This can lead to a number of problems, from hip issues, knee pain, hamstring injuries, and lower back pain. You may be asking how? Well, here’s how…
Bad posture for one. Weak glutes can increase your hips forward tilt. Which will put more stress on your lower back and your spine overall. Also, the hamstrings and the lower back are forced to work to compensate for the inhibition, which over time results hamstring injury. For athletes the least would be sub-optimal performance.
It can also cause certain types of knee pain like tendonitis. The gluteus medius deals specifically with the stability of leg. A weak or non active glutes medius can cause instability of the leg which can potentially cause knees problems like tendonitis. The knee is forced to provide stability instead of the gluteus medius. This may mean pain in the IT band, patellar tendon, or under the kneecap.
Unfortunately, by sitting a lot, you subject yourself to what Kelly Starrett calls “butt lamination”: the fascia and muscle quality of your gluteals and hamstrings is negatively impacted through the constant pressure of sitting. Ultimately this leads to “gluteal amnesia”, the inability to control your gluteal muscles, manifesting itself in weak and inactive gluteals. The term was coined by Dr. Stuart McGill, who did extensive research into back pain, but it’s just as important for knee health as it is for a healthy back.
Test Glute Strength
Do a glute bridge, hold for 30 seconds. If your hamstrings cramp during this exercise, you have weak glutes or glute dysfunction. The reason for the cramping, your hamstrings are working harder to keep you hips up.
Activate Your Glutes
One way to strength/awaken your glutes is to perform the COOK HIP LIFT. Do 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg.