T Nation

Activation for The Posterior Chain for the Genetically Ungifted


#1

I am blessed with bad genetics for the deadlift, short legs and arms compared to my torso. The best variation of the deadlift for me is the Sumo. I have tried many exercises and different protocols but came to a point where I don't see any progressions anymore. I have a hard time activating the glutes and it seems to me that muscle firing is out of sequence as I often feel the stress on my lower back with many exercises.

What would you recommend to activate the glutes and re-learn how to properly fire the muscles in the right sequence? Are there any exercises or training protocols that could achieve that? I am looking at improving strength and add mass to the hamstrings and glutes.


#2

Cable Pullthroughs are awesome. Glute bridges with some weight. Heavy kettlebell swings
Start your workout with pop ups


#3

I have similar problems.

Firstly, I found that lacking quad strength was a BIG reason. My hips and hamstrings are not bad but my lower back is quite dominant and by letting my hips rise too soon I was turning everything into good mornings. Strengthening my quads allowed me to stay more upright until the glutes could pull the torso up. I did this with 6-8 weeks of using only front squats as my only squat variation.

Secondly, I was not using my abs enough. I was so focused on keeping my pelvis from tucking underneath me I was pushing it too far out. Take a deep breath into your belly and push your ribs down to your pelvis while keeping the lower back right. Imagine a string going from your asshole to your belly button and tightening it up. If you have your abs locked it is much easier to feel the glutes pull the torso up.

Thirdly, I find KB swings if done right are fantastic for posterior chain activation. I did them starting each rep from rest to get the feel of them right before doing continuous sets. When done right they are an extremely explosive movement around the hip hinge... Can make me pretty dizzy.

This is what worked for me. I have a similar build, short arms anyway. I found sumo to work very well for me, and helped my conventional go up.


#4

Cable Pullthroughs are awesome. Glute bridges with some weight. Heavy kettlebell swings
Start your workout with pop ups

Cable pullthroughs work fine but can only be used for higher reps since when you start using a lot of weight you become off balance: but the exercise give good results to me. I find glute bridges too hard to set up since you have to use humongous poundage. But what I am really looking for is a protocole that would activate the glutes so that they fire properly when doing deadlift or GHR.


#5

Thanks Clypher, I think you might be on to something with the front squat. I'll give it a try. I tried various bracing sequence and am already pulling down my rib cage. I just started doing KB swing but still trying to get the hang out of it. Thanks for your advice.


#6

No problem. I also find paused/slow tempo lifts to help immensely in ironing out movement patterns. Probably more than any other method, slipped my mind.


#7

Wear your lifting, loose, so it kinda hangs a little bit.

Drape a resistance band over the belt, then step into the two ends/loops that hang down.

The band/belt combo will try to bend you over, and your glutes will have to go to resist.

Walk back and forth, go side to side. Bend over and do some deadlift, or Sumo Deadlift type moves.


#8

I found a video on CT facebook page that addresses this problem of glutes activation. Basically, you wear a hip circle band just above knee level and do sumo deadlift with a focus on glutes contraction. I tried it and even added a pause in the concentric range below knee level and another one at 2 inches from the floor. WOW, my glutes got ore really fast and although I was using a lightish weight, it felt really easy on the way up. I guess that this trick kind of replicates what you were trying to explain me. Anyway, for anyone with this glutes activation problem, this DL modification is wrorth the try. Would be curious to know if CT has any other variations on this move?