Think about it: When we walk or run, do we use both legs at the same time? We’d be hopping around like kangaroos otherwise, right?
Most of our movement on a daily basis uses one side at a time, especially walking or running, and in most sports, as well. Training the body to be able to utilize one side as efficiently as the other side helps to keep us from developing an overuse injury. Using our posterior chain when walking and especially running is very important, and helping to activate our gluteus is even more important. Over the course of a work day, poor posture takes its toll on us, leading to poor gluteus activation. Poor gluteus activation leads to compensation through the posterior chain in order to improve your efficiency of movement, avoiding pain, and helping you to return to what you came to us for.
This exercise helps to isolate the gluteus maximus on one side at a time while helping to stabilize the lumbar spine with the other hip. Hug one knee to your chest (without pain) and keep the opposite foot flat on the floor. Push through the heel and lift the hip. You should be able to feel this more in your butt than the back of your thigh. If you feel this in your back, that is also not good! Activation of different muscles through this movement is indicative of an altered movement pattern. In any case, you should go and see your local physical therapist!
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