Mongoose Bodyworks

Welcome to part II of a three part series about weakness in the gluteal muscles and the relationship to low back pain.

In part I,  I discussed what can mechanically happen in the body when the Gluteus Medius (a lateral gluteal muscle) presents weak. This post outlines the imbalances that can occur when the Gluteus Maximus, the largest of the gluteal  muscles, is weak or inhibited due to tight hip flexors. 

Femor forward in socket
Second picture shows what happens when the hamstrings predominant.

The Gluteus maximus (GMax) is a powerful hip extensor responsible for getting you up out of a chair and propelling you through space when running or jumping. If your hip flexors (the muscles in front of your hip- rectus femoris , iliopsoas, and anterior fibers of the adductors) are short, perhaps from spending much of the day sitting,  your Gmax can become inhibited and weak. In addition, to sufficiently extend the leg behind you with tight hip flexors the pelvis has to roll forward in an anterior rotation. This positioning causes the hamstrings ( the muscles down the back of your thigh) to predominate which in turn sends the femur into the anterior hip capsule.   Potentially causing anterior hip pain.

When walking the two pelvic halves move in opposition. While one rolls anterior the other rolls posterior relatively. The sacrum , the bone at the end of the spine and between the two pelvic halves, rotates and side bends to accommodate the opposing movements of the pelvic halves  and the lumbar spine counter rotates to balance the system out. If one side of the pelvis is stuck in anterior rotation (as described above) the other  pelvic half may posterior rotate farther to try and create balance. This increased motion between the sacrum and the lumbar spine puts undue stress on the lumbar discs potentially creating injury and nerve compression.

sacrum during gait
Sacrum during gait

Stretching the hip flexors is an important part to rebalancing but also needs to be accompanied with gluteus maximus re-training that teaches proper recruitment. At Mongoose Bodyworks in NYC soho we teach clients to balance their low back and pelvic musculature to achieve and maintain a pain free body.

Contact us for an appointment today!

212 431 8377

Mongoose Bodyworks is a boutique Pilates studio in Soho NYC that focuses on delivering customized private sessions designed for your exact needs.

Halle Clarke NCPT is a 2nd generation master teacher having studied  closely with two of the great NYC protégés of Joseph Pilates: Kathy Grant and Romana Krysanowska. Halle opened Mongoose Bodyworks, a boutique Pilates Studio that offers personalized Pilates sessions in New York City in 1999.

As well as training in Pilates Halle has pursued studies in ideokensiology, anatomy, biomechanics, muscle energy technique, trigger point therapy, neuromuscular re-patterning, Alexander technique, The Feldenkrais Method, Polarity therapy and Cranio-Sacral Therapy. She has additional certifications from the PMA-CPT and ACE. Halle integrates all of her extensive studies of the body into her work as a New-York based Pilates Instructor and Teacher Trainer.

She has been conducting Pilates Teacher Trainings for Balanced Body since 2006 both in New York and around the country. Halle has taught Master Pilates classes nationally and internationally, including at The PMA Conference and Mind Body Expo.

Related Links:

Low Back Pain and Weak Gluteals Part 1

Pilates and Physical Therapy

Back Pain Relief in Soho NYC