T Nation

Excessive Glute Soreness?


#1

During my last training cycle, I progressively gained worse and worse glute soreness. I lifted full-body three days per week, with around 75 working reps of squat and 25 working reps of sumo deadlift per week. So nothing crazy. It never got super bad until I was finding a one rep max for my front squat and felt a very strong contraction of both glutes in the hole. It didn't feel like a pull, but I felt like I overworked my glutes.

Ever since then, I feel like my glutes aren't activating properly. As a result, a lot of weight seems to be getting transferred to my hips, causing what I've self-diagnosed to be hip tendinitis. I took a one week deload where I didn't step foot in the weight room. Today was my first day back, and it feels like I didn't even deload. I don't know what to do moving forward, because my glute issues are definitely compromising my form. I'm considering scheduling an appointment with the Doctor, but I'd like to miss the least time in the weight room possible.

Here's me squatting before it was bad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0qZ-vcgXGg
And here's my squatting after (notice the buttwink): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uven0XJ8kF4


#2

75 squats in a week is a very large number, I do around 20 total a week, only one working set, but you look young so maybe it’s my old bones.

Seriously though, that’s a lot. When I squatted twice a week my hip pointers were extremely sore, went to once a week and much better.

My guess is volume is the cause


#3

Are your glutes becoming less involved as the weight increases? Did you feel soreness in the gluteus medius (sides) as well as the gluteus maximus (back/bottom)?


#4

You can not expect 410x1 to look like 335x5, unless they are both well under your max. Post a new vid of you doing 335x5, and let’s see the difference.

Once you exceed hamstring strength, the glutes take over. That’s probably why you felt such a strong activation in them when going for a max. Hams are very often neglected or trained improperly, resulting in them being damn near useless for heavy work.


#5

I’m no expert but this looks like it could be Piriformis Syndrome, or a spasm in the Piriformis muscles. These sit deep to the gluteal muscles which could be why it feels like they’re the cause. Also the relatively high volume of squatting and increased “buttwink” is also in line with this. Google Piriformis stretches, lying or seated just stretch until the spasm or tightness reduces and reassess. You should see quick resolution if this is the case.


#6

Are your knees moving in slightly when coming out of the hole?


#7

First off, thank you for all of the replies.

@dzirkelb: 75 working reps (across ~16 sets) per week never really struck me as particularly high volume. I’ll definitely have to think about dropping that to 50ish and doing more dynamic effort + assistance work instead.

@lift206: The pain is entirely on the back/bottom of my glutes. It particularly hurts to foam roll them at the very top, as my ass meets my back. I’m really not sure whether they become less involved as the weight increases, I’ll be sure to pay attention next time. But what I do know is my ass is pretty huge, so it definitely isn’t a limiting factor strength-wise in any of my compound movements.

@JayPierce: This has to be it. The first 4 years of my lifting were done under the guidance of my high school football strength coach, who valued pushing much more than pulling (we deadlifted under five times a year, squatted every day). I didn’t know any better, and have only started actively correcting these muscular imbalances after this past football season, around 8 months ago. My posterior chain is very underdeveloped, so I think that’s exactly what happened. What should I do moving forward to help my glutes recover?

@twigs: I don’t think I have Piriformis Syndrome because the pain is muscular and I’ve had no sciatica/nerve pain, but it can’t hurt to rule this out.

@lift206: My knees don’t typically move inwards when I squat at all but, now that you mention it, this has been happening to a minor degree lately. Another thing I’ll watch out for.


#8

Building the hams and erectors can help.

When observing squatting styles, it seems the two ends of the spectrum are either a major focus on quads, gluteus maximus and abs or hamstrings and erectors. The common muscle groups necessary to squat big in both styles are hip flexor and gluteus medius strength. If you have a tendency to emphasize one end, getting more out of the other style can help.

Any type of deadlift or movement that rely on hams and erectors can help - conv DL, RDL, SLDL, etc. You also have very strong hip flexors since your lumbar spine doesn’t really go into flexion (aside from going really deep) so that isn’t a concern. Focusing on shoving your knees out by contracting your gluteus medius throughout the lift can help prevent your hips from shooting back and your knees from moving in briefly (they can go hand in hand). There are people that can squat well with their knees coming in slightly but their hip flexors and gluteus medius are still working hard to keep their hips from shooting back.

With that said, these are only small things to work on. Your squat looks pretty good.


#9

[quote]

@JayPierce: This has to be it. The first 4 years of my lifting were done under the guidance of my high school football strength coach, who valued pushing much more than pulling (we deadlifted under five times a year, squatted every day). I didn’t know any better, and have only started actively correcting these muscular imbalances after this past football season, around 8 months ago. My posterior chain is very underdeveloped, so I think that’s exactly what happened. What should I do moving forward to help my glutes recover? [/quote]

For leg day, I would do:

  1. Glute/ham raise or leg curl
    Pyramid up, then do a drop set (as in the Mountain Dog leg training from John Meadows)

  2. Squat- 5x5 with weight that you can do with perfect form.

  3. Stiff-legged Romanian deadlift - 3x8 - don’t go too heavy. Make sure you can feel a good stretch and contraction in your hamstrings on every rep.

  4. Narrow stance, full depth squats (if you have the mobility)- 5x12 with weight that you could squat for 20 reps. Only take 60 seconds or less rest.

That gives you two dedicated hamstring lifts, one that is balanced between posterior chain and quads, and one that is quad dominant. And plenty of volume for growth and conditioning.