg back. When glutes are not firing, hamstrings take over. That’s a problem. That’s when you start to see chronic hamstring tightness, lower back pain and more. 

So if the glutes are 

important for healthy 

movement, and if they are 

asleep on the job, what do 

you do? More bridging, or 

more squats with kettle 

balls? Probably not. 

Dozens of studies have 

examined what exercises are 

best to strengthen gluteal 

muscles. Bridging is one of 

the best. Here’s the 

problem: the studies were all done using healthy subjects. 

So if you have a history of problems, you can bridge all day long and not activate the right muscles. Those weak glutes might be what got you in a hot mess in the first place. 

Here’s what you do: 

It starts with posture… and breathing. Sound familiar? ( If you’re

lost, click here to check out the last 3 newsletters to get up to speed). In a nutshell, neutral spinal posture fosters lower costal breathing. Lower costal breathing activates the pelvic floor. A responsive pelvic floor acts as an anchor from which you move your legs. 

And posture is not just important for breathing; any time you tuck your bottom, you turn off the glutes – so stick that tail out! No butt winks! 

The following video gives you several ways to start strengthening your glutes: 

Tips to Turn Your Glutes On 

Here’s the caveat: evaluating your own movement patterns is really tough. And getting to the root of the problem often takes a trained eye. So if this video doesn’t work for you, our therapists have more tricks up their sleeves, and we’ re always happy to help. 

Meet Larry – A Great Addition to the ALTA Team! 

Larry Meyer PT, DPT has a passion 

for analyzing movement. That’s why he 

became certified as a biomechanical 

specialist for the lower quarter, and 

why he now teaches medical bike 

fitting to other PTs around the country. 

To say that Larry is enthusiastic about 

biomechanics is an understatement. He 

strives to help all his patients move 

with ease and return to active 

lifestyles. His training is extensive, his 

experience vast and his commitment to 

helping people creates the perfect combination to make magic happen.

Bachelor of Science: Kinesiology, University of Minnesota, 1997 Doctor of Physical Therapy: Pacific University, Portland, OR, 2004 Certification: Advanced Biomechanics of the Lower Quarter (6-mo. program) 

Level I Certification: Functional Dry Needling, 2015 Member: American Physical Therapy Association, Sports & Orthopedic Section 

“Poor movement patterns are one of the root 

causes of injury, and getting people to feel 

better and perform better starts with 

teaching them how to move better. Learning 

skilled movement empowers people and 

restores quality to their lives. That’s what 

makes PT a great profession.”


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