Essential Stability From Your Glutes!
Last blog, we talked about the glutes: what they are, where they are, and briefly their roles in the body. As we dive a little more into functional movement (daily body movement–through life and through sport) it’s more important to talk about how they work together as a system than as isolated muscles.
How do the glutes stabilize your body?
We’ve mentioned before that gluteus medius is an important pelvic and lower body dynamic stabilizer. As you walk and run, dynamic loads translates up into the pelvis. Gluteus medius contracts to keep the pelvis in a neutral position while in a single leg stance.
So how can you tell if your glute meds are stabilizing your hips? Take a look at the photo below. Weakness of the right glute med will cause the left hip to drop while standing on the right leg.
In a bigger picture, our glutes contract to stabilize the pelvis, the spine, and hip to keep us in an upright position as we move. They do so by counteracting the forces that tend to flex our trunk forward during high impact forces like running and sprinting.
How? Glute max along with psoas major co-contract to contribute to spinal stability (lumbo-sacral stabilisation). With the addition of your core muscles (like internal/external obliques, rectus abdominus, transverse abdomini) and your erector spinae group all contract, like guy wires keeping the main pole from collapsing in a tent, to keep that core and that pelvis in check to allow for more mechanically efficient movement.
A caveat: athletic patients are often the best at compensation and can keep the pelvis in neutral without contracting the glutes or the core correctly. Specific clinical biomechanical assessment is the best way in figuring out the source to these problems.