View Full Version : A question of Activation

Derek Weaver
03-21-2010, 12:59 AM
I've got a question regarding activation of the glutes (go ahead and laugh).

Background first: I realized that I've got a long wrong with my hips, primarily short, stiff hip flexors, poor glute activation, some rotational stuff going on. All from sitting at a desk all day.

When in profile, it is quite clear that at least I've got LCS going, maybe more, but I'm not professional or educated enough to see assess my own situation beyond that.

Anyway, I set to trying to fix or at least improve the issues I can improve on my own.

I'd done a fair amount of stuff from this article (http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/dispelling_the_glute_myth), as well as some mobility stuff and plenty of static stretching for the hip flexors.

The issue I'm having is that my right side is significantly weaker than my left. I also experience more stiffness when stretching the hip flexors than I do on my left leg. When doing the Cook Hip Lift (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uX3Z_GJ9B_w&feature=channel), I feel a significant compensation by my hamstrings when trying to activate and strengthen the right side.

What I'm trying to get at is, should I do movements that do isolate the right side, with minimal hamstring contribuation like Bird Dogs and Super Dogs, until the problem is resolved? If so, does anyone have recommendations on sufficient volume, increased time of the isometric hold, etc?

Any insight would be great and appreciated. Thanks.

Steven Low
03-21-2010, 08:46 AM
Do you have any other orthopedic problems that may have contributed?

Have you gotten looked at for any SI joint problems or anything like that?

Have you read through and done any assessments/work from here:

Usually there's more going on than just at the hips from my experience.. so you gotta target everything.

Derek Weaver
03-21-2010, 01:21 PM
Nothing that I know of. There could be some dormant issue that's not caused any acute symptoms as of yet. I actually saw a chiro a couple times for some back spasms I was having ~10 weeks ago I think. He said he didn't detect any serious misalignments past what was causing a problem. Adjusted a couple of times and I've had no issues at all.

A few things I've thought of that could have caused the imbalance: Whether playing basketball, rugby or back into martial arts, the majority of the time I planted with my left and either kicked with my right. Well, in basketball, I planted with my left to jump, no kicking involved.

Basically, a fair amount of activity over ~ 24 years of my life involving my hip flexors on my right leg, and the stability of the leg and hip on my left. Thousands and thousands of repetitions.

I did carry my wallet for quite a while on the right back pocket, but stopped that years ago.

And yes, I did do everything from your article.

I've also noticed that when doing the Seated 90/90 stretch that I feel almost nothing in the right leg, but a serious tightness in the left. Evaluated the strength of the psoas, no issues on either side.

Steven Low
03-21-2010, 05:24 PM
That could definitely do it. I was thinking more along the lines of like flat feet or say a sprain ankle.. those types of things also affect activation like I referenced in the article.

Basically, you're gonna have to identify what's tight and stretch it out.. and likely strengthen the muscles that are weak.

I actually have a similar thing to you in that my left quad, right hammy, right glute, left low back are all strong.. and my right quad, left hammy, left glute, and right low back are weak.... combo from a sprained left ankle, and overuse at the right knee.

Just gotta make sure to stretch out the strong and tight stuff.. and work on the weak stuff as much as possible. I usually just do bilateral lifts and it works out fine though.. but there is isolation work you can do.

Derek Weaver
03-21-2010, 05:50 PM
Thanks. I have definitely sprained both ankles multiple times and had some knee stuff through the years. No previous issues like I'm having right now.

I figured I would pull Sumo style, and increase the amount of glute activation volume for the right side to maybe 25% or so over what I do for the left side until I can get these things fixed. That along with increased hip flexor stretches and the same mobility work I've been doing.

Steven Low
03-21-2010, 06:11 PM
Sounds good... let me know how it goes.

Craig Brown
03-22-2010, 08:12 AM
'Tis th season, man! I have a large difference in my right & left glute & ham...lots of clams and related stuff, letting the weak side guide me. My lady can tell that I am walking a bit diferent, so I assume that it's working. Hard to tell.