Updated: Jul 12, 2021
As we spend some time seated in our society from a very young age... We are decreasing the activation of our glutes muscles, as a consequence other groups of muscle are overworking and causing compensation.
Vladimir Janda discovered that his clients complaining of low back presented this pattern of tightness and weakness.
Because we spend so much time sitting, our hipflexors are neurologically overactif which cause our glutes muscles to have a decrease of neurological activity. Our glutes are being lazy in a way, neurologically inactive and letting the other group of muscles doing the job, whereas our glute max (gluteus maximus) 👇👇👇is a very strong muscle
If the latter is weak with abdominal weakness (mainly from transverse abdominis the abdominal muscle closest to our organs and part of our core, postural muscle) All the work is let to our back muscle and smaller glutes muscles such as piriformis (sometimes involves in some sciatica symptoms)
Our hamstring are a bit more complex, we have two attachments, when we are stitting the hamstring attachment under our glutes is weak, overstretch but the other end attaching to the knee, is tight because we have our knees in a 90 degrees angle.
So all these muscles have an impact on the balance of our pelvis which is like a bowl.
This weakness and tightness can be unilateral or bilateral, create rotation of the pelvis, torsion or tilt and more.
All of these are contributor to back pain, putting the ligaments under tension,
To bring this bowl into neutral position, it is important to have reactive glutes, abs in opposition to the lower cross syndrome.
However, sometimes we go from couch to super active from one day to the following which is a shocking reaction from our musculoskeletal system, being active is important, but building up progressively the difficulty, velocity, strength etc is essential. Otherwise, we increase risk of injury.
When I have a client for low back pain treatment, I often test the firing order of their when they execute this leg extension ) 👇👇👇: in this test we are checking in which order the hamstring, glutes and erectors (back muscle) are contracted, indeed the right order is
2: glute max
3: controlateral (opposite side) erectors
4: ipsilateral (same side) erectors
On top of that pattern, some clients, some people are not able to have an ideal leg extension which should be from 15 to 20 degrees, again if the flexors are overpowering in opposition the extension is difficult to achieve. That's why a good balance is important.
Despite, many different diagnosis for my clients they often present a pattern which is far from ideal to protect their low back, this is why increasing neurological activity of these weak muscle is important, Sit less, move more, stretch the tight muscles, strengthen the weak ones.
To increase glutes max activation, it is important to go through strong exercise such as squat, deep lunges, bridge exercises or even better get help from a professional and get 1 to 1 session with a pilates instructor so you can get all the attention needed to get the movements right and with more confidence repeat at home and join a group class to be consistent.
Remember our previous episode motion is lotion we are build for movement, do something different to challenge your soft tissue, avoid routine.